After how many kilometers should I service my car?


 Do you only service your vehicle after noticing a thick cloud from your exhaust or after hearing some funny noises? Servicing your car in good time ensures it lives a long life with fewer and less expensive issues. So, let us find out after how many kilometers you should service your car.

A common question that many people ask is when they should service their car. With most modern vehicles having the ability to alert car owners of the need to service their vehicle by illuminating a light on the dashboard, it is still quite easy to put off car servicing. More so, there are quite several older model vehicles that do not have such a feature. So, after how many kilometers should I service my car?

Regular servicing of your vehicle aids in ensuring it runs smoothly and identifying potential issues in good time before they advance into more severe and costly problems. Often, vehicle servicing should be done according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, which is typically after a specific mileage or time.  Check the rear of your vehicle’s manual or in a separate book with a list of all the service requirements and intervals required.

As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to service your vehicle every six months or 10,000km, whichever one comes first. Heavy-duty vehicles should aim to have an interim vehicle service every 6000 miles or six months.

What are the benefits of servicing my car?

Similar to human relationships, the way you treat your car determines its behavior and how long it will last. A car needs more than just being driven and fuelled. If you look after your vehicle, it will take care of you. Taking proper care of your vehicle ensures it lasts long and gives you optimal performance.

With regular servicing, you should notice increased fuel fuel-efficiency, better braking capabilities, better handling, and a smoother-running engine in your vehicle. Your vehicle will become more reliable with an engine with a longer lifespan since you will have the upper hand when it comes to knowing potential faults.

Similarly, regular car servicing aids in preventing costly repairs as your mechanic will make you aware of any risks in good time. You will also not waste time waiting on the side of the road because of your car breaking down.

Another important reason as to why you should service your vehicle is to maintain its market value.  A full car service history can add a ton of monetary value to your car’s value. Since potential buyers can see the car has been maintained, it will be easier to sell privately and with much less hassle.

What happens during a car service?

During a car service, various essential checks to the car’s core components are carried out to ascertain they are running efficiently and do not require any replacement.  Depending on your car’s mileage and the intervals between servicing your vehicle, there are different types of car servicing, including basic/interim car servicing, major servicing, full servicing, and manufacturer servicing. The cost of these services varies with more expensive services entailing a more thorough check.

Being that you have to service your car at least once or twice every year, it is best to alternate between a minor check and a major one, taking note that you are likely to pay more during every second booking. Experts highly recommend a full or major car servicing as the basic one only ensures your vehicle is running smoothly and hassle-free.

It is also worthy to note that most modern vehicles have more robust and more complex engines that are far less tolerant of neglect. As such, most modern vehicles require servicing every 12 months or 15000km. Depending on the type of servicing your car needs, your mechanic will perform:

  • A visual inspection
  • An oil change
  • Check the braking system
  • Check the levels of all key fluids, including the washer fluid, steering fluid and antifreeze
  • An oil filter change

Alternatively, a major or full car service involves a more thorough check and replacement of any components that are not within the manufacturer’s guidelines. Depending on where you are servicing your car, you may have to pay for anything that is not under warranty and requires replacement.

How long does it take to service a car?

It is essential to know how long your car will undergo servicing as it will aid in making the necessary alternative arrangements. The length of a car service depends on several factors, such as:

Is it full or interim car servicing?

A full car service occurs after every 12 months or 12000km, whichever comes first. Depending on the efficiency of the mechanic, it should take a maximum of three hours. On the other hand, an interim service happens after every 6000km or six months, whichever comes first, and usually takes about an hour and a half to complete.

Are there any issues found during the servicing?

The length of your car service largely depends on whether there was a problem found in your car during servicing. If everything runs smoothly and your car passes all the checks, you should have your car back within three hours. However, if there are any issues found, your mechanic will have to fix them, which could take longer. Your mechanic should inform you if your car servicing takes longer than expected.


Regular car servicing increases the durability, safety, and lifespan of your vehicle. Your mechanic will take note of any small faults early on, decreasing the chances of your vehicle breaking down. Furthermore, according to statistics, vehicles with full car servicing history have more than 26% resale value compared to those without any servicing.

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Steven Reilly
Steven Reilly is a qualified mechanic and his passion for cars goes beyond just the technical aspects. He is also an amateur racer and all round car enthusiast. When he is not driving them, he can often be found in his garage under the hood of a rare model. Steven Reilly has lost track of the number of hours he has spent setting up his fine collection of rebuilt models. He believes that cars can provide a constructive and fun opportunity to teach the youth important life skills. In line with this, he is developing a community outreach program, potentially dubbed ‘Cars for change'.


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