What is a car service? Pro maintenance tips

What is a car service? Pro maintenance tips

What is a car service?

Getting your car serviced is like taking it to the doctor for a regular checkup. The mechanic will thoroughly inspect your car for damage and wear, as well as carry out routine maintenance work such as filter replacements and oil changes. These checks may vary depending on the needs of the vehicle. A full service can involve 50 or more component checks and adjustments. There is also a basic interim service, which is usually recommended every 6 months, and a major service, which is the most comprehensive and normally carried out once every 2 years.

What does a car service include?

 Interim 

The basic package is suited to high mileage drivers that require maintenance assistance more often than the average car owner. This typically includes checks for the tyres and wheels, steering and suspension systems, brakes, lights, and engine fluids. It may also include an oil filter replacement and oil change.

 Full 

Technicians recommend a full car service every 12 months or 12,000 miles to keep the vehicle in top condition. This includes everything in the interim package plus additional checks and adjustments or replacements. For instance, it may include:

  • Fuel filter replacement
  • Engine “tuning”
  • Alternator & vacuum hose inspection
  • Brake shoe inspection
 Major 

For this service, the automotive technician will inspect all of the major components of the car and more. Extras may include:

  • Battery testing & maintenance
  • Spark plug replacement
    What does a car service include
  • Brake fluid replacement
  • Cabin filter replacement & cleaning

Why should I get my car serviced regularly?

The answer to this question is fairly simple: it will help prevent a breakdown, reduce the risk of a serious accident, and keep your car running smoothly for longer. The earlier faults are detected and the car is repaired, the easier it is to avoid expensive damages and repairs. For example, if you don’t change your motor oil on time, it could eventually lead to what is known as oil starvation and cause serious damage to the components of your engine.

Still not convinced? Regular servicing may also be beneficial if you ever choose to sell your car or need to make an insurance claim. The service history of the vehicle can affect its resale price and the insurer’s pre-accident value estimation. It would also be a mistake to think that an MOT will have the same effect as this is only a safety test to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. It won’t take care of the everyday wear and tear that may cause problems and reduce the car’s overall performance.

How much does a full service cost

In the UK, you can normally expect to pay around 50 pounds or more for a full maintenance service, but this will largely depend on the provider and area. It is worth comparing prices before booking an appointment.

Can I service my own car?

If you have the skills, patience and time to spare, you may be able to cut the costs by doing the job yourself. Most of these tasks shouldn’t be too challenging with the right information and instructions, as well as proper tools and equipment.

Here are some of the fundamental things you’ll if you’re planning on maintaining and repairing the vehicle yourself:.

Top DIY maintenance tips

  • i Make sure to check and change all of the fluids at the correct intervals, including the engine oil, transmission fluid (automatic), brake fluid, antifreeze, and power steering fluid. If you aren’t sure what the coolant is fluid or what it is used for, you can read up on it here. It is critical that you only use an oil that is compatible with your vehicle, as using a product with the wrong viscosity will only do more harm than good. The manufacturer’s recommendations will be indicated in the vehicle’s repair manual.
  • i If you spot liquid leaking from or around your vehicle, you can often identify what it is based on the colour or odour of the substance. Oil leaks are typically found at the front of the vehicle and smell and look exactly as you would expect them to. The normal colour for oil is light to dark brown but if it is too old or highly contaminated it might be black. Antifreeze is much thinner than oil and usually a reddish or green colour. It often has a distinctively sweet smell.
    Top DIY maintenance tips
  • i If the car lights aren’t working as they should be, there could be more than one cause. Make sure to check both the fuse and the bulb to determine which one needs replacing. It is possible to restore the brightness of the headlights using a restoration and cleaning kit. In addition to this, it is worth checking the alignment of headlights for your own safety and the safety of other road users.
  • i If you have the skills and know how to change a timing belt or chain, it is worth including it in your DIY service checks. This critical component plays a significant role in the operation of the engine and neglecting it could lead to a total breakdown. Manufacturer’s recommend replacing it every 60,000 to 100,000 miles depending on the quality of the component, age and mileage of the vehicle, and the driving conditions.

Did you find this article helpful? Our blog and YouTube channel are packed full of useful content and tips. We believe that you shouldn’t have to be an expert to take care of your own vehicle, which is why we offer free tutorials and advice. Check out our articles and you’ll soon know how to do important tasks yourself, such as how to change your transmission fluid and how to clean a throttle body.

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