Our Stevenage-based mechanics always recommend 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 post. Here, we look at what’s involved in car servicing itself. We hope it will leave you better informed and show you exactly why it is such an important aspect of vehicle maintenance.
Are you more interested in booking in for car servicing at our Stevenage garage today? 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 is involved in the annual service, which is deemed the most essential of the two.
Keep in mind that interim car servicing features many of the same checks, but it isn’t quite as comprehensive.
Service Prep & Road Test – The first phase of car servicing sees us check your vehicle for body damage and impact to the wheels and rims, the condition of steering controls, and general operation of the brakes. It helps us ensure there is no major or obvious damage to our Stevenage clients’ vehicles.
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 fans, auxiliary drive belts (not including the cambelt), air filters and housings, spark plugs, under-trays and antifreeze. Some Stevenage motorists will also have their coolant topped up (if required).
Fuel System – The next phase of car servicing is somewhat shorter, and sees us check fuel caps, seals, the condition of fuel lines, and whether a fuel filter replacement is in order or not. If it is 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 and foot brake shoes (which will be cleaned and/or adjusted if required).
We also inspect wheel cylinders, brake hydraulic system pipes and hoses, handbrakes and linkages (lubricating and adjusting if needed), brake discs, drums and fluid levels (which should also be topped up as required). We will 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 on other vital components. During car servicing, our mechanics check power steering reservoirs (topping up if needed), steering and suspension components, rack gaiters, wheel bearings, and steering system pipes and hoses.
We also carry out a shock absorber test and grease steering and suspension parts where it would prove beneficial.
Exhausts, Lights & Electrics – With the former, we check the exhaust smoke looks healthy and is being channelled the right way. The wider system is also inspected for leaks. With lights, their operation is checked, as is the horn and the diesel heater plug indicator. Battery terminals are then inspected and lubricated, and battery levels are topped up. We finish off with a visual check of any high-tension leads.
Wheels & Tyres – Problems with wheels and tyres can drastically impact road safety, so this area is a vital part of car servicing. Visitors to our Stevenage garage will see us remove road wheels and check the condition of the hub faces before ensuring tyre sizes and fittings are correct. Condition and depth must be in good stead (1.6mm depth minimum with no serious structural damage or weaknesses to tyre wall). Tyre pressures are tested and adjusted, then the 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 (which must be addressed if obscuring the view of road or causing weakness), mirror condition, number plate condition, cabin filters, seatbelts, dash warning lights, external door locks, hinges (should be lubricated) and bonnet catches (which should also be lubricated).