What is a car service, and why is it important?
A car service is a really important part of your yearly car maintenance plan. The service checks all elements of your vehicle, ensuring that every part is running as supposed to, without any issues. From general wear and tear items like tyres and brake pads to oils, engine performance and more. It is also used to spot any future issues that may arise. Catching an issue early could save you hundreds of pounds in repair costs!
According to MotoringResearch.com, 47% of drivers worry about having to cough up for unexpected repair bills, and this is stopping 24% of them from getting their cars serviced.
The DVLA has noted that these drivers are then left struggling to pass their MOT tests, with 5% of them having bills over £1,000! They also stated that 50% of all faults found on MOTs could be avoided by regular maintenance.
Remember that a single car can have around 30,000 different parts! Without proper care, there are a lot of things that go wrong.
1. Improve car life span and save on fuel
Two things that surely every driver wants to do! Quickly repairing arising issues before they become too disastrous will improve the overall life span of your car. Plus, having a well-performing engine will make the most of the fuel you are putting in. If your engine is having to strain itself to do its job, then you are going to see your fuel consumption rise.
2. A service isn’t the same as an MOT
Your MOT test ensures that your car meets legal safety requirements. The service, on the other hand, checks the health and condition of your car. We like to think of a service in the same context that your dentist will talk to you about flossing. Yes, it’s an extra step to take but it really does improve the overall health and functions.
3. It can help with your insurance policy
This isn’t well known but if you are unfortunate and have to write your car off and the car needs to be replaced, your insurance company will look at your most recent service history to work out your car’s most recent value.
4. Improve your car’s financial value
When it comes to the time to sell your car, the new buyers will be willing to give you more if the car has a full service history. This lets them know that the car has been regularly maintained and cared for.
5. You can’t do a service yourself
Most modern cars have computerised systems that require their official tools to connect to. Whilst you can still do some easy DIY car maintenance jobs yourself, when it comes to your annual service it’s best to go straight to a trusted garage.
6. When should I get my car serviced?
This depends on a few different elements.
- The make and model of your car
- The age of your car
- How many miles you have done
- What kind of driving you do (rural roads, motorways etc.)
Your car manual will be able to tell you when you should be getting a service. If you don’t have your manual, don’t worry. Call up our team and we can check to see when your service is due, and which level we would recommend for you.
7. Save £100’s on repair costs
When you come to your service, your technician will report on any items that may be an issue in future. For instance, they may notice that your timing belt may be due a replacement. This needs replacing every 5 years or 60,000 miles and a replacement costs around £300 depending on your vehicle. Whereas, a broken timing belt can result in catastrophic engine failure which could cost thousands!
How long does a car service take?
The time it takes to perform the service depends on which level you choose. A gold service will obviously take longer than a bronze service as the vehicle technician has more items to check.
Bronze Service: just under an hour
Silver Service: an hour and a half
Gold Service: two hours
Platinum Service: two and a half hours
Our team may notice an issue during your service which we will raise with you afterwards. We can provide a free no-obligation quote for you to view then it is up to you if we do the additional work. We will never perform a job without the customer’s consent first!
What is included in a car service?
When it comes to servicing your car, it can be pretty overwhelming. Different garages and dealerships have different plans and offerings so knowing which is best for you can be confusing.
We’ve made it as simple as possible to get your car serviced. We have four different levels from Bronze to platinum, each one with more checks than the last.
All you need to know is what cc your engine is. For example, if your car has a 1.6-litre engine, then that equals 1,600cc so it would fall into the level 2 category. If you are unsure, don’t worry as we can check this for you. All we need is your vehicle registration. The bigger your engine, the higher the price of your service as it will require more oil.
Now we have established your engine size, we can look at each service level and figure out how many checks you’d like our technicians to perform.
Use the tables below to see how much your service will cost.
|499cc – 1,099cc
|1,100cc – 1,899cc
|1,900cc – 2,399cc
Car Service Checks – What We Check and Why
Here, we will list every item that is checked in each of our services, and why it is important to you.
