Reasons Why It’s Important To Keep Up With Service Schedules For Your Car​

Have you ever thought how you’d manage if you didn’t have your car? Although many people cope well without the use of a vehicle, millions of us rely on our trusty car to get us to work, ferry the family around or carry out daily activities. Like any family member, it’s important that we help it to stay fit and healthy, because we’d miss it if it was gone. 

A service is a bit like an annual health check for your car. Not only does it keep your car running efficiently and safely but it will also go some way to maintaining its value, especially if you use a franchised dealership where original parts will be employed by manufacturer- trained technicians. 

Healthy And Happy

If servicing is done regularly, it should be relatively painless. Any little niggles can be addressed before they become an issue and threaten the long term health of your car. 

Like us all, cars need a bit of attention every now and then. Filters get clogged, oil needs changing and batteries run down so don’t be tempted to miss or delay a service to save money - it could cost you in the long run. A poorly maintained car can result in poor fuel economy in the short term and in big repair bills further down the road.

As part of your warranty, and possibly your car finance agreement, it will also be necessary to keep up with the correct servicing schedule. Each time you get your car serviced, ask the technician to stamp your book as proof. This will be a valuable sales tool if/when you decide to part company with your car. A full service history helps show that a vehicle has been loved and cared for.

Is A Service The Same As An MOT?

No. An MOT test is a legal requirement to ensure that your car is safe to drive and will not cause hazard to any other road users. It also measures car emissions and checks criteria against standards set by the Government. It is illegal to drive a car over three years old without a valid MOT certificate and you will be unable to obtain car insurance without one. 

While an MOT does cover several areas that are also checked during a service, it looks at the absolute minimum requirements for a car to be safely used on UK roads, such as functioning lights and wipers, safe bodywork and no fuel leaks. A service will not only check these basics but will also help ensure that the car is running as efficiently as possible, giving the car longevity and keeping running costs down.  

If you keep up to date with your car’s servicing schedule, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, your vehicle should sail through its MOT without any additional work being required. A car without regular servicing, however, could easily fail its MOT and need costly work to get it back on the road legally. 

What Happens At A Service?

Just as every person’s health is different, each car needs individual attention too. Based on manufacturer’s guidelines, different makes and models require action in various areas from year to year. So the list of maintenance and checks will vary from car to car.

For this reason, it’s always better to get your car serviced at a franchised dealer than at a general garage. Franchise technicians are specialists in the particular make of your car, understanding the different attention required by every model and each distinct technical specification in the range.

A franchise technician will also be able to apply any software updates to your vehicle that have been issued by the manufacturer, something that your local garage might miss or be unable to do.

An interim service will likely include the inspection of:

  • lights
  • wipers
  • battery
  • exhaust
  • tyre tread and pressure
  • brakes
  • steering
  • shock absorbers
  • suspension

And replacement of:

  • oil and oil filter
  • windscreen wash
  • power steering fluid

In addition to these items, a full service may also address:

  • auxiliary drive belt
  • wheel alignment, bearings and balance
  • fuel filter (diesel engine)
  • spark plugs (petrol engine)
  • air filter

Refer to your manufacturer’s handbook or speak to your local franchise dealer for a model-specific list.

When’s It Due?

Car service intervals vary depending on brand and model. You should plan to have your car fully serviced at least every 12 months or at mileage stipulated by the manufacturer - check your car’s manual for details. To keep your car running economically and to prevent unanticipated problems becoming an issue, it’s best to stick to this schedule. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Most, but not all cars now have an on-board computer that will give an indication of when the next service is due. This clock should be reset whenever a service is completed so that the car knows that action has been taken. The garage should also be able to let you know when the next service will be due, giving you the chance to plan ahead and budget.

Failing to have your car serviced at intervals as per the manufacturer’s recommendations can have a negative effect on its safe running. It also risks you having to fork out for damage caused by not maintaining the car’s parts.

What’s It Going To Cost?

The cost of servicing is part and parcel of running a car. Just as you’ll factor in car insurance, fuel costs, road tax and MOT testing to your car budget, servicing is a cost that should also be included.

Exact price will depend on the model of your car, but you’ll get your money’s worth by using a franchised dealer garage, therefore getting access to original manufacturer’s parts and technical expertise.

Call your garage for a quote even if your service isn’t due so that you can plan ahead.

How Can I Lessen The Blow?

Whenever a family member requires medical attention, knowing that they’re in safe hands provides a little comfort. Similarly, when your car is being serviced, the fact that it is undergoing professional and experienced care at somewhere like a Swansway Group garage makes the cost easier to bear.

State-of-the-art servicing technology operated by factory-trained technicians using approved manufacturer’s parts will ensure that every check and replacement is carried out to the highest standards. When you collect it, your car should not only feel better to drive but should run more fuel efficiently too.

Joining a vehicle Service Plan allows you to spread the cost over the year with monthly, interest-free instalments, providing peace of mind that your car is looked after without your purse strings becoming too stretched.

For competitively priced, manufacturer specific servicing at a modern facility, enquire at Swansway Group for a Service Plan quote today. Providing the latest in diagnostic and maintenance technology, used by highly skilled technicians, Swansway Group garages demonstrate great value for you, while your car gets all of the TLC it needs to give you safe, economical motoring.