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Wondering if your car will pass its MOT without too much expense is always anxiety provoking – because when things go wrong, it can be expensive. So when your car passes, you know that you can look forward to another happy 12 months of motoring. Or can you? Well the answer, sadly, is no, because the MOT is no guarantee that your car will continue to run properly. So even though you have you brand new MOT certificate stuffed in the glove box, you should also take the time to give your car a bit of TLC. Read on for a guide to servicing your car, and why it’s important.

Why Service your Car?

A car should be serviced every year or after every 10,000 miles. However, without knowing why it’s important to service your car, it’s more than likely that you won’t bother. Unlike the MOT, giving your car a service isn’t a legal requirement, so if money is tight, it’s tempting to skip it. However, skipping a service is a false economy, because it will not only make a difference to the daily running costs of your car, but also the likelihood of it breaking down which will cost you more money. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a full service history makes your car more likely to sell – as buyers will then be assured the car has been looked after.

What Does a Service Include?

There is no industry standard for servicing, but generally garages offer three different types; an oil change, an interim service, or a full service.

Oil Change

If you want your car to ‘run like a well-oiled machine’ then you need to pay attention to the oil in your engine. Oil lubricates the different components of the engine and protects it from wear. Old or dirty oil loses its quality over time, and oil filters get clogged stopping the oil doing its job properly. So oil should be changed around every 3 – 6 months.

Interim Service

This is to keep your car safe and fit for the road between full services.

Full Service

A full service should include the following:

  • Oil change and replace oil filter
  • Replace Air Filter
  • Check and top up fluids such as brake and clutch fluid
  • Check and adjust tyres
  • Checking and changing spark plugs

Booking a Car Service

A full service generally costs around £100 – £180, depending on where you go. You can choose either an independent garage or a franchise. You can also opt for a garage that specialises in your make of car. If you own a Peugeot for example, then a Peugeot specialist are more likely to have the parts and knowledge required.  To find the most cost effective and best service for your car, just look online. Whether you live in Salisbury or Stirling, then an internet search for car servicing should be your first port of call. It’s a good idea as well, to incorporate your service with your MOT, as some garages offer special deals for combining the two. Always check as well that any garage you use seek your permission to carry out repairs beforehand – or you can end up with a far more costly bill than you anticipated.

Rob Rudd is an experienced writer with 20 years in the trade. These days he enjoys contributing guest posts to several blogs ranging from DIY and home improvements to gardening and lifestyle.