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Car Servicing: What's Included

By Stephen Turvil | June 8, 2015


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Find out the difference between inspection, interim and full service and what's included.

Car Servicing: What's Included

Why Service a Car?

Servicing is the inspection and maintenance of a vehicle to ensure it is safe, environmentally efficient and pleasant to drive. A vehicle might receive one of several types – and different garages have their own means of classification – but it is common to choose from an inspection service, interim service or full service. The mechanic can recommend which is most suitable based on the vehicle's age, mileage, service history, and on how it is driven.

What Does An Inspection Service Cover?

The most basic car service is known as an inspection service or oil and filter change service. This should be carried out between other services or around every 10,000 miles. 

Many people forget to check their oil levels or book their car in for this basic service but it is fundamental to a car's health.

What Does An Interim Service Cover?

Whereas there are variations throughout the industry an interim service typically incorporates a change of engine oil. This minimises wear and tear and extends the life of the unit. The mechanic might also: inspect the shock absorbers to ensure the car responds properly to bumps, replace broken light bulbs to help the driver see (and be seen) and top-up the coolant fluid to stop the engine overheating. It is typical for the brakes to be checked too.

What Does a Full Service Cover?

A full or major service builds on the strengths of the interim. Once again, there are variations between garages but expect new spark plugs to help the engine work at peek performance (petrol engines only). It also typically relates to the: radiator and hoses that like coolant prevent overheating, wheel alignment that ensures a vehicle drives straight, wheel balancing that minimises vibration and the gearbox.

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What Are The Differences Between The Three Types of Service?

An inspection, interim and full service typically include:

  Inspection Service Interim Service Major Service 
Road test  
Engine oil and filter 
Windscreen washer fluid 
Engine coolant 
Front, rear, side and main lights 
Indicators and hazard lights 
Brake and reverse lights 
Fog and number plate lights 
Instruments, gauges, warning lights  
Starter Motor  
Power steering fluid 
Brake inspection  
Headlight wipers 
Windscreen wipers 
Windscreen washers 
Seat belts  
Diagnostic codes  
Bonnet catch  
Drive shaft joints and gaiters  
Steering, suspension linkages and ball joints  
Shock absorbers  
Exhaust and mountings  
Spark plugs   
Fuel filter   
Air filter   
Radiator and coolant hoses   
Auxiliary drive belt   
Wheel bearings   
Wheel balancing   
Wheel alignment   
Exterior mirrors   
Doors hinges   
Interior lights   
Fuel pipes   

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