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Important Service Milestones and What to Expect

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Car Service Service Warranty Garage

Buying a new car can be a fun and exciting time for most people. Whether you've had a car before, or this is your first time, there are a number of important servicing milestones that you need to consider in order to keep your car running well and in great condition.

When Should You Service Your Car?

Many people will give you a different answer on when you should service your car. If you buy a new car, the decision is usually made for you. It will normally come with a logbook in it that will outline the times you should take your car in for a service. These services should be marked off as they will keep the car under warranty and can add value to the car when you go to sell it. In general, cars will be asked to go in for a service based on a few factors:
  • Time Based Service – Some companies will ask that you bring your car in for a service after a set period of time. This is often every six months, although with many newer cars it is now common to be every twelve months.
  • Distance Based Service – Many services are carried out based on the distance you have travelled. This is possibly the better way of carrying out a service as it means that if you travel often, you'll still keep your car in top working order.

Whether your car requires a time based service or distance based service, or either one, it is essential to keep these service appointments, as it may invalidate your warranty if you don't.

Different Service Milestones

Every type of car will have a different level of service required, but overall, it's common to have your oil and filter changed ever 5-6,000 miles of travelling. This will keep your car running smoothly and when your car is in getting this service, you can have the technicians check over anything else that is concerning you. In general, service milestones are:
  • 6,000 miles/6 month service – Mechanical Protection Warranty Service
  • 12-15,000 miles/12 month service – Full first year service. Expect your car to be tested completely and it's likely you'll need a new filter and oil change and dependent on how far you travel, you may need new tyres. You should also have your brakes, air conditioning, wheel alignment and transmission checked.
  • Subsequent Services – Get your car serviced every 12 months. This will keep it safe on the road and help you avoid any small issues becoming larger more expensive issues. Get everything checked and ask whether you need new tyres, wheels aligned, wheels rotated, handbrake tightened, brake pads etc.

Always ensure that when you do get your car serviced, you get it stamped in your logbook. Having a full service history, especially if you use a registered dealer, can help your car maintain its market value better.

Using a Registered Dealer or Using a Local Garage

When it comes to servicing your car, many people will tell you that a local garage can do the same job for half the cost of your car dealership – they're absolutely right. In most occasions it can be cheaper to get your car serviced at an independent garage, however it may not always be the best for your car in the long run. Local garages are just as able as a dealership to carry out a service on your car, but having an official stamp in your logbook from the dealer can help when you sell your car. If you do choose to go with a local garage, always get them to stamp something for you so that your car has a full service history.

In many cases these days, so long as you have your full service history, it doesn't overly matter whether it was from a smaller independent garage or a dealership, but when selling some people can be picky, so be prepared for that. If your car is already out of warranty, check around local garages for the best price and go there. Don't leave services until MOT time to start the process of stamping your logbook – start off early getting your car regularly checked and you'll find that it runs better and will last you longer.

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