A motor vehicle service or tune-up is a series of maintenance procedures carried out at a set time interval or after the vehicle has travelled a certain distance. The service intervals are specified by the vehicle manufacturer in a service schedule and some modern cars display the due date for the next service electronically on the instrument panel.
The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make, and model of a car, its driving conditions and driver behaviour. Car makers recommend the so-called extreme or the ideal service schedule based on impact parameters such as
- number of trips and distance travelled per trip per day
- extreme hot or cold climate conditions
- mountainous, dusty or de-iced roads
- heavy stop-and-go vs. long-distance cruising
- towing a trailer or other heavy load
Experienced service advisors in dealerships and independent shops recommend schedule intervals, which are often in between the ideal or extreme service schedule. They base it on the driving conditions and behaviour of the car owner or driver.
Maintenance tasks commonly carried out during a motor vehicle service include:
- Change the engine oil
- Replace the oil filter
- Replace the air filter
- Replace the fuel filter
- Replace the cabin filter
- Replace the spark plugs
- Tune the engine
- Check level and refill brake fluid/clutch fluid
- Check Brake Pads/Liners, Brake Discs/Drums, and replace if worn out.
- Check level and refill power steering fluid
- Check level and refill Automatic/Manual Transmission Fluid
- Grease and lubricate components
- Inspect and replace the timing beltor timing chain if needed
- Check condition of the tires
- Check for proper operation of all lights, wipers etc.
- Check for any Error codes in the ECU and take corrective action.
- Wash the vehicle and clean the interiors.
- Use scan tool read trouble code.
Mechanical parts that may cause the car to cease transmission or prove unsafe for the road are also noted and advised upon.
In the United Kingdom, few parts that are not inspected on the MOT test are inspected and advised upon a Service Inspection, including: Clutch, Gearbox, Car Battery, and Engine components (further inspections than MOT).
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