Servicing your car is one of the best ways to keep it running safely and reliably. Unlike an MOT, a service isn’t a legal requirement and you can still drive your car if it hasn’t been serviced. However, many motorists have their vehicles serviced to check for wear and tear and ensure their car is offering the best possible performance. So what’s included in a car service, and how often should you have one?
How often should I service my car?
Many modern cars have a service indicator to let you know when a service is due. This will depend on how long it has been since the last service and how many miles have been driven. You can usually find details of a recommended service schedule in your car’s handbook – most manufacturers recommend servicing a vehicle every 10,000 to 20,000 miles.
Garages will often provide different types of service based on time or mileage. For example, an interim service takes place after six months or 6,000 miles and is designed for cars that tend to drive further each year. Meanwhile a full service is usually done after 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is suitable for vehicles with a lower annual mileage.
What’s checked in a car service?
The checks completed during a service will depend on the make and model of your car and the type of service you book. Servicing consists of a combination of visual and manual checks to ensure everything is working as it should be.
During an interim service, a mechanic will check your car’s lights, tyres, steering, suspension, and brakes. They will also check all fluid levels and may carry out an oil change or oil filter replacement. They might also inspect the drive belt.
A full service is more comprehensive and includes extra checks in addition to those carried out during an interim service. This can include air cleaner replacement, alternator and vacuum hose inspection, or inspecting parking brake shoes. Tyres may also be removed and rotated.
Some garages also offer a major service, which is recommended after 24 months or 24,000 miles. Additional checks might include testing the battery, or replacing brake fluid or spark plugs.
How long does car servicing take?
The amount of time required for car servicing depends on the type of service booked. An interim service takes around one and a half hours, while a full service may take up to three hours.
Is service history important?
Although it’s not compulsory to have a car serviced, a full service history can add value to your car when you come to sell it. Regular servicing shows that a car has been well maintained, while a missing service history might suggest that there has been a problem with the car in the past.
Is a service different to an MOT?
Any car over three years old is legally required to have an annual MOT, which is a series of safety checks to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy. Any major or dangerous faults found during an MOT will need to be fixed and a retest arranged. You can’t drive a car if it doesn’t have a valid MOT.
Servicing is not a legal requirement and focuses on checking for wear and tear and performance issues. Booking a service is a great way to ensure your car is running reliably and, for added convenience, many garages allow you to book an MOT and service at the same time. This also makes it easier to remember to service your car each year.
Book a service today
Located in Lutterworth, Hammond Automotive service cars for motorists from across the town and surrounding villages. To book your car in for a check up, call the garage on 01455 558360 or complete our contact form to make an enquiry.