Servicing and MOTs

Servicing and MOTs

02 November 2011
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Car servicing

When buying a new or used car, a good idea is to read the maintenance manual, so that you know when the service intervals are. Services intervals are now farther apart than they used to be, because of engineering advancements, but remember to stick to them, that’s what they are their for. There are a few things to consider however –

Do your homework when using a dealership, the prices can vary widely? If your vehicle is still under warranty you may now be able to find a non-franchised garage that may do the service without invalidating your warranty. Check to see if they have signed up with the Motor Industry Code of Practice (self regulating). This has been established to protect the customer, and promote standards within the industry. Have a look at to see if there is a garage near you.

Independent garages are usually cheaper than a dealership, but make sure they are VAT registered and use the proper manufacturer’s products, parts and fluids, don’t forget to obtain a receipt, and get the maintenance book stamped by the servicing garage.

If your vehicle is still under warranty, and needs a repair, that falls under the warranty covered areas, you may well find that the warranty will require you, to get the repairs carried out at the franchised dealer from where you purchased the vehicle, to keep the warranty validated.

Service checklist

Step one - Pre-Engine

1. Vehicle history

2. The timing belt replacement interval

3. Checking for damage IE bodywork, the trims, oil level and lamps

4. Fitting protective covers

5. The horn

6. Air conditioning – which should include

7. Suspension dampers

8. Lubrication of the bonnet catches, locks and door hinges

9. Fuel cap

10. Function of the seat belts

11. Interior and exterior lighting

12. Making sure the suspension dampers work correctly

13. ABS and air bag warning signals

14. Treatment to remove internal contamination

Step two - Going under the bonnet

1. Lubrication of the battery terminals and battery level

2. Vacuum pipes

3. Top up and check all applicable fluid levels

4. The engines breather system

5. Condition of the throttle body (which should be cleaned if dirty)

6. Replace the air, fuel and pollen filters and change the sparkplugs if applicable

7. The cooling system and fan

8. Power steering including the fluid level and replacement if necessary

9. Auxiliary drive belts

10. Brake fluid and level

11. Anti freeze

12. The throttle body (clean if required)

Step three - While the vehicle is raised

1. The clutch cable and cylinder

2. The front and rear brakes (including the handbrake) this should include a brake report

3. Fuel lines and brake pipes

4. The axle and transfer box oil levels should be topped up checked

5. Brake pipes and fuel lines

6. Gearbox level

7. The condition of the tyres and brakes with separate reports

8. Sump plug washer replacement, change of oil and filter replacement

9. General condition of the exhaust and its security

10. CV gaiters and joints (for wear and tear)

11. All joints relating to the suspension, steering, mountings and gaiters

Step four – When the vehicle is lowered

1. The engine should be refilled with the correct graded oil

2. Location of the locking wheel nut

3. The torque wheel nuts and studs

Step five – Finishing off

1. The vehicle should be road tested with a report highlighting any findings

2. A report on the emission level

3. The engine should be rechecked

4. Where applicable reset the service interval indicator

5. Upholstery, steering wheel and gear lever should be clean

6. Your service book should then be stamped

7. A comments listing which may include any items that require future attention

Servicing  |  Basic Maintenance  |  MOTs  

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