What does a full car service include?

We all know how important it is to go to the doctors for a checkup to make sure everything is running smoothly. Well, the same goes for our cars! When a car is designed, manufacturers set out a service schedule for the car, which they believe will keep it running reliably and safely.

If you are unsure about what type of service your car requires then be sure to check your manufacturer guidebook as this will have all of the relevant details in it.

There is a lot of overlap between servicing and an MOT test and it is estimated that 75-85% of your MOT is covered during servicing, however that does not mean you should skip on serving or your MOT, as they are vital in keeping your car safe and roadworthy and protecting yourself and other road users.

Cars that have their own warranty will typically receive one of the following services. The services vary in price depending on how much work is needed to be done on the car.

  • Basic or Interim Service.
  • Oil and Filter change.
  • Full service/Major service
  • Manufacturer service


Oil and Filter change:

An Oil and Filter change is one of the most important parts of a service and is included in all services. It helps your car to run reliably and helps increase fuel efficiency. All Garages have a duty of care towards their customers to complete a visual safety inspection when they work on any car, even if the car is booked in for a basic oil and filter change. However they are not liable to check the brakes, so brake checks should be booked in to take place at least once a year.

Basic or Interim Service:

Each type of service builds on the previous level, so a basic service will typically include an oil and filter change and a visual inspection, but there will usually be a top up of all the key fluids in the engine (washer fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze and steering fluid) and a check of up to 35 key components to ensure your car is in the best condition possible. A good garage will also check your brakes and manufacturer guidelines and recommend any additional work your car may need, however not all garages do this.

Full Service:

A Full service typically consists of all basic service work already described, an extra 15-30 additional checks on the car’s components (compared to the basic service) It is important to note, as with the basic service, if the car requires any additional maintenance work this will be an additional cost.

Major Service:

A Major Service will include everything covered in a full service but will also include a change of spark plugs, a change of fuel filters and some other service/wear items that are recommended by the manufacturer’s schedule. This does not include any additional repair or maintenance work.

Manufacturers service:

A Manufacturer service should include all wear, service and maintenance your car needs and is the most expensive and comprehensive service available. There is a wide range of checks included in the manufacturer’s service including :

  • Oil and oil filter check and replacement
  • Brake fluid check and top up
  • Anti-Freeze coolant check and top up
  • Windscreen wash check and top up
  • Full brake check
  • Power steering fluid check and top up
  • Steering check
  • Shock absorbers check.
  • Suspension check
  • Light check
  • Windscreen wipers check
  • Wheel alignment check
  • Charging systems check
  • Exhaust check
  • Battery check
  • Charging system check
  • Tyre tread and pressure check.

If you have any questions about servicing or your warranty be sure to contact a reputable local garage who can help you further.


Showing 5 comments

  1. To find a good car service garage that you can trust you can ask friends and colleagues for their recommendations and experience. A garage that has transparent pricing, clear information about each problem and good quality work also matters. Thanks for the blog.

  2. Great blog! The content is indepth and informative and all readers have something to learn! We all get our car serviced its so easy to get it done wrong.

  3. Why is the timing belt never mentioned when taking about servicing? If some one told me “Oh, by the way, there’s a rubber belt that needs changing at about 70,000 miles because if you don’t it will destroy the engine and your car will be written off with no insurance cover” I think I would have changed it.

  4. Ask what is involved in a service -not just price , Main Agent wanted £xxx amount for a full service -asked an independent garage for a price and they were £20 dearer ,i told them and they said what they changed and said to me ,i should ask the dealer what was in there full service .
    turned out the dealer only did oil and oil filter and checks
    the independent gave me there full service which also had fuel filter ,air filter ,pollen filter all replaced

  5. I feel there are very few good service garages. Most of them are a rip off charging for extras that in days gone by would have been included in the service.
    Only reason to take your car to a garage is to keep the service book up to date.

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