Minor car service versus major service - know the difference

File picture: Newspress.

File picture: Newspress.

Published Nov 27, 2019


JOHANNESBURG - A car service is one of those grudge purchases that nobody likes to think about, or budget for, but it’s one of those absolute necessities if you want to keep your car in good running order, and safe for you and other road users.

But not all car services are the same, explains Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA). While cars usually need servicing every 10 000 to 15 000km, depending on what the manufacturer specifies, not all car services are major ones, but rather every second service.

So what’s the difference then?

A minor service generally entails an oil and oil filter change, while the technician will also check all fluids as well as belts, hoses, filters and brakes, and lubricate the chassis if it has not been factory sealed. The service will also include a check of all lights, windscreen washer and coolant levels, brake fluid level and colour and the power steering fluid level, Ranft explains. Most workshops will also check your tyre pressure and do a tyre rotation if recommended by the manufacturer.

“You can, of course, speak to your mechanic about any issues you may be experiencing with your vehicle and ask them to check that specific area,” Ranft adds. “They will be able to let you know if any additional servicing or repairs are required.”

Major service

Unlike a minor service, a major service includes a thorough and comprehensive checklist process, where the technician performs a check from head to tail of the vehicle, which even extends to inspecting it for scratches and dents, and checking the pedals for any squeaks.

All components of the vehicle will be checked, in addition to the actual body work. All hinges and latches will be greased, components lubricated, the engine and vehicle washed, and all parts reported on. Depending on mileage or years as per the manufacturer’s instructions, the mechanic will also check the timing belt.

If anything major is picked up during the service, the technician must provide a quotation for any additional work that needs to be performed, before the work actually commences, Ranft points out.

He adds that motorists must be sure to speak to their mechanics if they are unsure of which items are included in the service. 

“Always remember to mention any problem areas you may be having with your vehicle so the mechanic can give these special attention,” Ranft says.

“Services and keeping a record of your service history are vitally important, not only for your vehicle’s resale value down the line, but also to ensure your vehicle is safe on the road. We need to all be responsible for making our roads a safer place”.

IOL Motoring

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