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Do people still have their car serviced?


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On 19/03/2023 at 15:56, cort1977 said:

Indeed. Lot's of states or counties don't have an inspection or just a minimal one so you do see some horrors.

They change the oil so often in the States because they insist on mineral oil rather than that new fangled synthetic oil that’s the excretion of the devil himself!









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On 3/18/2023 at 8:19 PM, Split_Pin said:

I was speaking to a contractor colleague a few months ago and he said his car had just had a service costing 4 figures, but it only needed doing every 2 years. He didn't let on what it was except that it was German so given he's a Contractor and probably on a decent daily rate its probably an X5 or large Mercedes.

I service all mine every 6 months, do the coolant every 4 years and auto gearbox service if there's no history of it. Generally I leave plugs alone unless the car isn't running well.

One of our c class services came in around a grand in truth but that did include a box oil change and a part replacement so say at least £700.

That's at an indy, way over a grand at Merc.

Does sound a lot I know but it's paid dividends so far as we've not had any issues whatsoever with the car whereas my mate bought one on 100k with patchy history and got straight into about a grands worth of repairs.

It does seem to last 2 years but we tend to get it in a bit earlier for oil change purposes.

I may start changing the oil more frequently on it though as a matter of course plus it's simple enough to do with a sucker pump.


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  • 5 months later...

Thought I'd resurface this thread with a real life example of how servicing benefits the car, and you, in the long run. 

Now, first of all, it's not possible to preempt every possible fault, but it gives the chance for someone with X number of years of experience to cast their eyes over numerous areas of your car to spot things. 

Unfortunately a lot of the chain garages' ideas of servicing is just replacing fluids and filters, cheaply, to seemingly make an indy's £300-350 major service seem outrageously expensive. 

Let me show you a real life example here:

This car is a 2007 Polo, it's pretty much on the immaculate end of the spectrum for such an old car, the lady has had it serviced each year without fail and always fixed anything as and when necessary. 

This year's service and MOT was predictably incident free as has been the case all the previous years. 

But I did spot 2x minor flaws that could have easily led to a breakdown or engine damage. Both were able to be rectified during the service, cheaply enough, and it's minimized her inconvenience because she's now not going to break down because of either of these defects later down the line, and have to be without her car on another occasion in the future waiting for it to be fixed..

The first was a very small coolant leak, I noticed the reservoir was below minimum, this is a fairly common occurrence so I didn't think loads of it until I spotted a drop of OAT at the bottom of the rad. Upon further inspection, these have a temp sensor in the rad with a rubber gasket. The sensor just needed 1/4 turn to nip it up and upon pressure testing the system again, no more drips. 

If it was ignored and left to run out of coolant, it would have overheated, broken down and quite possibly caused HGF. I've lost count of the number of cases I've seen where a coolant leak has got to the stage of emptying the system, overheating, finding and rectifying the leak only to find after all it's caused damage - HGF. 

Second defect, have a look at this picture. 


Can anyone spot the problem? 


I don't know what prompted me to check in such detail, but see how the tensioner was literally about to fail? Look back at the first picture and you'll see how the belt is starting to walk itself off. 

Again, an inexpensive fix but this sort of thing would easily leave you stranded when it lets go, even worse on some engines where the aux belt has a tendency to get ingested by the timing belt when it lets go, potentially writing the engine off.

The trouble is, this standard of servicing is very rare. But when a customer has brought their car to me for a full service, I make sure it's done properly. 

I despise the mobile outfits offering "full services". 

You can't do a full service on a car without having it on a ramp. You simply cannot do it properly. 

"Mobile filter replacements" would be a more appropriate name.

I also despise all the outfits calling an oil + air filter change a full service. 

If it's not replacing all the servicable parts and the wheels and undertrays (within reason) aren't all being removed for a thorough inspection, it's not a full service!

