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Learn a couple of tips before taking your car to servicing

What Should I Do Before I Take My Car to be Serviced?

13 May 2015, 11:44

Unlike an MOT, your car cannot fail a service, so preparation is not as vital in that respect. It is, however, crucial if you want to avoid being charged for repairs which you could have made yourself for a fraction of the cost

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Some garages will carry out all of the repairs they deem necessary and then charge you for this extra work afterwards, without even having consulted you.

If your car is low on screen wash or oil, for example, they will happily top them up for you in the garage, but will charge you a premium for the same brand of products which you could pick up for much less in a shop or on the internet. This is why it is important to spend a few minutes checking everything you can before you take your car in for a service. You can easily top up your windscreen washer fluid in a couple of seconds and will be able to pick up a container of the right fluid for less than a couple of pounds.

You should also check your engine oil levels before you drop off your car and should buy the oil and top it up yourself if you find that it is low. This will save you up to £30, depending on which garage you use and by how much they choose to inflate their oil prices.

There are other things which you can easily do yourself, such as inflate the tyres to the correct pressure and measure the tread depth of each one of your tyres. If you do spot that your tyres have worn below the recommended 3mm of tread depth, measuring them in advance of the service will give you the opportunity to search online or in-store to find the best deal.

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Not all garages stock a wide range of tyres, so you may not be able to purchase the exact ones you want straight from the dealer. They also may charge more than dealers online or you could have to wait a long time if they need to be ordered in. Sometimes, it can be cheaper to provide your own parts to the garage if your car needs a repair, rather than letting the workshop source the parts for you.

In any case, having done your research before you take your car in for its service will mean that you more aware of how much parts should cost. If you don’t have time to stay with your car whilst the service is being carried out, make sure that when you drop it off you tell the mechanic that you wish to be consulted before any additional repair work is done to your car. This way if you find that you need to have something replaced, you will have the opportunity to shop around to find the best deal, or to negotiate with the same garage, before you commit to paying a certain fee.

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