How Often Should You Service Your Car?

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As a general rule of thumb, a car should be serviced once every 12 months or every 12,000 miles – whichever comes first. Older vehicles or cars doing high mileage should have more frequent services, approximately every 6000 miles.

How Will I Know When to Service My Car?

Newer vehicles will provide a dashboard alert when a service is due – for all other vehicles, services are usually recorded in the vehicle’s log book, therefore the date the next service is due, should be in the car’s manual.

Reasons to Service Your Car

Cost

Keeping your car serviced will actually save you money in the long run – any minor problems will be identified and rectified before they turn into major problems. Leaving any issues unresolved could possibly cause serious damage to the car which would ultimately be costly to fix. So, although a service bill may seem unnecessary at the time, it is cost effective in the long run. A complete service history is also beneficial when selling your vehicle, as it is likely to add to the value.

Efficiency

Routine maintenance ensures your car remains in peak condition, this will not only provide a smoother more comfortable ride, but also make your car more fuel efficient and therefore economical to run. Very much like our own health, the better you treat your car, the longer it is likely to last.

Safety

A car working at its best is less likely to breakdown and leave you stranded or be the cause of accident due to malfunction. Just because a car sounds and feels OK when out on the road, it doesn’t mean everything is working perfectly inside.

A serviced car is ultimately safer on the road – something as simple as being unaware that the car is running low on engine oil whilst being driven, can put the driver in a dangerous situation if the engine suddenly starts to fail. The repair will also be extremely costly, much more so than the cost of a simple service and topping up the oil.

What Should A Car Service Include?

Servicing will ensure that the critical components of your car are all in good working order, this may include the following during a full service:

The Engine

  • Draining and refilling the engine oil
  • Verifying there are no oil leaks
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Check cooling system including radiator, coolant hoses and cap seals for condition
  • Replace coolant
  • Check timing belt and replace duly according to age or mileage
  • Check fan belt
  • Check condition of spark plugs
  • Check security and condition of undertray

Drive System

  • Inspect gearbox and clutch operation
  • Refill clutch fluid if necessary
  • Check axle and transaxle oil

Steering and Suspension

  • Inspect all steering and suspension components for condition, grease where necessary
  • Check wheel bearings, steering rack gaiters
  • Test shock absorbers
  • Check and top up power steering fluid if necessary
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Perform shock absorber bounce test

Electrical

  • Inspect all exterior and interior lights, indicators, wipers and washer operation, horn and dashboard lights
  • Check battery condition
  • Inspect all leads and starter motor

Fuel

  • Check visual condition of fuel lines, fuel cap and seals
  • Replace fuel filter

Brakes

  • Inspect brake pads for wear and tear, replace accordingly
  • Check hydraulic brake system including pipes and hoses for any damage or leaks
  • Inspect brake shoes for wear and damage
  • Check brake fluid level and top up as required
  • Check handbrake safety, lubricate and adjust as necessary
  • Inspect brake servo operation

Tyres

  • Check tyre condition and tread depth
  • Check wheels for correct balance and alignment
  • Check tyre pressure
  • Set wheel nut torque to correct manufacturer's specification

Exhaust

  • Check exhaust system for any damage

General

  • Check all windscreens for cracks and chips
  • Inspect interior and exterior mirrors
  • Top up screen washer fluid if required
  • Check both front and rear seatbelts
  • Check all air filters
  • Inspect air-conditioning and heating systems
  • Inspect all locks

Different Types of Services

Interim Service

This type of service is usually performed at 6-month intervals, between full services. It caters for cars with high mileage or other types of vehicles which may require more attention.

Full Service

Performed every 12 months or 12,000 miles – this is the most common type of service which will help to extend the car’s life.

Major Service

The major service is recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles. It is the most comprehensive car service available and will include everything from the full service, as well as a number of other service points and the replacement of various items.

How We Can Help

Longmynd Service Station is a highly reputable independent garage and accredited Bosch car service centre. We provide an outstanding level of service as all of our staff are fully trained through the rigorous Bosch Technical Training Programme, and the fact that we are an independent garage allows us to offer competitive price. For more information on our services call 01694 722626.