Things you should check before getting your car serviced

10 April 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Preparing your car before you take it in for servicing can and will save you from forking out on additional charges which could have been avoided.  Depending on the garage you decide to take your vehicle to, a garage can carry out the repairs they consider fundamental without consulting you first. If there are multiple issues found, this can leave you with a list of bills you never expected or even asked for. Even something as simple as filling up your screen wash can be flipped into a premium price.

Luckily, there is a way to avoid premium charges for maintenances that you could have sorted out beforehand.  

Oil and Filter Change

The oil and filter change is important to ensure your vehicle is reliable and runs smoothly. During a service, garages will check to ensure that there are no issues and will top it up if it is required. To prevent extra charges on oil top-ups, simple check your oil levels and refill what is required prior to the day of service.

Fluid top-ups

To avoid being charged on low fluids, here are 3 things that will typically be checked during a service:

  • Brake fluid -  Locate you brake fluid reservoir and clean off any dirt on top of it. The reason for this is because you do not want any external particle falling into the fluid and interfering with the quality. Next, unscrew the cap (for older vehicles, use a screwdriver to take the clamp off the top) and look to see where the fluid level is. If it isn't high enough, use the correct fluid for your vehicle and top it up. With that said, if you notice your brake fluid is darkish colour, a replacement will be needed.

  • Antifreeze coolant -  Locate your coolant reservoir and check the full line to see if there is a significant amount of fluid. If not, add a premixed coolant fluid until it does. Whilst you do this check, look at the quality of the fluid. If the liquid is colourless or has “bits” floating inside, a flush will be required.

  • Windscreen wash check - Firstly check your owners manual to see how much fluid the wash reservoir requires. Locate and open your washer fluid cap and check the fluid level. Fill it up if needed.  

IMPORTANT: Make sure you check these fluids when your engine is off and cold.

Tyre pressure

Tyres and pressure checks are another thing garages do during servicing. What you can do to prevent getting charged for this is by simply doing the tyre’s pressure yourself. Inflate all of your tyres to the correct tyre pressure recommended in your car owner manual. Then check to see if your tyres are worn. You can do this by measuring the tread as all tyres should have a 3mm tread depth.

We believe that it is important for you to spend at least a moment of your time to check over everything before you take your car in for servicing. Research into how much different parts will cost to get fixed. Be sure to tell the mechanic that you want to be consulted before any additional repairs are made to your vehicle. If you are ever unsure when you are supposed to take your car in for a service, be sure to check your manufacturer guide.


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