Getting your car regularly serviced is important, as it means that you can spot small problems before they can become more serious; at the same time, you can potentially lower your insurance premiums by demonstrating a commitment to regularly maintaining and repairing your car. Many dealers also offer schemes that allow you to receive servicing deals at reduced rates, and at the right intervals. How often, then, is practical to get your car serviced?
The first thing you should do is check your car’s manual for servicing instructions, which can vary by model; however, most recommend a service about every 6 to 12 months, with the number of times you choose to do so depending on how often you drive, as well as the condition of your car. Your manual and the dealer when you buy a vehicle should be able to give you further advice over what parts of an engine particularly need to be serviced to keep it running in the best condition.
Whether or not you drive an old or new car will alter how many times you need servicing, with older cars more likely to have problems – other factors that can affect how many times you need to get a service can include the kinds of roads you drive on, as well as any extraordinary wear and tear and damage caused by bad weather. Moreover, being involved in minor bumps can increase your need for a servicing, as can doing a lot of miles on a weekly basis.
There are excesses, though, that you don’t want to follow, and you probably shouldn’t be servicing your car more than every three months if you don’t want to be only making small changes; your car may have some recommendations in its manual over how often you should change your engine oil, which might depart from other servicing needs. In addition, some fluids and parts usually have longer periods of recommended delays between services – coolant fluid can be changed every 24 months, and your automatic transmission every 84 months.
It’s also worth looking out for any servicing deals that come with a particular marque; for example, BMW offer a servicing package where you can get approved body shop work on your vehicle; some models also have condition based servicing installed, whereby sensors detect when your car is due for a service, and notifies you through your on board computer that you are due for another check up.
So, then, the amount of services you need for your car can vary quite considerably; most people will stick to the average of 6 to 12 months, which is fine for your MOT, while others will get more regular services if they’re doing a lot of driving, and expect to receive a lot of wear and tear. Always check the manual of your particular model, and look online for information if you have a used car that doesn’t come with one; it’s also worth getting a service before you renew your motor insurance, as this can demonstrate that you’re serious about the safety of your car.
Emily Stevens is currently working with Cooper BMW to sharing motoring advice. She is a freelance writer working in the motor industry and can be found blogging on different topics from motor maintenance to engine reviews.