Whether you're commuting to work, embarking on a road trip, or simply running errands, your vehicle is there to serve you day in and day out. But just like any trusted machine, it requires proper care and attention to keep it in top-notch condition.

Many car owners appreciate their vehicle will need servicing, but the question is, ‘how often should I service my car?’ While the answer can vary depending on various factors, it’s important to understand how to effectively take care of your vehicle. In this guide, we're aiming to provide you with the answers you need. We'll explore the various aspects of car servicing, from manufacturer recommendations to signs that your car might be due for some attention. Whether you're a seasoned car enthusiast or a new driver looking for guidance, we've got you covered.

Why is regular servicing for my car important?

Getting your car serviced regularly is important for several key reasons. Safety is key when driving your vehicle, and by getting your vehicle serviced regularly, you can ensure the ongoing safety of both you and your passengers. Routine maintenance checks and servicing help identify and address potential safety issues with critical components like brakes, tyres, and suspension, reducing the risk of accidents caused by worn or faulty parts. 

Similarly, regular servicing enhances the reliability of your vehicle. By addressing minor problems and wear and tear during scheduled maintenance, you reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, keeping you on the road with confidence. 

Regular servicing also extends the overall lifespan of your car. Properly maintained vehicles tend to run more efficiently and have reduced wear, saving you money on premature replacements and ensuring a higher resale value in the future. 

What influences the frequency of my car service?

Manufacturer’s recommendations 

Every car manufacturer provides a recommended maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. This schedule outlines the specific services and intervals at which they should be performed. 

These recommendations are based on extensive testing and research conducted by the manufacturer to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the vehicle. 

Typically, the maintenance schedule includes items such as oil and filter changes, tyre rotations, brake inspections, and more. It is crucial to follow these guidelines to maintain your warranty coverage and keep your car in top condition.

Vehicle age 

Modern cars typically require less frequent servicing, thanks to advancements in engineering, materials, and manufacturing standards. These vehicles often come equipped with improved components and technologies that enhance reliability and longevity. 

However, as a car ages, wear and tear become more pronounced, necessitating more frequent attention. Components such as belts, hoses, gaskets, and suspension parts are more likely to degrade over time, making regular servicing essential to catch and address potential issues before they become major problems. 

Older vehicles may also benefit from more frequent fluid changes and inspections to maintain optimal performance and safety. Therefore, it's important to adapt your car's servicing frequency based on its age to ensure it continues to operate reliably and safely.

Normal vs severe driving conditions 

The frequency of servicing your car can vary significantly based on your driving conditions. Most manufacturers distinguish between normal and severe driving conditions when setting their maintenance schedules. Normal driving conditions typically include routine city and highway driving, while severe conditions may include:

  • Dusty or gritty environments 
  • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Towing heavy loads
  • Off-road driving
  • Short trips with frequent starts and stops

If you often drive in severe conditions, you may need to service your car more frequently than the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure it continues to perform optimally.

Listening to your car’s needs

While it's crucial to follow the manufacturer's recommendations, paying attention to your car's condition is equally important. Some signs that indicate your car needs servicing include:

  • Warning lights on the dashboard
  • Unusual noises or vibrations
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Decreased braking performance
  • Uneven tyre wear

If you notice any of these issues, don't wait for your scheduled maintenance - take your car to a qualified mechanic, such as the team at Natrad Autocare, for inspection and repairs promptly.

How often should I generally service my car?

In Australia, a general rule of thumb is that you should get your vehicle serviced every 10,000km or every 6 months - whichever comes first. Alternatively, a major service that requires a more extensive check of your car should be performed every 30,000 to 45,000km or every 24 months. 

What is a minor service?

A minor car service, often referred to as an interim or intermediate service, is a basic and routine maintenance procedure performed on a vehicle to ensure its continued reliability and safety. This is usually a logbook service and involves:

  • Oil and oil filter change
  • Fluid checks 
  • Tyre inspection
  • Brake inspection
  • Battery check
  • Lights and visuals check 

What is a major car service?

A major car service is a comprehensive and thorough maintenance procedure performed on a vehicle to ensure its optimal performance, safety, and longevity. This type of service goes beyond basic maintenance and includes a wide range of inspections, adjustments, and part replacements. While your full car service will include everything from a minor service, it will also have:

  • Engine inspection 
  • Replacement of spark plugs
  • Transmission service
  • Air filter replacement
  • Safety checks 
  • The replacement of other worn parts

Where should I get my car serviced?

When it comes to getting your car serviced, we recommend choosing an experienced service centre that specialises in vehicle repairs and maintenance. While some people prefer to visit their car dealership for servicing needs, a reputable service centre can often provide better value when looking after your vehicle, including boosting its performance, mending damaged parts, and ensuring your car functions its best all year round. 

At Natrad Autocare, we’re here to meet all your servicing needs. With a trusted reputation spanning decades, we offer a wealth of experience and expertise in automotive care. Our skilled mechanics are well-versed in handling a wide range of vehicle makes and models, ensuring your car is in capable hands. Moreover, Natrad Autocare is known for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Our transparent and customer-centric approach means you can expect honest assessments, fair pricing, a clear understanding of the services required and quality replacement parts backed with a national warranty. 

For more information on Natrad Autocare’s servicing solutions, contact us today. We’re here to guarantee the longevity, reliability and safety of your vehicle.