Car servicing: What's included in a car service?

There isn't actually a one-size-fits-all service when it comes to cars, and different makes and models will all require slightly different things from a service. You will also find that different providers offer very different services, so it pays to shop around and check exactly what is included before you commit to a service for your vehicle.
Each car will have its own service schedule; this can usually be found in your manual or in the document pack you received when you purchased your vehicle. You should stick to this schedule as tightly as possible in order to minimise the chances of anything going wrong with your car.
While each car will have different requirements, most providers will offer two main types of service: interim and full. Read on for a breakdown of what you can generally expect to find in each of these service packages.

Interim service

This is really just a basic car service that allows you to say your car has been serviced, and obtain a service stamp in your car's service book. Your vehicle's service clock will also be reset if this is applicable to your particular car. This service includes all the basic parts of a service, so you should expect the following:
  • Oil and oil filter to be changed
  • Standard safety checks to be performed
  • Some moving parts to be lubricated
The main checks you can expect as part of an interim service will revolve around your vehicle's horn, lights, exhaust, fluid levels and tyres. Your mechanic will also conduct a search for any fluid leaks your car might have.

Full service

A full service covers all the same checks and tasks as the interim service, along with a number of additional checks. In a full service, you can expect things like top-ups of anti-freeze and brake fluid, more thorough checking of the brakes, a detailed engine inspection, an inspection of the shock absorbers and wheel bearings, and several more checks and tasks. If applicable, your air conditioning system might also be checked.
When you book your vehicle in for a full service, the price you are quoted will generally include all aspects of the service, excluding any parts that need to be replaced as per your car's service schedule. This could include components such as spark plugs and filters. Most providers will either add these items on as chargeable extras or will include them under the umbrella of your service.
As a general rule of thumb, you should usually opt for the most comprehensive service you can afford. The more thorough your service, the lower the likelihood of major problems occurring at a later date. In many cases, maintaining your car's recommended service schedule could safe you a great deal of time, hassle and money in the long run, even if it seems like an unnecessary expense at the time. You should never skip a service and should take care to follow your car manufacturer's recommendations as closely as possible.

Use the experts

At Protyre we’re the local garage you can trust. With a network of over 100 garages across the country, we offer bronze, silver and gold service options to keep your car running smoothly. So don’t delay, book your service today!