What’s the difference between a full and major service?

What is a major service?

A major service is the next step up from a full service, and is the top level of car service.  

There are three types of car service package: starting with an interim service and going up to full, then major.  

A major car service is the ultimate health check for your car and sees a variety of parts replaced to keep the vehicle in as high condition as possible. It is recommended that drivers book their car in for a major service every two years or for each 24,000 miles their car covers - whichever comes first.

Should I book a major service?

Although not a legal requirement, it is important to service your car at the recommended time. By not getting the adequate level of vehicle service at the time that it is needed can lead to bigger problems down the line, and ultimately lead to more costly repairs.  

Identifying and fixing issues with the car before they become major faults will save you time and money in the long run.  

Many car makers state that their cars should get the required level of service to keep them in line with the manufacturer's warranty plan. Failing to keep up with their service schedule, or booking a service with a repairer that isn't manufacturer authorised, may invalidate any subsequent warranty claim on the car. 

A major service shouldn't be confused with an MOT. An MOT test is a necessity by law, and you could receive a hefty fine if caught driving a car that hasn't been MOT tested.

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Major service
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What's the difference between a full and major service?

A major service includes all the same checks that are carried out in a full car service, but in a major service, they're much more comprehensive. Due to the greater amount of wear and tear that will be on your vehicle after 24 months compared to 12 months, more parts and consumables will be replaced, refilled, or topped up. 

In a major service, the air filter, cabin filter and fuel filter will all be changed. Your car will also get new spark plugs, plus coolant and brake fluid levels replaced. The engine oil will be changed, and you'll get a replacement oil filter too. 

Major service checks include: 

  • Air filter replaced 
  • Cabin filter replaced 
  • Fuel filter replaced 
  • Oil changed 
  • Oil filter replaced 
  • Brake fluid and coolant replaced 
  • Engine and gearbox 
  • Clutch 
  • Wheels and tyres 
  • Handbrake 
  • Exhaust 
  • Doors and locks 
  • Battery 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Steering and suspension 
  • Seatbelts 
  • ABS and brake pads 

How long does a major service take?

A major service can take up to four hours. This is around an hour longer than a full service would take. Although the same number of checks are carried out in both types of service, the more in-depth nature of the checks and maintenance in a major service means it will take that much longer to complete. 

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