A responsible car owner always gets his or her car serviced on a regular basis. However, there is often confusion whether to get a full car service or some other types of car servicing. If you are one of those car owners who cannot make up their mind, then this article is for you.
The Importance of Servicing a Car
When people talk about servicing a vehicle, they often refer to a range of processes and procedures that adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule of the dealer or manufacturer. It can be very easy to get lost in the process of servicing. This is because there are so many components of a car that need routine maintenance.
In general, servicing your car at regular intervals ensures that the vehicle is in good condition. It addresses potential problems before they start affecting the performance of the vehicle in a negative way. If you decide to sell your vehicle, one of the things that a potential buyer will want to look for is the service record of the car. There should be no problems if you have the automobile regularly serviced. It is a sign that you are taking good care of the car.
Servicing your vehicle can also help keep it operating in an efficient manner. This translates to better fuel economy and better safety. It can also reduce the chance of breakdowns in the future.
Types of Car Servicing
Different auto shops provide different car services. These can include an interim service, a full car service, a major service, an oil-and-filter change, and a manufacturer service. Each of these have their own range of services. Each has its own price as well.
- Oil and Filter Change
This is one of the most basic car services that shops can provide. It is also one of the cheapest. All types of car servicing also include a change of the motor oil and filter. This service helps make sure that your car’s engine gets all the proper lubrication. It ensures a more efficient engine operation. The only problem with this type of service is that the garage personnel will only focus on the engine of the car.
- Interim Service
Different garages or auto shops have different items included in their interim service. In general, it can include the visual inspection of about 35 key automotive components. These components are critical to the optimal performance of the car. Examples of these are the ABS, timing belt interval, power steering, battery, steering and suspension, brake pads, fuel lines, and many more. These are in addition to an oil and filter change and the topping off or the replacement of fluids. It is ideal to have your car serviced in the interim after every 6 months or about 6,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- Full Service
The current recommendation for a full car service is once every 12 months or every 12,000 miles. So, what does an annual car service include? A full service adds about 15 to 30 different automotive checks on top of what you get from an interim car service. These can include checking the coolant system, throttle operation, distributor cap condition, and mounts for the gearbox and the engine. It can also include the condition of the wheels, the wheel bearings, and the starter motor.
The assessments are more extensive in a full car service. The garage can also check for additional items based on the guidelines and recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer. Do take note that there is an extra charge for any additional work to be done on your car.
- Major Service
This is similar to a full car service. Some garages do not offer this kind of service as it is already covered by their full car service. For those that do, it includes those items on a full service, plus changing of the spark plug and other automotive components that are subject to wear.
- Manufacturer Service
This type of car service is the most comprehensive. It is also the most expensive. A manufacturer service will include all the items in the maintenance checklist of your vehicle’s service manual. From the engine and transmission components to the electrical system, cooling system, and exhaust, everything is covered.
Not all auto shops or garages will offer this type of service. In most instances, only licensed car dealerships with attached service centers will provide such services. There are, of course, independent auto shops that can provide manufacturer car service. It would be best to make sure that they are very knowledgeable when it comes to servicing the specific brand and model of car that you have.
Average Cost of Having a Car Serviced
There are no standards when it comes to the cost of having a car serviced. The price can vary from one garage to the next and from one city to another. There is also the number of items that a particular shop includes in the different types of car services that it offers. The more procedures performed and components checked, the greater is the cost.
So, what is the average cost of a full car service? This can range from about $100 to $180. There are mechanics who can charge you up to $250 for a full service. Getting a manufacturer service will cost you more. You can get an interim service for about $75 to $140. It is also important to remember that any additional work will merit an additional expense on top of these rates. Again, everything is dependent on a number of factors.
How Long to Service a Car?
If you are going for a simple oil and filter change, you can expect the servicing to be done in 10 to 15 minutes. An interim service will often require at least 2 hours to complete. This depends on the number of items included in the servicing. For a full car service, you can spend at least 3 hours in the garage. The more comprehensive the servicing is, the longer is the time needed for its completion. These figures do not take into account any additional work that the garage may recommend.
At the very basic, an interim car service is a good choice for car owners. A better option will be a full car service as it is more comprehensive.
- How to Maintain a Car – WikiHow