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They are quite mobile in the sense they’re off when it all goes wrong. I suspect people don’t prioritise this sort of thing, it’s a waste of money, right up to the point the belt snaps on their way to the airport then it’s ‘Voxhalls are so shit I will never buy another, gting an Audi next, my dad had a Audi in the 70’s and they neva go rong’

There’s a guy not far from us that has a garage in his garden, I’m sure he’s probably fine for changing the oil on an old Clio or something but he hasn’t got the facilities (or presumably the relevant insurance...). But he charges £25 an hour so needless to say people go there. 

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I do all mine regularly and it's paid off for me in terms of reliability. However most people now just want a car to be a mobile phone on wheels, they want a new one every few years to show off to their mates, in the mean time it's expected just to work without any maintenance.

Look how many supposedly high-end cars have Hwa Fong ditchfinder tires. 

Every car I look at buying has fuck all oil in it, not even on the dipstick usually.

I'll carry on doing 6k mile oil changes,  plus air, fuel, plugs etc regularly and fixing stuff as soon as I notice it going wrong 

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8 minutes ago, Metal Guru said:

I think a lot of people think the MOT includes a service. That’s all you need once a year.

Trouble is they don't check the advisories either? Looking at MoT checks online you see the same advisories year on year until, oops, failed - kind of defeats the object of an advisory. The one I really don't understand is a constant fail/advisory trail on tyres - wtf? If you cannot afford the tyres should you be running the car?

Ours get a home brewed service every year as a Pre-MoT going over and, sometimes, I'll see something to fix, other times Mr MoT man will advise on something - if he does I fix it. If I hear a rattle or clonk - I'll fix it. Drive the sprog's cars - same thing.
Nothing we own now does more than about 8K a year so the oil/filter changes are uber-frequent (20,000 mile interval on the C4?? Eh?)


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1 hour ago, UltraWomble said:

You mean it isnt?

What do I pay my £39.99 for then?
(Im joking)

Forty pounds and they don’t even change the oil!!!! Funniest I had, went to look at a car years back, ‘it’s had an mot every year, it’s never needed a service!’ Or when it’s running rough ‘it’s probably due a service’. 

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Was at the workshop earlier earlier and someone who rents a container on the site asked if I do vehicle servicing as his car is due, he lives in one of the villages near by and because he rarely goes into town (so he tells me) he's never taken it to any of the Indies to ask, and he'd pay cash.. I think we know where this is going don't we...

To be polite, I told him would take a look and see if we can get him in but it won't be this week, but to let me know.

Half an hour later and I hear a belt squealing and the sound of a car that's been run about dry of oil coming down the track as I'm packing up.. same gent pops out of a ford KA and as he closes the door the car creaks on its handbrake.  

"It's in gear" he exclaims, "handbrakes been a bit off for a while, I only really use it for my allotment and to go to the tip" 

The car is absolutely hanging, kurbed plastic wheel trims, fuel filler area looking like it's been bogged more times than the school nerd in an 80s coming of age film.

Belts are brown and cracking, stinks of clutch, the remains of the front wheel trims are brown with the rust and brake dust of years of neglect and the discs have a ridge I could use as a BMX ramp.

"How much do you reckon I'm looking at for a service, discs and pads?" he asks... 


I priced up fluids, belts, brakes and half a day because you just know it'll be one of those cars.

"Hmm, can you come down on that?  I will pay cash.."

Afraid not mate, but I can refer you to someone who does servicing all the time if you like, I tend to do repairs and more specialist stuff here, so I might not be competitive.  


"Don't think I'll bother, probably got a year or so left before it needs anything major doing..."


And off it wheezes and rattles back into the heart of Rutland...

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11 minutes ago, grogee said:

I respectfully disagree. 

It's not quick to properly service a vehicle without a ramp, but it is possible. 

Aye but it is uncomfortable and I find it harder each year to crawl under a car on our damp concrete pad in sideways rain. 
At least MIG welders are easier to use under there than a stick :-) 

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7 hours ago, EyesWeldedShut said:

If you cannot afford the tyres should you be running the car?

