As part of our Car Maintenance series, we are going to find out what is included in a car service.
Do you know what a car service includes? As a result of not knowing, you could find yourself paying more for a car service that was probably not due for several thousand miles!
Let’s face it, we could all do with paying less for motoring costs than we have to! Why pay more, right?
So to try and help out, we’ve wrote this article on whats included in different types of car service and when to have it done.
Our post When Should I Change My Oil? touches on the subject of services, but this article is a more in-depth look at what is included.
What is a service on a car?
Basically a service is a series of checks made on a car to ensure it is safe, roadworthy and working at optimum performance.
Every car has its own servicing schedule – which you can usually find in your owner’s manual or service book – and this should be followed in order to ensure your car lasts as long as possible.
What types of service are there?
Often there are two types of service: interim and full – some companies even offer a third, major service.
You could also have just the oil and oil filter changed – but this isn’t usually classed as a ‘service’ so your service book won’t be stamped by the garage. You can read our advice on when to change your oil in this article.
Tip: We don’t always call it an interim service – interim service and service are just the same thing.
Very briefly, this is what can be included in a service (for more info keep reading):
- an oil and filter change,
- air filter change,
- spark plug change,
- fuel filter change,
- any other fluid check/change,
- exhaust check,
- fluid levels and leak checks,
- it can also include checking the brakes if required.
Services vary widely (as you can see below); so before you leave your car, check what you are having done and how much it will cost!
What does an interim service (or service) include ?
An interim service is probably the lowest level of car service, it is usually what we all refer to as a ‘service’.
With an interim service you could get:
- oil change,
- oil filter change,
- lights check,
- tyres check,
- exhaust check,
- horn check,
- fluid level check,
- brakes check,
- fluid leak check,
- service book stamped,
- service indicator reset.
Some companies may also offer things like:
- clutch operation check,
- undertray condition check,
- check gears operation,
- battery check,
- dashboard lights,
- steering wear and tear check,
- suspension wear and tear check,
- wheel bearings check,
- steering gaiters check,
- shock absorbers check,
- handbrake check,
- windscreen/rear screen wipers check,
- windscreen washer check,
- cabin filter change,
- road test.
Any service can vary in how often it needs doing; depending the make/model and age. Therefore it can be a bit tricky to figure out!
Halfords recommend an interim service every 6 months or 6,000 miles, other garages recommend 7,500 and 15,000 miles.
But as we explained in our ‘when should I change my oil’ article, it all depends! Car manufacturers now say some cars can go longer without oil changes and services – helpful!
So really you might as well be asking “how long is a piece of string??”
We would recommend checking your service book, the car manufacturer and also your chosen garage – then decide for yourself given the information you have received!
Remember: Services can vary as you can see! So before you leave your car, check what you are having done and how much it will cost!
What does a full service include?
A full car service usually includes the same checks as an interim service and then a few extra checks or changes.
With a full service you could also get:
- radiator check,
- coolant seal check,
- coolant hose check,
- electric cooling fan check,
- fan/alternator check,
- auxiliary drive belts check,
- air filter change,
- spark plugs change,
- antifreeze check,
- fuel cap check,
- fuel line check,
- grease prop/shaft,
- axle/transaxle oil check,
- gearbox fluid check,
- diesel heater plug indicator check,
- HT (high tension) leads check,
- brake servo check,
- brake fluid boil test.
Like we said above, a service can vary in how often it needs doing; depending the make/model and age.
Halfords recommend a full service every 12 months or 12,000 miles, other garages recommend 45,000 and 75,000 miles.
But again, as we explain in our ‘changing my oil’ article, it all depends! Some new cars can go longer without oil changes and services – helpful!
So now you are asking “how long IS this piece of string??”
Check your service book, the car manufacturer and also your chosen garage – then decide for yourself given the information you have!
Remember: Services can vary quite a lot! So before you leave your car, double check what you are having done and how much it will cost!
A major car service is a top-level service, not all garages will offer these extra services. They include everything above and a few extras.
With a major service you could get these extras:
- drain and replace fluid in the cooling system,
- replace fuel filter,
- starter motor check,
- alternator check.
As you already know – but we will repeat again – a service can vary in how often it needs doing; depending the make/model and age.
Halfords recommend a major service every 24 months or 24,000 miles, other garages recommend every 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.
As we have already mentioned above and in our ‘when should I change my oil’ article that it all depends! With better efficiency and parts, it really is anyone’s guess.
So now you are left wondering “is this string or rope???”
Check your service book, the car manufacturer, the garage and even Google it – then decide for yourself given the information you have received!
Remember: This is the last time we will say this – promise! Services DO vary massively! So before you leave your car, check what you are having done and how much it will cost!
In a nutshell, what is included in a service can be a huge range of different things – depending on the service you car needs.
We hope this article gives you a better idea of what is included in car services and helps you to make a well-informed decision for your next service.