The ultimate guide to car services: what you need to know

Written by Nigel Simpkins

Whether you’ve spotted a brand-new Citroen C3 for sale and have decided to buy, or you’ve had your car for several years – it’s essential to keep on top of services and maintenance. This will make sure your car is in the best possible condition, so it runs safely and smoothly. Here, we explore how often you should get your car serviced, where to have it done and our top tips for keeping your car healthy.

What happens in a car service?

The first thing you may be wondering is what exactly do mechanics look at during a service? This largely depends on the type you choose, but a full service is an extensive health check that involves looking at many different car components. Typically, a service will involve changing the oil and filters, checking the brakes and assessing the engine’s fluids, to name a few.

How often should you service your car?

Generally, most manufacturer’s recommend following the rule of 12 when it comes to a full car service. This means getting it serviced every 12,000 miles, or every 12 months – whichever happens sooner. However, this may vary between makes and models, so it’s worth checking the manual that comes with the vehicle. You may also want to get more regular “mini” services in between to check your car’s health.

Where should you take your car for a service?

There are a couple of choices here – you can either head to your manufacturer’s dealership to have your car serviced, or you can take it to a local garage. One of the benefits of using a dealership is they often have a detailed understanding of the car make and model. However, you may find that independent garages can offer lower prices than dealerships.

If you do choose to go to your local garage, it’s important to check that they’ll use parts from the manufacturer or of equal quality. Also, if you’re new to your area and don’t have a trusted garage yet – it’s worth getting quotes from several different garages to find the best prices or ask neighbours for one they’d recommend.

While it’s important to get your car serviced regularly, there are many things you can do in between to keep your car running smoothly. Some of the most important things to do are check the tyre pressure, change the oil, drive it regularly to maintain battery health, and top up your coolant and windscreen wash. By keeping on top of maintenance and taking your car for essential services, you can take to the road in confidence – wherever you’re heading.