How long does a full car Service take?

If you haven’t taken your car for a full car service before you are probably wondering how long it will take.
 
There are significant differences between an MOT and a full car service. An MOT covers an inspection of the car, with the objective of ensuring that key systems meet minimum safety standards in accordance with government guidelines. There is a significant difference between the safety objectives of an MOT and the need to maintain the car's engine, transmission and other core components in peak condition in order to ensure their longevity.
 
A car service is far more comprehensive than an MOT and is specifically designed to maintain rather than merely assess the vehicle. In a servicing context, the garage can dismantle or remove items, enabling them to get a proper look at the inner workings of the car.

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What happens during a full car service?

The scope and timing of the service will be defined by the manufacturer. This is based upon a wide range of factors, including the lifespan of consumable components such as filters and fluids, together with the lifespan of a myriad of other durable components. Your owner’s manual will advise as to the appropriate service intervals and, for the majority of modern cars, you will notice that the service required at each point may vary in scope and depth. This reflects the fact that different components and consumables degrade at varying speeds.
 
Each service reflects a combination of mileage covered since the preceding service, together with time elapsed. Some components, for example, certain seals and gaskets, will degrade over time regardless as to the mileage covered. Others, such as oil and certain filters, are very much mileage dependent.
 
During a full car service, a service professional will check all of the designated service components, together with critical safety items including tyres, steering, brakes, lights and suspension. Different technicians will have different skills and specialities, so your service will be carried out by a team rather than one mechanic. Our tyre professionals will ensure that the tyres are up to scratch and may recommend replacements where appropriate from reputable brands such as Pirelli, Falken or Bridgestone.
 
If anything that is not planned for replacement within the service in question requires attention, our service team will inform you and explain the reasons for the replacement and the associated costs, enabling you to make an informed decision. Other common activities (again, depending upon the service in question and the manufacturer's recommendations) include oil and oil filter changes, brake fluid check and top-up, air filter replacement, air conditioning filter replacement, ignition calibration and timing and a wide range of other checks.
 

How long does a full car service take?

Timings will, of course, vary from model to model. Larger, more complex cars will take longer to service. A full car service takes longer than an MOT, but don’t worry; your car won’t be in the shop for weeks! In general, full car service time normally takes around 3 hours, assuming no significant issues are encountered, so you should normally have the car back the same day.
 
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