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What should I expect when I take my car to be serviced?

How often do you service your car? The answer for most would probably be “not as often as I should”. Getting your car serviced professionally can often be viewed as a costly inconvenience but, for a number of reasons, it can actually be a way of saving money.

A number of the benefits of regular car servicing are:

  • Increased Fuel efficiency as the replacement of the engine oil and filters makes for a smoother running engine.
  • Problems are detected before they can become a major issue, likely causing parts to completely fail which most likely will result in higher costs to repair including dealing with this at the roadside in the event of a breakdown.
  • Problems detected before they become a major safety issue for both yourself and your passengers.
  • Increase the lifespan of your car
  • Increase the value of the car by making it more attractive to another buyer.

But what happens during a car service? In this blog post, we explain everything you need to know.

What does a car service involve?
A car service is designed to check the working condition of your vehicle. Unlike an MOT – which checks solely for safety – a car service is like sending your car for a medical at the doctor. A mechanic will assess the functionality of your vehicle; from wear and tear to the engine, fluids, brakes, suspension and more.

Car servicing can involve as many as 75 adjustments, and systems checks, including:

  • Battery condition tests
  • Steering and wheel alignment checks
  • Suspension checks
  • Cooling system checks
  • Tyre Checks including spare (if fitted)
  • Lights
  • Exhaust System
  • Brake wear and operation
  • Hydraulic fluid and coolant level checks
  • Engine oil change
  • Filter Changes

Why should I get my car serviced?
Many drivers don’t see the true necessity of regular car servicing, but there are many reasons why you should commit to it – even if you’ve just had an MOT. An MOT isn’t the same as a car servicing. Although MOTs inspect for technical safety issues, they won’t flag up or replace many items that are critical for the reliability of your vehicle. With car servicing, you ensure the wear and tear on your vehicle is taken care of.

Car servicing saves you money in the long run. While it might not be comfortable reaching into your pocket at the time, it’ll save on more expensive issues that you would otherwise let build up. Car trouble often comes as a surprise, so budgeting to pay for car servicing at a set time can ease the burn a little. Plus, a healthy car is an economical car – if your car is running as it should, you’ll pay less for fuel.

And if you’re looking to sell your car in the near future, having a full and thorough service history will really work in your favour. The car will have a longer life expectancy, and therefore be of higher value – plus, buyers will be able to see it’s been taken care of.

In the same vein, insurance companies often use service history to determine payout value after an accident. If your recent servicing documents show the car was in good condition, you might find your compensation is higher than it would have been otherwise.

How long does a car service take?
Depending on what service your car requires, so your best bet is calling up your nearest Auto Care Group centre in Stockton; Teesdale, or Darlington to ask. If you’re looking for a rough guide on time, a full service will take about 3 hours, whilst an interim service will take about an hour and a half. Interim servicing should be carried out every 6 months or so, while a full service is best carried out annually.

Why can’t I service my car myself?
Gone are the days when you could spend an afternoon tweaking things under the bonnet only to emerge, covered in grease, with a perfectly functional car. Most modern cars engines are extremely compact and require special tooling to carry out what was abasic task not to mention the reset of service lights that now more often than not has to be carried out using diagnostic software, meaning garages have to invest in testing machinery to do the jobs we no longer can.

Is Your Car Under Manufacturers Warranty?
The Auto Care Group has invested heavily in both training and equipment so that we are able to carry out servicing on all makes and models. We also have access to manufacturer’s service schedules so we can carry out servicing on cars still within manufacturers warranty without invalidating this policy. All of the parts we use are certified to be of an equivalent or higher standard than the main dealers so again using our parts will not affect your manufacturers warranty. We can carry out these services at much cheaper price than the main dealer and we also have access to digital service books and can complete this when we do your service.

How often should I get my car serviced?
This would depend on a number of factors – from the age of your vehicle, what make and model it is, the environment in which you drive, what your vehicle is used for and how many miles you rack up yearly.

Your car’s manual will provide some insight into the recommended servicing times. Some new cars will even have servicing reminders pop up on the electronic dashboard display.

We recommend the following as a guide to car servicing:

  • Oil & Filter change (Bronze Service) should be used for regular maintenance and should be carried out on a regular basis particularly for high mileage drivers
  • Interim Service (Silver Service) should be carried out every six months or 6000 miles whichever comes first
  • Full Service (Gold Service) every 12000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first
  • Manufacturers Service as per the manufacturers service schedule or electronic display on your dashboard

Car Repairs & Servicing from the Auto Care Group

You can book Car Repairs & Servicing at your nearest Auto Care Centre in either Stockton; Teesdale or Darlington online today. Simply fill in the details on our servicing page with your vehicle’s make, model, fuel type, engine size, and registration to be offered dates, prices and a full list of the checks, changes and adjustments of what will be carried out.