By having your car serviced on a regular basis, you can keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.
From improving the safety of your vehicle to saving money on repairs and fuel, regular car servicing is always worth investing in.
Car manufacturers recommend booking a full service for your vehicle every 12,000 miles, or every year – whichever comes first.
Read on and learn how often you should book each type of service for your car.
How Often Should I Service My Car?
If your vehicle is still within the manufacturer’s warranty, then you should have it serviced in line with the manufacturer’s service schedule in order to keep the warranty valid.
Whilst it is not illegal to not service your car, it is important that you book a full car service every year.
Interim Service – Every 6 Months or 6,000 Miles
An interim service will check the following parts, amongst others:
- Fluid levels
Additionally, an interim service can feature an oil change and the replacement of the oil filter.
An interim service should not replace a full service, but it is a great investment if you want to stop potential car problems from worsening, and is especially useful for high-mileage drivers.
Full Service – Every Year or 12,000 Miles
A full service will check these parts, amongst others:
- Fuel System
- Timing Belt
- Wheels & tyres
- Steering & suspension
- External lights
- Windscreen & windscreen wipers
- Seat belts
- Oil & air filters
A mechanic will inspect these vital components, as well as the safety and mechanical systems in your vehicle during a full service.
Major Service – Every 24 Months
A major service is the most comprehensive service of the three, checking everything that a full service checks, as well as the following:
- Fuel filters
- Air filters
- Spark plugs
- Brake fluid
A major service also includes checks which are not covered in a standard service, such as checks of light and electric functions.
What Do I Need to Bring to a Service?
If you hope to have a service carried out, make that you have alloy wheel keys or locking nuts with you to speed up the process. The mechanic will need these in order to remove the wheel, and cannot check the suspension or steering systems without them.
You should also empty your car of any objects taking up space in the boot or back seat. If your car has a spare tyre, the tread depth will be checked during the service.
You should also leave your service book in the glove box so that the mechanic can see when work was previously carried out on your vehicle.
What Happens If I Miss a Service?
If you miss a service, your car probably won't break down right away.
Still, you should book a service as soon as you realise - don't just wait until the next service is due. This will put extra strain on your engine, and a partial service history could have an impact on your car's resale value.
How Will I Know When My Car Needs a Service?
Regular car servicing is a must if you ever hope to keep your vehicle in good condition.
In some modern vehicles, the on-board computer system can let you know if a service is due, or if there are any faults you should be aware of.
There are other warning signs to look out for which can signal that it is time for a service.
An illuminated warning light on the dashboard in the shape of a spanner can tell you if a service is due.
Strange sounds coming from your car - including a noisier than normal exhaust – should never be ignored. You might hear these noises when your engine is idling.
If you hear a sound like scraping metal, then something could already be broken and lead to serious issues if left untreated.
If you notice steam, then there could be an issue with the radiator and cooling system – potentially even head gasket failure.
If you notice any of the above issues, or that you are experiencing a bumpier ride than usual, then you need to book a service with a professional garage.
A car service can save you money in the long-term by helping you to fix problems early on.
We hope that you have enjoyed learning how often to service your car.