All service levels include:
1. Check Starter Motor Operation: ensure the engine starts easily and without a struggle.
2. Check and Report Instrument/Warning Lamps: are any of your warning lamps eg. TPMS showing? If yes, why?
3. Check Horn Operation: quite self-explanatory… Does the horn work and is it loud enough to be heard by other road users/pedestrians?
4. Add Motor Flush and Fuel Conditioner: the motor flush is used to literally flush out all the gunk and sludge that has built up in your engine. Having a clean engine will improve the car’s performance as oil can move freely throughout the system. You can do as many oil changes as you like, but without doing a flush in between, the new oil will quickly become contaminated with the sludgy mess already in your system.
The conditioner is there to improve the quality of the fuel. This is added to your fuel tank so as it travels around the fuel lines, injectors and into the engine, it cleans as it goes.
5. Check All Exterior Lights: are all the lights working properly? Are any dim or flickering?
6. Check All Wiper Blades and Fluid: are your wipers effectively cleaning your view, and is the screenwash spraying effectively?
7. Check and Top Up All Under Bonnet Levels: how full is your screenwash, oil and coolant? Any with less than needed will be topped up.
8. Carry Out Anti-Freeze Strength Test and Report: your antifreeze keeps the engine from freezing over in winter, and it keeps it cool in the summer. The technician tests your antifreeze using a pipette-style tool with coloured balls in it. Each ball represents a different temperature level that the antifreeze can work. If your anti-freeze is in a bad way, we will recommend draining it all and adding fresh antifreeze.
9. Carry Out Brake Fluid Test and Report: brake fluid is necessary as it transmits the pressure you put on your brake pedal, onto the wheel brakes. If you don’t have enough brake fluid, the brakes won’t work properly. A fluid test ensures that you have A. enough fluid and B. that the fluid hasn’t been contaminated and is safe to use.
10. Check and Report on Condition/Pressures of All Tyres Including the Spare: check that all tyres are in a safe condition without any lumps or tears and that tyre pressure is efficient.
11. Visual Brake Inspection: visually check all brakes to look for signs of wear and tear or damage.
12. Replace Engine Oil, Oil Filter, and Sump Plug*: clean oil ensures that the engine runs smoothly without any clogged areas. The oil filter becomes clogged over time which then stops it from efficiently filtering out dirty, contaminated oil. A fresh Sump Plug removes the risk of contaminated oil sitting in your sump.
*There is an extra charge for high-performance/specialist oils.
13. Carry Out Road Test: here we can get a first-hand experience of your car’s performance. We can listen to the engine and assess any strange noises, juddering, steering or brake issues.
14. Parking Brake and Foot Brake Travel: this is to test how far your brake lever and pedals move. If they move too far then they aren’t working to their best ability and will need repairing.
15. Reset Service Indicator: many cars have a service indicator on the dash that tells the owner when their service is due. Here, we reset the indicator to tell the database that the service has been performed.
16. Stamp and Update Service Book: this is to record that your service has been actioned on this date and to record your mileage and any other necessary details.
Silver, Gold and Platinum services include:
17. Check and Lubricate Catches: this checks that the catches on all doors, the boot and the bonnet open and close smoothly without any issues. We lubricate them too to keep them happy.
18. Check the Condition of Number Plates, Exterior Mirrors and Trims: ensure that all elements are in good condition without any damage, cracks or visibility issues.
19. Check the Fuel Cap: ensure that this is safely locking and without any damage.
20. Check Radiator and Cooling Fan Condition: ensure that sufficient coolant can access the radiator and that the fan can turn efficiently to distribute the cool air.
21. Check Clutch and Hydraulic Fluid: clutch fluid works in the same way as brake fluid. When you press the clutch pedal, the fluid moves to engage the clutch. We will check to make sure there aren’t any leaks and that the fluid is moving easily.
22. Check Calipers and Cylinders: check that enough brake fluid is coming into the brake system and check calipers for wear and tear or damage.
23. Check Front and Rear Wheel Bearings: Wheel bearings help with frictionless wheel rotation. They are under constant pressure so low-quality bearings or poor installation of them can cause issues with your steering and your ABS. We will rock your wheels to see if there is any movement. Too much movement may mean that the wheel bearing is worn or needs adjusting.
