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Your car’s service schedule explained and why it matters

By Stephen Turvil | February 28, 2022

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Why understanding your car’s service schedule is key to keeping it reliable, efficient, safe, and ready for action.

Your car’s service schedule explained and why it matters

Save £25 on your service - use code 'SERVICE25'

Your car’s service schedule reveals what maintenance it requires and when. That is important. Without proper maintenance your vehicle is likely to wear prematurely, run poorly, and be worth less than its well maintained counterparts on the second-hand market. Lack of care may also invalidate any manufacturer warranty.

Find service schedule

There is no one size fits all service schedule. Petrol cars have different needs than diesels, for instance. Electric models have varying needs again. On this basis, your car has a specific schedule tailored to its needs. Find it in the owner’s manual, online, or by asking the manufacturer. It likely refers to basic and full services, or variations thereof. What the services include also differs by garage. Let us consider a petrol car as an example.

Service schedule example

Service one is after 12,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first. At this point the car only needs a basic service. The mechanic starts by replacing the engine oil. New oil more effectively cleans, cools, and lubricates which reduces wear. The mechanic then replaces the air filter to help the engine breathe properly. There is also a basic check of the brakes, suspension, steering, seatbelts, lights, clutch, and numerous other components.

Service two is after 24,000 miles or two years, whichever comes sooner. The car now needs a full service. This includes the basic service elements plus more. Extras include new spark plugs. The mechanic also additionally scans for error codes, adds screen wash, and checks the fuel lines, drive shafts, transmission, and exhaust. 

The vehicle then needs a basic service, full service, and basic service alternately in years three to five. That is 36,000 to 60,000 miles. However, at year six or 72,000 miles it needs a full service plus a new timing belt for the engine. It is important to replace the belt as recommended. If not, it might snap and cause serious damage. The air-conditioning system also needs maintenance. 

Save £25 on your service - use code 'SERVICE25'

What servicing costs

The cost of servicing your car depends on many factors. They include its make, model, what is required, and which garage completes the work. As a rough guide, a basic service for an everyday car that does not need additional work is £100 to £200. The expense could be considered an investment in your car’s future. 

Keep records

Keep records to prove you follow the car’s service schedule. It may be needed when you sell, make a warranty claim, or for other reasons. Evidence includes stamps in the service book and invoices. 

Claim your £25 off your service - use code 'SERVICE25'

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