How often should I service my car?

By Julia Freeman

All car owners want their car to last as long as possible, as buying a replacement will almost always be expensive. One way to do this is to ensure that the vehicle is serviced regularly.

audi driving on a road

What exactly is a service?

A service is a check on the condition of your vehicle performed by a qualified mechanic. It's a bit like a check-up with your GP. Unlike an MOT, a service isn't a legal requirement.
 
Usually, the service is carried out at a garage but occasionally can be done by an individual mechanic on their own premises.

What is checked during a service?

The number of elements that are checked depends on how comprehensive the service is. An 'interim' service, for example, will check fewer elements than a 'full' one.
 
An 'interim' car service is recommended every 6 months, or 6,000 miles (whichever occurs first) and should include checks on:
 

  • brakes

  • tyres

  • steering

  • suspensions

  • lights (including warning lights)

  • fluid levels (including brake fluid)

It may also include an engine oil change, replacement of the oil filter and a drive-belt inspection.
 
Most car manufacturers recommend that a 'full' service is carried out every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. A full service should include everything that's in an interim service plus a number of additional extra checks. It will consist of around 80 different checks such as:
 

  • a diesel fuel filter replacement

  • air filter

  • inspection of the parking brakes and shoes

  • alternator hose inspection

  • vacuum hose inspection

  • removal and rotation of the wheels

If, for whatever reason, your car has not been serviced for more than 18months, it may well need what is referred to as a 'major' service. This includes all the checks in a 'full' service plus some extra checks such as brake fluid replacement or spark plug replacement as well as a battery test.

Should I follow a service schedule/plan?

Your manufacturer will recommend a service schedule for your particular model, this can usually be found in your manual or on their website. In addition to the 'full' service, most manufacturers will recommend the service interval for specific areas, for example a brake fluid change.

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Why should I service my car?

Having your car serviced regularly will mean that it is running as safely and efficiently as possible and any issues can be identified before they become troublesome. Cars that are regularly serviced are less likely to break down.

How much does a service cost?

Unlike for an MOT, there is no set cost for a service. However, for a 'full' service you should expect to pay around £150.

Book with Protyre

All Protyre garages use experienced staff including qualified fitters. We hold in stock a wide range of tyres, including premium tyres from the likes of Bridgestone, Pirelli, and Michelin, as well as budget-friendly options from brands such as Falken, Sumitomo, and Toyo.
 
Protyre offer a number of free checks for your vehicle to help give you peace of mind motoring. You can book one of our free checks online or call your nearest Protyre garage for further details and advice. To find your closest Protyre garage, simply enter your postcode into our online search tool.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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A Protyre service specifies precisely the items checked and serviced, as does an MOT, but the ones “essential” to check are the ones that are going to go wrong. Since all vehicles and all drivers are different, the things most likely to need attention differ too. However, our qualified fitters are familiar with the foibles of different cars and can advise you about the appropriate service details based on the model and age.
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