Each car model has its own servicing schedule that the manufacturer has designed to keep it working at its optimum performance. Although these are generally similar, they are manufacturer and model specific and should be followed accordingly.
There are usually two service options, an interim service or a full service. A full service is required at the frequency specified but getting an interim service in between is best if you are a high mileage car user.
A basic service will involve:
- the oil and oil filter being changed
- safety checks on the horn, lights, brakes and fluid levels
- exhaust and tyre inspection
- inspection for any fluid leaks
A full service will also include further checks including topping up of the brake fluid and antifreeze, an inspection of the engine, wheel bearings and shock absorbers. All the relevant filters would usually be replaced too.
It’s good to look out for seasonal checks that many garages and dealerships are offering. These are often at a fixed price and sometimes free. With unprecedented extreme heat or freezing winter conditions that seem to be more prevalent nowadays, getting your car regularly serviced is becoming more important.
A good garage or dealership will confirm in advance exactly the work that they will undertake and provide a quote before commencing the work. They will also contact you if they find something else that needs attending to, asking your permission to proceed – or not.
And, at a main dealership, you’ll find that all the staff are fully manufacturer trained to work quickly and effectively on your make and model of vehicle. They will also use manufacturer parts.
Don’t miss on regular servicing
You may be tempted to miss out on getting your car regularly serviced thinking that you’ll be saving money. But with so many checks now forming part of the MOT, that’s not always the case. And a regularly serviced car will pay you back on economic running, road safety and a good resale price.
Finding a trusted service centre
There was a time when new car owners had to use a main dealership for servicing in order to avoid invalidating their car’s warranty, but that hasn’t been the case for many years now.
Of course, a main dealership does offer all you need in both sales and aftersales and with the backing of a major manufacturer too. They know your vehicle inside out and have the parts and training to keep it running as intended. There are a lot of positives to using them.
However, there is the option to take your car to a local garage for its annual servicing and any repairs that are needed. The question remains though, how do I find a garage or service centre I can trust?
The internet is a great source to do some research. Motoring organisations and others offer ‘Trusted Garage’ type schemes with information online. There you can read about the facilities that garages and service centres have, as well as customer reviews and sometimes a blog written by the business. All good data to help you make an informed decision. You can also search for local dealers that also offer a range of servicing products and offers, as well as great used car deals.
Word of mouth recommendation
One of the best and most reliable ways of checking information is word of mouth. So, ask around. Family, friends and work colleagues are all people who might know local garages. If you’re new to the area, try asking your neighbours, fellow parents at school, or the local shop owner.
With new technology and investment in staff training, many local garages can now compete with main dealerships in the levels of service they offer. They can give customers a host of different options. Plus, having your car maintained locally means convenience and less stress.
Like main dealerships, many garages now offer free courtesy cars or a pick-up and delivery service from your home or place of work. All good reasons to choose local.
You can search Exchange and Mart and s1cars for garages and dealerships local to you that can offer top quality servicing choices in addition to great used car deals.