What Is Car Servicing?
Do you know what actually happens to your car whilst you are reading the paper and drinking vending machine coffee, waiting for your car to be returned to you?
A simple way to remember your annual maintenance requirements and the difference between them (particularly if you have a car warranty to keep valid) is that an MOT test offers a visual inspection, whereas during car servicing the mechanical functioning of your car is inspected & tweaked.
But here's what happens during car servicing:
Car Service 1: Parts will be inspected
A garage will inspect items for wear and tear, replacing them if necessary. This includes parts like ignition leads which last a long time, but will need to be replaced if damaged.
Windscreen wipers will be checked to see if they are split or worn. Your suspension and steering is also on the checklist to make sure everything is in working order.
Belts, for the fan, power steering and alternator will be inspected and replaced at a certain mileage/age or if they show signs of wear.
Brakes, pads and discs will also be inspected and adjusted to ensure they are functioning correctly.
Car Service 2: Parts might be replaced
This isn't anything too serious, seeing the word replaced can lead to a fear of something being drastically wrong, but this is just to keep the car’s engine running smoothly, cleanly and efficiently.
Car oil needs to be changed regularly, dependent on mileage or after a period time, usually a year (I highly recommend doing this annually - it makes a huge difference to reliability). The oil filter needs to be replaced. The garage will dispose of these items in an environmentally friendly way.
Your car’s air filter is usually changed. Sometimes it can be cleaned with an airline and older cars can have metal ones, which can be refreshed with cleaning fluid.
Spark plugs are another item often replaced at each service, but sometimes, depending on the mileage, long life plugs are only changed at a certain mileage or after a number of years.
Finally any bulbs that don’t work will be replaced.
Car Service 3: Fluid and air will be topped up
Your car runs on many different fluids and, of course, the air in your tyres - all of them will be checked and topped up during a service. Your coolant and anti-freeze, windscreen wash, brake fluid and power steering fluid, will be checked and topped up.
Car Service 4: What if I need extra work?
Every car is different and service schedules and requirements do vary.
What you are paying for is expertise, diagnostic equipment and the topping up and safe disposal of parts and fluids. Any work, which goes beyond what is required at the service, should be cleared with you first. It is a good idea to look at your car’s handbook to see what is involved in the service.
It's important to distinguish between manufacturer servicing (in line with their recommendations - found in your handbook) - and any other type. Manufacturer servicing should always include the same work, is the best solution for your car and keeps your warranty valid - regardless of whether this is done at a main dealer or independent garage.
Other types include full, basic, interim and many other phrases. These don't stick to your manufacturer requirements so won't keep a warranty valid. They vary, but usually include an oil change, replacement of parts and topping up fluids but it's worth checking what exactly is included in each instance. They're a cheaper option to keep a car running reliably each year.
Book Car Servicing
Book car servicing with MotorEasy and our team of engineers will be on hand to check any work the garage flags is necessary and at the correct price - checking parts and labour costs. We offer manufacturer servicing at prices up to 40% less than main dealers, and can also help with basic servicing at a more affordable price.