What is a car service?
A car service is a health check with routine maintenance for your vehicle which assesses everything from your engine’s fluid levels to the general wear and tear of your car.
A service is usually undertaken by a mechanic and the most in-depth of them involve around 50 or more system and component checks, adjustments and parts replacement.
Why do I need a car service?
Regular servicing will mean your car is running as efficiently and safely as possible, and regular scheduled servicing may well end up saving you money in the long run.
By getting a regular service you’re likely to see improved fuel efficiency, better handling and a smoother running engine, as well as peace of mind from knowing your vehicle is running optimally.
It can also help you avoid severe repair bills by nipping in the bud any issues that may lead to a problem over time. A full service history will also help your car maintain its market value should you choose to sell.
Regular vehicle servicing will almost certainly extend the life of your vehicle as well.
Is a car service the same as an MOT?
No it’s not. Many motorists think they don’t need to get their car serviced because it’s just passed its MOT, but in reality the routine service and the MOT are different and it’s important to undertake both.
An MOT is an annual inspection that checks the safety and environmental impact of a vehicle and is a legal requirement for almost every vehicle on the UK’s roads. For more information on MOT’s, read our guide here.
However, while an MOT checks a vehicle’s roadworthiness, it does not delve any deeper than that. A service does, and will ensure all components of your car are running as safely and efficiently as possible.
What does a car service include?
What is actually included in your service will be largely dictated by which type you choose, but a full service will likely involve an engine oil and filter change; a check of all fluids and a full brake check, plus usually checks on over 50 other key components including safety-related features.
A more thorough (and expensive) service will check and replace a wider range of components and could include a change of spark plugs and a variety of important filters, as well as checking factors like wheel alignment and suspension.
Which type of service should I choose?
The service level should equate to your annual mileage so it depends on your level of vehicle use.
Service Type Service Interval
Regular maintenance :When oil and filter need replacement
Interim Service :Every 6 months or 6,000 miles (whichever comes first)
Full Service :Every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first)
Manufacturer Service :As per manufacturer service schedule, check your car manual for information