How Do I Know If My Car Needs an Interim or Full Service?

How Do I Know If My Car Needs an Interim or Full Service?

Full car service and interim car service are the two major types of services offered by most garages and service centres.

It's crucial to know which you'll need at any given moment since, while having your car inspected and examined isn't a legal obligation (MOTs are), it's still the best course of action for a responsible driver.

Most people are unsure what sort of service their car needs while looking for a car service in Reading garage. So, what's the distinction between the two sorts of services? What is the difference between an interim vehicle service and a full car service?

What's the Difference Between an Interim and Full Car Service?

A full service is a comprehensive series of inspections and repairs that your vehicle should get once a year, or every 12,000 miles (whichever comes first).

An interim car service may also be beneficial if you travel more than 2000 miles each month. This sort of service repeats many of the fundamental inspections performed during a full service to ensure that your vehicle continues to run smoothly in the meantime. Every six months, you should search online for car service near me schedule an interim car service with a garage of your choice.

If you don't travel very often, or if you don't drive in heavy traffic, over long distances, or over hazardous terrain, you might not require an interim service.

However, an interim service does not substitute a full service. There will be aspects of your vehicle's performance that are not checked during an interim service and may go completely unnoticed in this case.

If your car is producing strange noises or behaving strangely, you may want to schedule an interim service between full services, since having this looked at as soon as possible may save you money. If you check MOT history of your vehicle, you will be able to confirm all the times your car failed the MOT test, and the reason was linked to not maintaining service schedules.

Most drivers are not aware that if you don’t keep up with your service schedules, this could not only lead to other components failing but also an MOT failure. Filthy oil in your car will cause the emissions test to fail. You should check MOT status of your car and book an appointment with your car mechanic beforehand.

What Does an Interim Car Service Include?

An interim service generally includes the following:

  • Engine inspections and servicing (replacing oil and oil filter, sump plug seal or full plug replacement check, timing belt check, spark plug check, coolant check and top up, undertray check)
  • Examines the items for damage and wear (body, wheels and trims, brakes, steering)
  • Checks for leaks of oil and other fluids.
  • Checking the fuel filter
  • Checking the clutch, gearbox, and driveshaft gaiters, and replacing the clutch fluid
  • Checking the lights and horn
  • Battery inspections
  • Checking the steering and suspension (top-up of the power steering reservoir, steering rack gaiter inspections, wheel bearing inspections, shock absorber testing)
  • Exhaust inspections
  • Callipers, brake shoes, wheel cylinders, hydraulic system, handbrake inspections, braking discs, brake pads and brake fluid top up)
  • Checking the tyres and wheels (tyre fitting, tread depth, pressure, wear, wheel balance, wheel nut torque)
  • Checking the windscreen and wipers (wiper condition checks, windscreen washer position, screen wash top up)
  • Checks on the inside (cabin filter, dash lights and seat belts)

What Does a Full Car Service Include?

A full service includes all of the inspections and replacements that an interim service would include, as well as the following:

  • Additional engine inspections (radiator condition, leaks, cap seal, coolant hoses, cooling fan, alternator belt and auxiliary drive belts and air filter replacement)
  • Greasing the prop shaft, checking and topping up the axle oil
  • Checking and topping up the gearbox fluid
  • Additional electrical inspections (diesel heater plug indicator, battery checks and terminal lubrication, High Tension leads checks, alternator charging checks)
  • Greasing the steering and suspension
  • Lubrication is caught in the bonnet.
  • Extra brake inspections (brake servo, fluid boil test)
  • Extra checks for visibility (windscreen chips and cracks, mirror condition, number plates condition)
  • - Additional interior inspections (seatbelts, door locks, door hinge lubrication)

How Long Does a Full Service and an Interim Car Service Take to Complete?

An interim service takes around an hour and a half to complete, while a full car service takes about three hours. This can change if a significant flaw is discovered, as it may need to be repaired right away.

What Are the Benefits of Having My Car Serviced?

Having your car maintained on a regular basis has a lot of advantages. The first is the issue of security. It's critical to stay on top of any possible issues with your vehicle. If one is likely to deteriorate and produce a significant problem, you may be endangering yourself and other cars in the area.

Another advantage is the cost. While regular maintenance may appear to be pricey in the short term, having to pay for significant repairs or, in the worst-case scenario, purchasing a new car is an expense that most people could do without.

Maintaining your vehicle will save you money in other ways as well. Your vehicle's mileage and fuel consumption may be improved by up to 50% and 10%, respectively, with a fully working engine and properly inflated tyres.

Finally, maintaining your car in good condition will increase the likelihood of it passing its MOT when the time comes, as well as its worth if you decide to sell it.

Which Car Service Should I Select?

If you're still undecided about which vehicle service to pick, the best approach to figure it out is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • "When was the last time I serviced my car?" -  If it's been more than a year since you last had your car serviced, you should schedule a full service. You'll need an interim if it's closer to six months.
  • "How do I typically use my vehicle?" -  If you drive less than 2000 miles each month, adhering to one full service every 12 months should be enough (or every 12,000 miles). If you need more than that, it's worth scheduling an interim service.
  • "It's been less than a year since my last full service." "Does my car work as it should?" - If you notice anything wrong with the way your car behaves in between full service, you should book it in for an interim service.

Finally, it is up to you to decide whether or not to get your car checked and fixed. However, we recommend planning yearly full services at the very least to keep it functioning as smoothly as possible, save money, and keep you and those around you safe.

Additionally, if you know your car will see more wear and tear than the norm, it's a good idea to schedule an interim service.

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