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  • All you need to know about "How to service a car"

    How to service a car Guide

    You can save a great deal of money by servicing a car and looking after it yourself. Most cars follow a similar set of rules when it comes to service items and once you've serviced your first car you'll find it quite easy to do another car.

    It's worth noting that schedules on high performance cars are generally much shorter, and diesel cars often enjoy slightly longer service intervals.

    Manufacturer handbooks usually recommend a service schedule which you should stick to.

    You can get the parts from your favourite local store or online from companies like 123spareparts.co.uk

    Weekly checks

    • Tyre condition & pressures
    • Engine coolent level
    • Brake fluid levels
    • Battery charge levels
    • Windscreen washer levels
    • Engine oil level and condition

    Every 12,000 miles or 1 year

    • Engine oil
    • Oil filter
    • Air filter
    • Plugs (spark plugs in petrol engines)
    • Engine coolant
    • Check brake fluid with a tester and replace if needed

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    We also recommend the following items be done after 2 years but some car maker have different schedules for these so please check your handbook.

    Every 24,000 miles or 2 years

    • Cabin pollen filter
    • Brake fluid
    • Brake discs
    • Plugs (glow plugs in diesel engines)
    • Fuel filter
    • Replace wiper blades

    Every 5-7 years

    • Check cambelt & replace at 70,000 miles
    • Check brake discs for wear
    • Check suspension parts for play and worn bushings
    • Check clearance and lift on valves
    • Check for cambelt wear

    By doing the work yourself you could save £100's each year and it's quite easy to do so. The forums over at TorqueCars are a great place to go to check specifics for your model of car. The above are just a summarial overview and some cars have specific needs outside of this list.

    Use the correct grade of engine oil. Cheap oils do not lubricate well, break down more quickly and can dramatically accelerate engine wear. Long life synthetic oils are generally very good but we still recommend you change the oil at least every 12,000 miles, especially if you are only doing short journeys or lots of stop start driving.

    Your annual MOT test will check the essentials like steering and brakes but you must not rely on this as a road worthiness test. Most garages carry out a wide range of checks when they service your car and if you are doing the work yourself you should also check these things.

    Some essential checks we recommend are brake pads, you should remove the wheel and check both sides of the disc as they can wear unevenly. Ensure there is a good chunk of brake pad left or replace them.

    Look for corrosion and leaks in the brake lines and suspension system. These can cause major problems if not spotted early on.

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