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Are you in for a minor car service or a major service? Know the difference

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

It’s that time. You are reaching your car service mileage marker and it’s time to book your car in for a service. So, are you in for a minor service or a major one?

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says vehicles should be booked in for a service every 10 000 to 15 000 km but not all services will be a major one. “In fact, only every other service is a major one,” he says.

During a minor service, the workshop will generally do an oil and oil filter change. The mechanics will also check all fluids, filters, belts, hoses, brakes and emissions and lubricate the chassis if it has not been factory sealed. “Most workshops will check your tyre pressure and, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, may do a tyre rotation. 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,” explains Ranft.  

“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. They will be able to let you know if any additional servicing or repairs are required.”

When it comes to a major service, unlike a minor one, a thorough and comprehensive checklist is included in the service. “The mechanic will do a check from head to tail of the vehicle going so far as to inspect the vehicle for dents and scratches and checking the pedals for any squeaks. All components of the vehicle will be checked as well as the actual body work of the vehicle. All hinges and latches will be greased, components lubricated, the engine and vehicle washed, and all parts reported on. The timing belt will also be checked depending on mileage or years as per the manufacturer’s instructions.” Ranft adds that if anything major is picked up during the service, the mechanic must provide a quotation for any additional work that needs to be done before the work commences.

He says that if you are unsure if certain items are included in a service, speak to your mechanic. “We highly recommend using a MIWA-accredited workshop so you can be assured of the highest standard of service and accountability. The mechanic will be able to clearly indicate what is included in the service and whether a minor or major service is needed. Always remember to mention any problem areas you may be having with your vehicle so the mechanic can give these special attention.”

“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,” concludes Ranft

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