It’s that time of year when many of us will have booked our vehicles in at a local garage for its annual car service. We all know the importance of having a car serviced, it ensures the car runs at its optimum performance, makes it safer to drive and more efficient to run thus saving you money. But what exactly happens whilst you’re waiting to collect your car and our technicians are hard at work? Here we give you an insight into what may happen during your car service.
Depending on what type of service your vehicle is booked in for depends on the work carried out. Every garage will be slightly different, but this should give you an idea of the different types of service and what may happen to your car:
Interim Service – To ensure your car is road worthy and safe in between a full service these are carried out every 6 months or every 6,000 mile and offer peace of mind that all parts of your car are working as they should be.
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Full Service – Generally carried out yearly or every 12,000 miles a full service is essential in keeping your car maintained.
After discussing with you any concerns or issues you may have regarding your vehicle we commence work, the technician should fit seat and footwell protection covers, check for any damage to the body of the car and examine your wheel trims.
Before your vehicle is raised, the interior and exterior lights, the horn and all the seat belts are checked to make sure they are in working order. The condition of your headlamps, number plates and mirrors are reviewed and the technician will ensure your windscreen, the wipers and the wipers’ alignment are as they should be. Your ABS warning light is checked for correct operation and in an interim or diesel service the heater plug indicator is checked. During a major or diesel service your fuel cap and clutch action/clutch slip are also examined.
Next it is time to go under the bonnet where the battery terminals are checked for security and the auxiliary drive belts are examined. Radiator hoses are checked for leaks and to see what condition they are in, the strength of your anti freeze is checked and the technician will carry out a visual check to check the coolant has not leaked. During a major service and on a diesel vehicle the garage will check whether your cam-belt or pollen filter are due for a replacement. The radiator is checked thoroughly for any leaks and that its cap is in good condition. The expansion bottle and cap are also checked for any leaks. The clutch hydraulics/cable are examined and are adjusted if necessary. An electric cooling fan in your vehicle is also looked at if appropriate. HT leads are reviewed during a major or interim service and the air filter is checked during an interim service.
By raising your vehicle the technician can look at your wheel bearing for noise and play before checking for wear, corrosion and leaks on your steering and suspension. The wheels and brake drums are removed and the discs/drums are checked for cracks, distortion, corrosion and scoring. Wheel cylinders and callipers are inspected for leaks and operation and the pads are looked at for wear. A visual check is carried out on the brake hydraulic system, pipes and hoses for leaks, chafing and corrosion. The handbrake’s security is looked at and it is then lubricated and adjusted if necessary. Next it’s your tyres’ turn, as the condition and pressure of all the tyres, including the spare wheel, is checked. The joints and gaiters of the propshaft and driveshaft condition is looked at and the exhaust system is examined for leaks, security and noise. A visual check is conducted for oil leaks. The fuel lines and filter is reviewed and the auxiliary handbrake shoes are checked. On a major or diesel service the wheels’ balance will be checked and the auto transmission cables/linkage will be lubricated.
Moving onto diagnostics the starter motor is tested for cranking operation and security, and the alternator is examined and tested for charging operation and security. A battery test is also conducted.
Next it is time to refill and replace, including replacing the oil filter, sump-plug washer, and engine oil, checking and topping up the gearbox and axle oils, topping up brake/clutch fluid and topping up the radiator. On a petrol car the spark plugs’ condition is checked. Battery terminals are lubricated, as are throttle linkages and all accessible door/bonnet hinges on a major service. Auto transmission fluid and the power assisted steering reservoir are checked and topped up, and the bonnet catch is greased.