Car Service - what should you expect?
When organising a car service, it's important that you establish what the service includes.
Some garages will change only your oil filter, others will carry out a full service. A good garage will follow a service checklist and give you a copy of that completed checklist as a confirmation of a job well done. Good Garage Scheme members carry out your service incorporating the Industry Standard Service Checklist.
Does your car need a service?
Most modern cars only needs a service once a year, but older cars require a service once every six months. The manufacturer's service handbook will set what is best for your car. The type of service you need will also be affected by how you use your car. For example, lots of short journeys where the engine does not have a chance to warm up properly will probably mean more frequent oil and filter changes.
Running faults and repairs
Ask to speak to a mechanic or a technician about the problem. Explain the problem in as much detail as you can. If you can, include when the problem occurs, for example only when the engine is cold, or after the vehicle has been left standing.
Do I need to take my car to a main dealer for its service?
European Commission rules on car block exemption came into full effect in October 2003. This new ruling allows independent garages the same access to technical information on your car from the manufacturer, and more importantly, it means you do not need to go back to a franchise dealer to retain warranty cover.
Collecting your car
Ask to view the old replaced parts and check that:
• The bill is for the amount agreed, or is not significantly more than any estimate you were given.
• The work and parts are fully itemised (this will be proof of purchase if a problem occurs as a result of work or replaced part fails).
• The service record book has been stamped with the garage stamp.
Rather than replacing parts that are fully not worn out, a good garage will advise you when they will probably need replacing, based on the way you use your car.