It's critical your car is in good working order at all times. To this end, you should aim to have your vehicle serviced at least once every 12 months.
However, if you cover great distances on a regular basis, it's sensible to have your vehicle serviced more often - perhaps once every six months.
As a general rule of thumb, you should have your car serviced about once every 12,000 miles. By this time, your oil will probably need to be changed, and your coolant may have partially evaporated.
By ensuring your car is in good working order:
- It will be safer to use - benefitting you, your passengers, and other road users.
- You will spot problems before they become serious - which could prevent a more costly repair job later on.
- You will prolong the life of your car.
- Your car will be less likely to break down.
By having a full service history, you will likely increase your vehicle's resale value. A full service history could also help you sell your car faster than might otherwise be the case.
At a minimum, a good mechanic should check the following:
- Engine oil
- Seat belt
- Steering wheel
- Tyre tread/inflation
Ideally, any other critical electronic or mechanical components should also be checked.
Many modern cars will tell you when it's time for a visit to your mechanic - by illuminating a light with a spanner on it. Once your vehicle has been serviced, your mechanic can reset this light so it goes off during the next interval period.
Even if you don't use your car often, you should have it serviced at least every 12 months. While components may not get worn out with rare usage, the oil, additives, and coolant are sitting there aging. As a rule, base your maintenance on the calendar, not the mileage. Even if you don’t drive your car often, it's a good idea to turn the engine over every few days.
If your car is older, it will need to be serviced more often. This is because older components will have become more worn out and are more likely to fail.