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Why do I need to service my car?


If you’ve ever owned a car, you’ve probably heard the phrase “car service” at some point. But do you actually know what it means and if you really need it? Don’t worry we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

  • Safety – To keep you and your car safe, it’s recommended you have your car serviced at least once a year or every 6,000 to 9,000 miles whichever comes first. Identifying and fixing potential issues in advance can prevent accidents and help you avoid sudden breakdowns while driving, providing peace of mind for you and your passengers.
  • Maintaining Performance and Fuel Efficiency -To get the best performance from your vehicle, services are essential. For exact recommendations, check your manufacturers manual. Following these guidelines will help your car run smoothly, provide better acceleration, reduced emissions, and improved fuel economy, ultimately saving you money at the pump.
  • Preventing Major Issues – Regular servicing helps to find and address minor issues before they become expensive repairs.
  • Preserving Resale Value – If you plan to sell your car in the future, regular servicing will help maintain its resale value. Potential buyers are more likely to be interested in a vehicle that has a documented service history, as it indicates that the car has been well-maintained and is less likely to have hidden issues.
  • Extending the Lifespan of Your Vehicle – Following recommended servicing intervals significantly extends the lifespan of your car. By addressing problems early on and ensuring all components are in good working order, you can avoid premature wear and tear, expensive repairs, and the need for premature replacement.

What is a service?

A service is a regular check a certified mechanic carries out on your vehicle to ensure your vehicle is running safely and as it should. Parts usually checked in a service include:

  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Oil
  • Suspension
  • Seatbelts
  • Lights
  • Battery

Though this varies depending on multiple factors including what type of service you have, the make and model of your car and whether your car is petrol, diesel or electric. There are 3 main service types, this includes interim service, full service and major service.

What is an interim service?

An interim service is usually carried out every 6 months (or 6000 miles) this is dependent on which comes first. This is usually includes an oil and filter change, seat belt inspection, Checking the lights, battery, exhaust and tyres and Checking and refilling windscreen wash, antifreeze coolant, power steering fluid, lights, charging system, steering column, shock absorber and suspension.

What is a full service?

It’s recommended that a full service is carried out annually (or every 12,000 miles). This includes everything involved in an interim service as well as wheel alignment, balance, and wheel bearing. As well as replacement of all air and fuel filters.

What is a major service?

A major service is advised every 2 years (or every 24,000 miles), it includes all of the checks included in a interim and full service but also tests your battery and replaces brake fluid, spark plugs and odour/allergy filters.

Where do I go to get my car serviced?

The cheapest place to get your car serviced is usually your local garage, however, they are not always guaranteed to use original or branded parts on your car. The use of unofficial parts on your vehicle could impact your warranty. This is why many cars that are bought on a finance/lease scheme are required to get the vehicle serviced with the manufacturer as a part of their contract. Most manufacturer dealerships can carry out services for you, however this is likely to come at a cost in comparison.

How much with it cost me to get my car serviced?

While we’d love to give you an exact figure of how much a car service is likely to set you back, the price varies depending on where you take it. However, the average cost for an interim service is around £100, £165 for a full service and around £200 for a major service.

Remember this is only a rough idea.

I’ve passed my MOT, why do I need my car serviced?

While an MOT is similar to a service, in that both check your vehicle over. An MOT is a legal requirement to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. Whereas a service helps to keep your car in the best condition. Improving it’s performance and length of life.

To find out more about an MOT check out our blog, Understanding your MOT.

Remember it’s also important to make sure your vehicle is insured to drive.

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A guide to servicing your car | Comparethemarket

Driving without servicing – what’s the risk? | RAC Drive

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