24. Check for Engine Oil Leaks: if you have ever noticed a puddle of oil under your car, it may be an engine oil leak. Another tell-tale sign is blue smoke coming from your exhaust, which is often a sign of oil leaking into the engine. An oil leak can damage other internal components and needs fixing as soon as possible. This may be due to loose bolts in the oil pan.
25. Check Auxiliary Belt and Tension: the auxiliary belt drives the air-conditioning compressor, water pump, alternator and power steering pump. Over time, the belt can stretch which makes the tension of it loosen. We will measure the tension within the belt. If it has more than an inch of movement in it, it may need to be tightened.
26. Check Exhaust System and Mountings: we check the exhaust system for cracks or damage, or any loose hanging mountings.
27. Check For Gearbox Oil Leaks: we’ll check your gearbox oil level and if it is low, this may be due to a leak. Leaking oil is dangerous so will need to be fixed as soon as possible.
28. Check Underbody Pipes and Hoses: here we’ll look for any damage, cracks and loose fittings.
29. Check Suspension Components: check all parts of the suspension system to ensure there’s no damage or issues.
30. Check Steering Components: check that all elements are secure and in working order.
31. Replace Pollen/Cabin Filter: the pollen filter uses an electrostatic paper filter to collect pollen, dust and debris that enters your car. Premium cars use carbon filters which also protect against bad smells and fungus from entering your cabin. These need replacing around once a year to keep your driving comfort.
32. Check Operation of Air Conditioning: of course, you want your air-con to be functioning properly during the summer months. We’ll make sure that you have enough gas to keep you cool.
33. Check and Report Timing Belt Intervals: the timing belt ensures that the crankshaft and camshaft work in perfect time to move the pistons and valves of the engine. They need changing around every 60,000 miles or five years. We will check to see when you can expect to have yours replaced.
Gold and Platinum services include:
34. Body Inspection: we will inspect the whole vehicle body, checking for damage, wear and tear, and any issues that will need addressing.
35. Check Engine and Gearbox Mounts: these mounts secure the item to the chassis of the car and reduce the noise and vibration levels. We’ll make sure that these are still doing their intended job.
36. Strip Clean & Adjust Brakes*: here we take apart the brakes and clean of any grit, dirt and brake dust to ensure that your brakes are working smoothly. As you are driving, every time you brake, your brakes are slightly adjusting. The adjustment we perform will get your brake back to its optimum performance to improve your stopping distance.
*Additional 0.4 hours of labour for drum brakes (£33.60 inc. VAT)
37. Replace Air Filter: the air filter stops fine particles from entering your engine space and clogging other elements. A new air filter can increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and prolong your engine life. It is recommended that you change your air filter every 12 – 15,000 miles.
38. Replace Fuel Filter: the fuel filter filters out dirt, grime and rust from the fuel to make sure only clean fuel is being passed into your engine. You should be changing your fuel filter every 30,000 miles or so.
39. Replace Spark Plugs*: only applicable to petrol engines. The spark plugs are what ignites the air and fuel mixture which then generates power in your engine. Replacing your spark plugs will reduce the risk of misfires which can increase emissions and damage your MPG.
*Extra charge for platinum spark plugs
40. Fault Code Read and Report: here we will connect our diagnostic systems to your vehicle to check for any fault codes or flagged-up issues. We use official dealer-level diagnostic equipment so you can get the same service as you would from the main dealer.
Platinum services include:
41. Check Sunroof and Guide Rails: ensure that the sunroof and guide rails are securely in place and without any issues.
42. Carry Out Battery and Alternator Checks: check that the battery and alternator are both properly connected and are providing enough power.
43. Carry Out Brake Fluid Change: your brake fluid can become contaminated with water and dirt over time so you should be having your brake fluid changed every two years. Dirty brake fluid can lead to brake failure.
We hope that this has helped you understand the importance of getting your car serviced. If you would like to get your service with us, you can book your service here or give our team a call.