What Does A Car Service Include?

When properly maintained, today’s cars can deliver years of faithful service. Thanks to innovative and highly-advanced engineering, malfunctions, breakdowns, and unexplained problems are quite limited these days. But to keep your car running like the proverbial Swiss watch, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule.

What’s Included in A Basic Car Service?

Whether you have your car inspected at the dealership or a local garage, there are specific items the mechanic will examine based on the make and model of the vehicle you own. 

A service will often cover the following aspects; 

  • Engine oil 
  • Oil filter change
  • Checks on the levels of brake
  • Coolant fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Checks on lighting
  • Signaling
  • Brakes
  • Clutch
  • Analysis of onboard diagnostics
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug replacements.
  • Breakdown and Benefits of Car Services

Engine oil and filter change 

Its lifecycle will vary according to the oil type used. 

  1. Modern oils have moved from mineral to semi-synthetic to fully synthetic. 
  2. Synthetic based oils will generally last longer and offer greater protection to the engine. 

Engine Coolant

Fluid levels for the brake, steering, and coolant systems should be checked and topped up as necessary as part of a service, but the owner should also check these from time to time. Lack of engine coolant may result in substantial engine damage to anything from the head gasket to the big ends (this will require engine replacement!). Lack of brake or power steering fluid will also cause problems with control systems, which are paramount for driver safety.

Diagnostic functionality

Almost all modern vehicles will have onboard electronics, which may include auto diagnostic functionality. A properly equipped service garage will be able to link these systems and gain information on any intermittent or impending problems that may have occurred since the last service, thus giving an extra layer of security and oversight.

Air filters

Air filters need replacing between 25,000 to 50,000 miles, and this depends on environmental conditions. A clogged air filter will limit airflow to the engine and so reduce power and increase fuel consumption.

Spark plugs

Spark plugs are amongst the least expensive parts of the engine and probably one of the most critical for engine tuning. Some spark plugs are claimed to have life spans of 100,000 miles; general manufacturer service recommendations will specify replacement every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Even if long-life spark plugs are fitted, they will require the removal and regular cleaning to ensure they don’t seize in the engine.


It should be mentioned that there are two basic types of car service: interim and full service. According to most automotive experts, the former should be completed every six months or 6,000 miles, while the latter should be performed every twelve months or 12,000 miles. Because each of these trips can cost hundreds of dollars, motorists may be tempted to skip them. Some drivers even make the mistake of never having their vehicles serviced until there is a problem. That all-too-common practice is equivalent to avoiding the doctor until you are gravely ill. In other words, if you wait until there’s a problem to get it looked at, you might discover that the damage is beyond repair.

It should also be mentioned that having a complete service record can make it much easier to sell your vehicle. On the other hand, not having these records will almost certainly hurt your vehicle’s resale/trade-in value. At the end of the day, performing scheduled checkups should be seen as an investment. Not only can it save you money on repairs, but regular car service will also add value to your automobile over the long haul.

The Costs

Taking your automobile to the dealership or a local garage for a checkup costs money. Even if the mechanic doesn’t find anything wrong, you should expect a bill for labor to set you back a hundred dollars at least. As a general rule, interim service checks are less expensive than full inspections because they are less exhaustive. The purpose of these regular checkups is to identify potential problems. Finding these issues early could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in future repairs.


Whether you have a BMW or a Buick, keeping to your manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule will mean that your car is far less likely to let you down, and it will also help keep its value up when you come to sell it. When it comes to selecting a car service garage, choose one that employs fully trained professionals who have access to the knowledge and equipment to safely perform a car service for you.

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