Types of Car Servicing – Interim Service & Full Service

Interim Service

Servicing car - mechanic and womanAn interim service is designed for high mileage drivers who are covering 20,000 or more miles per year.

These drivers will need to have their car serviced twice a year but will not necessarily need two full services each year.

An interim service is basically an oil change with some additional checks and basic maintenance included, such as checks for worn tyres, faulty lights and leaking hoses.

The garage will also top up your car’s coolant (water), brake and power steering fluid if required.

Different garages include different tasks in an interim service. Some will remove your car’s wheels and check the condition of your brake pads, some won’t. Other will check the condition and tension of your car’s fan, alternator and auxiliary drive belts, but not all will.

If you are unsure about what you are getting, ask – any decent garage should be happy to explain what they will do or have done and what the difference is to a full service.


Full Service

A full service includes a much wider range checks and service part replacements than an interim service. This is ideal for drivers doing lower annual mileages who will only have their cars serviced once a year.

The list below gives an idea of the range of tasks that are included in a full service:

  • Oil and filter change
  • New air filter
  • New fuel filter (diesel engines)
  • New spark plugs (petrol engines)
  • Extensive checks for leaks, wear and damage, including steering system and driveshaft
  • Removal of wheels and brakes checked
  • Wheel bearings checked for excessive play (wear)
  • Brake cylinders, pipes and hoses checked for leaks or damage
  • Suspension checked for wear or damage
  • Clutch operation checked (manuals)
  • Handbrake operation checked and adjusted if necessary
  • Brake fluid tested and replaced if necessary
  • Reset service light
  • Tyres checked for wear, damage and signs of misalignment
  • Exhaust system checked for corrosion, damage or leaks
  • …and much more

In addition to the standard service procedure, a service is a good time to have any niggling problems investigated.

The mechanic doing the service will be inspecting your car closely and will also have to test drive it at some point, so if you point out any problems in advance, they will have a good chance of tracking them down and repairing them as part of the service.


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5 thoughts on “Types of Car Servicing – Interim Service & Full Service

  • September 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Hi When one takes a car in for a full service, is the cabin air filter replaced, as well as the engine’s air filter? Thanks Paddy

    • October 4, 2017 at 3:38 am

      Hi Paddy,

      If you mean the pollen filter, then I’d expect this to be replaced, but I’m not sure it always is. I’d ask if you want to be certain of having it renewed.



  • September 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Just paid £180 for a full service (after10years!) a week later the garage now says the throttle body position sensor (£100) or the idle control valve (£400) needs replacing. Should this have spotted and they have be cleaned during the “service” ? The Toyota yaris verso is 18 years old and barely worth what we’ve spent on it. Any thoughts?

  • November 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    u leaved the sam pic twice

    • November 23, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for pointing this out. It should be fixed now.



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