Advisories assume some knowledge of vehicles really, perhaps they should be more direct in their wording - despite people hating 'the man' telling 'em what to do.

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XF has a full Jaguar history until I bought it and a full specialist history since my purchase.

Even though I could do it myself at home, and the chap who services it for me went on all the courses about the XF with me when they were new 😂.

Sadly the warranty needs the stamps and invoices, and I don't have the time these days tbh to be messing with cars.

Doesn't cost the world to get it done properly and I know the car is 100% so 🤷🏻‍♂️

A lot of people think a service is an oil change sadly, which is why buying a car is such a challenge!

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32 minutes ago, grogee said:

I respectfully disagree. 

It's not quick to properly service a vehicle without a ramp, but it is possible. 

Ah ok, true, I should have said in the time that they spend! They're looking to smash out as many as possible in the day, it's hard enough getting the volume of work in being mobile anyway, if they did everything properly they might only get 2 or 3 done in a day if you consider travelling, set up and packing away time!

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My daily cars get serviced on the button, when they’re due, either by the Main Stealer or a local Indy.

the older stuff is a bit hit and miss, try to do the oil as a minimum every other year. But we’re talking 1500 miles per year or less on those.

any other work that crops up get dealt with accordingly. 

Like lots of people on here, I rely on my daily to earn a living, I also have the complication of living in semi rural village so depend on the car for getting the kids to school and caring for elderly relatives… several hundred pounds per year on servicing is a small price to pay for reliability and confidence in the cars ability.

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I service my own, always have done save on the Ford Cougar I had. Full service in my eyes is all fluids and filters, spark plugs and leads, which I tend to do every 3rd oil change or if they give out/fail between intervals.

I repair what in within my skillset/capabilities given my limited resources at home. If I had access to a 2 or 4 post lift I’l be able to do a bit more as I hate working on a car supported on axle stands. I’d like to invest in one of those tilters Stanky has.

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All cars on fleet get serviced.

When I was younger, much younger, most cars my dad had (Sierras / Cavs etc) needed servicing every 12 months or 10 / 12 k.

Despite what manufacturers claim iro service intervals, I've always stuck with servicing annually at least.

Pre covid I had a Zafira A 2.0 dti. Doing 14 - 16k a year. It got serviced every 6 months.

Post covid and working from home, annual mileage is now 5k ish for Mk4 mondeo 2.0 diesel. About 3k for mk2 CRV 2.0 petrol. The Mondeo and CRV still get annual service. The Mrs's old CRV, got 6 monthly services, which was an oil change every 2.5k. American levels of oil changes lol but she loved it and I wanted it to last.

I don't want to have to go out and have to buy another car, due to a major failure. So regular oil changes are my way of trying to avoid expensive failures. No guarantees of course.

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I’m a stickler for preventative maintenance and giving it a ‘look over’ regularly. On my daily it’s every 10k, and I run the diagnostics on it then, lube up the door hinges, and shake the wheels. I even fill in the service book myself, I’m such a sad git. That said I also swap between winter and summer wheels twice per year, and inspect the brakes and suspension bits then. Of course there’s also the MOT, too. I look over ‘er indoors car every so often, and do the oil once per year. It does around 5k per year, but it’s a 1.6 HDi (of doom) in a fiesta, and I can’t be arsed to put a turbo on it. That said there’s one stored for when it does go bang. The old bus gets the oil changed every 18 or so months, which us around 4,000 miles. I try and do most jobs over the winter on it, when it’s not used.


For friends they usually ask what they should do when they buy a car, and my response is always, ask the man at the garage to service it with an MOT every year. Doesn’t matter if it says every two years, you’d rather it get you where you’re going. You’ll be more annoyed at having it break than spending money servicing it. But as mentioned, servicing is a hard sell. Father in law has been in the trade since the 70s, and there’s always been people that don’t service it, and wait until it goes bang to them whine about it. More and more poor ecoboosts coming in with no teeth on the belt after missing a few services, when the old 1.6 wouldn’t really care.

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