Our Stevenage based mechanics are always recommending the many benefits that car servicing affords, from improved fuel economy and reduced repair costs, to a higher degree of road safety. But that’s not the subject of today’s blog… here we look at what’s involved in car servicing itself. We hope it’ll leave you better informed, and show exactly why it’s such an important aspect of vehicular maintenance.
More interested in booking in for car servicing at our Stevenage garage? Skip ahead and call 01438 362 234 or 01438 222 255. We offer both interim car servicing packages, recommended every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first, and annual car servicing packages, recommended every 12,000 miles or 12 months. Below, we focus on what’s involved in the annual service, as it is deemed the most essential of the two. Keep in mind that interim car servicing features many of the same checks, but just isn’t quite as comprehensive.
What’s Actually Involved in Full Annual Car Servicing?
Service Prep & Road Test – The first phase of car servicing sees us check your vehicle for body damage and damage to wheels and rims, the condition of steering controls, and general operation of brakes. It helps us ensure there’s no major, obvious damage to our Stevenage clients’ vehicles, right off the bat.
Engine – Car servicing is also a great opportunity to ensure the engine is functioning well. The radiator condition is checked, along with coolant cap seals, coolant hoses, electric cooling fans, alternator belts and fan, auxiliary drive belts (not including cambelt), air filter and housing, spark plugs, under-tray and antifreeze. Some Stevenage motorists will also have their coolant topped up (if it’s required).
Fuel System – The next phase of car servicing is somewhat shorter, and sees us check fuel caps, seals, condition of fuel lines, and whether or not fuel filter replacement is in order. If it’s time for a fuel filter change, this will need to be noted and carried out as part of the car servicing package.
Drive Systems & Brakes – An all important opportunity for one of our Stevenage mechanics to check the vital components that keep you heading in the right direction, smoothly from A to B. We check clutch operation and clutch fluid (topping up if required), gearbox operation, drive shaft gaiters, gearbox fluid (again topping up if required), transfer box and differential oils (topping up), brake pads and calipers, foot break shoes (which will be cleaned and/or adjusted if required), wheel cylinders, brake hydraulic system/pipes/hoses, handbrake and linkages (lubricating and adjusting if needed), brake discs, drums and fluid (which should also be topped up). We’ll then carry out a brake fluid boil test and note down our findings.
Steering & Suspension – Issues with these components can be a major problem and lead to excess wear and tear with other vital components. So during car servicing, we’ll check power steering reservoir (topping up if needed, steering and suspension components, rack gaiters, wheel bearings, steering system pipes and hoses. We’ll also carry out a shock absorber test and grease steering and suspension where it’d prove beneficial.
Exhausts, Lights & Electrics – With the former, we check the exhaust smoke looks healthy and is being channelled the right way; the general system is also inspected for leaks and security. Lights wise, their operation is checked, before the horn and diesel heater plug indicator are also tested. Battery terminals are then inspected and lubricated, and battery levels are topped up. We finish off with a visual check of high tension leads.
Tyres & Wheels – Problems with wheels and tyres can drastically impact road safety, and thus this area is a vital part of car servicing. Visitors to our Stevenage garage will see us remove road wheels and check condition of hub faces, before ensuring tyre size and fit are correct. Condition and depth must be in good stead (1.6mm depth minimum and no serious structural damage or weaknesses to tyre wall). Tyre pressures are tested and adjusted, then wheel nut torque is set to the appropriate value. Wheels are also tested for balance.
General – The final part of car servicing sees checks to windscreen wiper condition and operation, screen washer operation, rear wiper condition and operation, screen washer bottles (which should be topped up), windscreen cracks/chips (should be addressed if obscuring view of road or causing weakness), mirror condition, number plate condition, cabin filter, seatbelts, dash warning lights, external door locks, hinges (should be lubricated) and bonnet catches (ditto).