Most people know how important a regular service is to keeping a car functioning smoothly – whether it’s a brand new vehicle, or a second-hand one bought in one of our online vehicle auctions. However, something that not’s quite as common knowledge is that there are actually several different types of car services.
OK, you might be wondering, so which one’s best? Well, it’s not quite that simple. The best choice of service for you depends on a lot of factors, including the make, model and spec of the car, as well as its age, and how intensively it’s been driven. Here’s a quick roundup of the four main ones!
When to do it: as soon as your oil and filter need replacing
Just as it sounds, regular maintenance is the least intensive type of service, and it’s mainly useful for when you need to top up on what are referred to as ‘consumables’ – the type of materials your car uses up over time. Automotive consumables are mainly (but not exclusively) fluids, including brake fluid, oil fluid, steering fluid, and radiator coolants.
It's not just fluids though – your mechanic will also look at your oil filters, wiper blades, brake pads, and spark plugs, all of which are similarly small materials that get worn out relatively quickly. (Some services may include checks on the hoses and pipes that transfer the fluids, as well.)
When to do it: every six months or 6000 miles, whichever’s soonest
The interim service encompasses all the same checks as regular maintenance, as well as a few additional elements, making it essentially the halfway point between a basic inspection and a full service. An interim service includes a 50-point inspection, engine oil change and new oil filter.
Compared to a basic maintenance check, an interim service places a great focus on preventative maintenance – identifying older or more worn-out parts that could cause issues later on, especially if they’re reaching the end of their natural lifespan.
When to do it: Every 12 months or 12,000 miles – whichever is first.
A full service is typically the most comprehensive one available for most car owners. It involves a 77-point inspection in which the mechanic will examine the most safety-critical parts of the car, in addition to its mechanical systems. Again, there’s a lot of preventative maintenance involved, and at the bare minimum it will typically see the mechanic changing the engine oil, as well as the oil filters and air filters.
When to do it: as per the manufacturer’s schedule, detailed in your manual
For some higher-spec cars, the dealer or manufacturer will recommend taking it for a specialised manufacturer service at pre-determined intervals, which will be laid out in the manual accompanying the car. These manufacturer services can’t be carried out at just any garage – the vehicle will need to be taken to a garage owned by the brand, where it’ll be attended to by qualified technicians with access to original parts, so you know it’ll be taken care of.
Speaking of spare parts, our salvage car auctions full of vehicles which can be a useful source of them – as long as you know what you’re looking for! These auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so they can also be a great place to find your next second-hand car. We stock salvage cars from major marques and brands, including Audi, Vauxhall and Ford. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?