Service intervals are normally measured in miles and kilometres or months, whichever comes first. Cars driven in extreme conditions – which include regular short city drives, towing trailers or caravans should have more regular services than the once a week shopping trolley.

All car servicing should be done as per your owners manual. For older cars, you need to have at least an oil and filter change every six months or 10,000km, whichever comes first. Oil filters are cheap and shouldn’t be left out for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Selling your car with a good service history will go in your favor, it ads value and buyer confidence, given the choice a buyer will lean toward a vehicle that has a good service history, it shows care has been taken by the owner to make it last!.

Where should I get my car serviced?

Independent workshops can offer good service generally at cheaper prices. If you have been using one for a few years, trust them and want them to continue doing work on your new car, that’s fine in most cases. Just make sure you read your warranty conditions carefully, adhere to the manufacturer’s servicing schedule, check the workshop is licensed, and Genuine replacement parts are used. This is a MUST if there is an issue down the track and will make life easier on warranty issues.

Basic Service (grease and oil change)

When your car is due for a Basic service the mechanic will change the engine oil and in most cases the oil filter (I change mine EVERY service). In addition they should check the following:

  • Tyre ware and inflation pressures. Including spare tire.
  • Brake fluid condition.
  • Engine coolant strength and corrosion inhibitor.
  • Battery levels (on those that you can check).
  • Disc pad condition and report on ware eg: as new, 1/4 worn or worn out!
  • Windscreen washer levels and wiper blade condition.
  • Suspension components.

If you’ve reported any other problems that you’ve noticed, your mechanic should also check those too and report back to you on what needs to be done and how much it will cost to repair.

Regular service – the Benefits

  • Helps prolongs the life of your engine and transmission.
  • Helps maintain road-worthiness, essential for safety.
  • Lessens the chance of inconvenient breakdowns.
  • Improves fuel economy.
  • Helps to maintain the resale value of your car.
  • Avoid expensive repairs. If you let a problem get worse, the problem could snowball and cost more than if you acted earlier.

If you are looking for somewhere to have your car serviced there are some things you should take into consideration first.

  • Ask your friends where they get their repairs done and if they are happy with the workshop and the quality of their work.
  • Look at the overall appearance of the work shop – usually a direct reflection of their work – Nothing worse than grubby hand prints on your pride and joy.
  • Ask to see the old parts that have been replaced.
  • Have your log book stamped even if between book services. On the back of the page is a good option.
  • If your car is new, ask for genuine parts to be used. These are usually more expensive however they will not affect your warranty.

Keep to the manufacturers service schedule and it should be smooth sailing.

damaged engine

The above image shows what can happen after 20,000km without an oil change!