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A guide to find a good car servicing provider

Servicing your car is essential for safety reasons but it is also a fact that a well maintained car will last longer, give you less major problems and be more reliable.

What does car servicing entail?

Car services involve a professionally qualified mechanic performing various checks on your car; this service goes way beyond any MOT test which only involves checking that your car meets the most basic specifications for being allowed safely on the roads.

Each and every garage will follow a set strategy for all services; He is a typical list of the items that the garage will check and that most often need addressing when you have a major or minor service.

EngineMajorMinor
Full oil changexx
Change oil filterxx
Change air filterxx
Check and top up coolant levelsxx
Drain and replace coolantx
Check spark plugsxx
Check for wear and tension of drive and/or alternator beltsx
General check for leaks by checking engine sealsxx
Drivetrain / BreaksMajorMinor
Check clutch is working properlyx
Check brake pads are not too wornxx
Check break discs are not worn beyond the legal depthxx
Check brake fluid and top up where necessaryxx
Check steering and suspension for damage and rustingx
ExternalMajorMinor
Check tyres have minimum treadxx
Major cracks in the windscreenxx
Check front and read wipers are clearing the windscreen effectivelyxx

Factors to consider when choosing a car service provider

Service type

When you first buy a car it will probably not require a service for the first two years. Then it will require a major or minor service alternatively every year. Do not expect to have any great expense (other than the cost of the service itself) for the first 4 or 5 years. A major service will obviously provide the most comprehensive service that checks all the major components. An interim or minor service is basically and check of essential items, such as breaks between the more comprehensive major service.

Cost of car servicing

You should remember that if there are faults found during the inspection of your car then it will cost you more than the stated service fee. You should always make sure that you’ve told the garage not to undertake any additionally work without your express permission.

If your car is under a manufacturers warranty then we recommend that you service with the main dealer (VW, BMW, Ford etc). The garage is not responsible for the cost of repairs, they just bill it back to the manufacturer so they are under no incentive to not do any work that is necessary.

Local garage versus large corporation

When choosing between a local garage and a large service centre you shouldn’t be put off opting for the smaller business; that said, larger corporations can sometimes offer more competitive rates. You should additionally use the internet to search out deals that may be on offer; however, it is advisable to always check out a garage’s reputation online. Most local garages pick up business through reputation so ask friends with cars if they know a good place to get your car checked.

Your car warranty

If your car is under warranty then it is vital you check where you can get your car serviced without invalidating your warranty. There will be specified garages that you need to use in order to maintain the warranty and these are generally more expensive than the cheaper car services on the market. Whilst it can be tempting to use a cheaper company that isn’t a verified garage under your warranty, a void warranty will be nothing short of a nightmare if you find later that there are serious problems with your car.

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