Car Service: When to consider taking your car in

MG ZS EV parked outside a large house

Have you ever wondered what a car service is? And more importantly, when is the right time to get one? For most of us, car services are one of those things that we don’t think about until something goes wrong. Hopefully, this guide will make it so that doesn’t happen!

What is a car service

A car service is a check of the vehicle's major systems, carried out by a mechanic at a garage or dealership. Typically, it includes replacing or cleaning parts such as the oil and air filters. But other vehicle systems may also be checked during the process.

This is done by checking all major engine components, and not just things like oil levels and brake fluid. This will tell you what parts need to be replaced or need attention before they become a problem when you're on the road.

A full car service can also include an MOT test, which tests for problems with your car's lights, steering and brakes, as well as exhaust emissions.

The standard recommendations for how often to get your car serviced are every 10,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first. However, this can vary depending on your car's age, make and model.

When should a car be serviced:

You are having trouble starting the engine

If your car is struggling to start, this could be down to a failing battery or starter motor. But more often than not it's because there is an issue with the spark plugs or fuel filter (both important parts of your engine), or even something as small as dirty spark plug cables. Getting these things fixed early on will help make sure they don't develop into more serious issues.

The warning lights are on

Most modern cars have dashboard warning lights that alert drivers to any problems with their vehicle. These could include issues with the brakes, engine, oil or air bags. A yellow warning light typically means that there is an issue but not one that requires immediate action. A red warning light, on the other hand, means you should have your car checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

You smell something unusual

If you smell something burning or see smoke coming out from under the bonnet, this could mean oil is leaking onto hot parts and could cause serious damage if left unattended. It is always worth seeking professional advice if you notice an odd smell either coming from your oil or the car itself.

Your car feels shaky when driving

If you’re experiencing a lot of vibration in your steering wheel or throughout the vehicle while driving, this could indicate that your tyres are imbalanced or aren’t properly inflated – although worn out shock absorbers can have the same effect. Driving with under-inflated tyres can cause the car to overheat, which could lead to your vehicle blowing out, so it’s imperative you get them checked.

Your car is making strange noises

If there's an unusual noise coming from your vehicle, such as grinding, screeching or squealing, it could be a sign of trouble. It may be something as simple as low brake pads, but it might also indicate something more serious.

You can't remember the last time you had a service

Regular services are an important part of keeping your vehicle in good condition. If you can't remember when you last had a service, give your local mechanic a call. If left unchecked, the oil could start to degrade if it's left in the engine too long and this causes corrosion – even if you don't drive that often.

There we have it - 6 signs you should put your car in for service. Whether your car is making a funny noise, or you notice a change in performance, it is always worth getting things checked by a professional. After all, regular car servicing will help keep your car reliable and keep you safe on the roads!