What Are the Differences Between an Interim and Full Service?

21 September 2021 / autocentrechorley

If you own a car, you’ll most likely have heard of a full service or annual service, however, you may not have heard of an interim service before. So what is an interim service and do you actually need one? Let’s find out.

What is a Full Service?

First of all, let’s start out by taking a look at what a full service is. A full service is a vehicle inspection that keeps your car running in a safe, reliable and fully-functioning condition based on the guidelines that are set out by your car’s manufacturer. 

Generally, you should have your car fully serviced every year, or every 10,000-12,000 miles, as this ensures your car is running smoothly and efficiently whilst also reducing the risk of it breaking down and incurring expensive repairs, or even worse, an accident. 

What Does a Full Service Include?

Typically, a car service can include fifty or more component and system checks and adjustments including:

  • Checking of lights, tyres, exhaust

  • Checking the operation of brakes and steering

  • Change of engine oil and/or filter replacement

  • Checking hydraulic fluid and coolant levels

  • Checking the cooling system including the radiators to the pumps and hoses

  • Making sure you engine is tuned to run in its peak condition

  • Suspension checks

  • Check of car battery condition

  • Steering alignment

  • Review and change of spark plugs

How Long Does A Full Service Take?

A full service can include fifty or more comprehensive component and system checks, so will take longer to complete. Typically it takes around three hours, though this can increase if any issues are found.

What is an Interim Service?

An interim service is less comprehensive than a full service and is designed to be carried out every 6 months, or every 5,000-6,000 miles. This doesn’t replace an annual service, it instead helps to address any issues early on that may be caused by driving more miles than average. This is because long commutes and driving in congestion can lead to harmful consequences for your car.

What Does an Interim Service Include?

Typically, an interim service can include component and system checks and adjustments including:

  • Vehicle safety inspection

  • Engine oil and filter change

  • Fluid check

  • Top up of brake fluid, screen wash and antifreeze coolant

How Long Does an Interim Service Take?

Depending on your car model and how easy it is to access the necessary components, an interim service takes roughly about an hour and a half to complete, though this can increase if any issues are identified.

Do I Really Need an Interim Service?

No, you aren’t legally required to have an interim service, however, it is strongly recommended that you do so if you drive in excess of 12,000 miles a year. Most car warranties also require full and interim services according to their schedule, otherwise it may become void, so if your car is still under warranty you should definitely book one in accordingly.

For the most accurate information regarding when you should get your vehicle serviced, you should refer to the manufacturer’s service handbook.

I’ve Just Had an MOT, Why Do I Need an Interim Service?

Many people often think a car service is just the same as an MOT, however, it’s important to note that an MOT is an annual inspection for safety and isn’t designed to replace or repair worn vehicle components or fix any major issues- you’ll just fail it instead. An interim service takes care of any wear and tear and makes sure your vehicle is running safely, smoothly and efficiently.

A Worthwhile Investment

Some car owners are reluctant to fork out for an interim service on top of a full service each year, especially if they think their car is working just fine, however, getting an interim service can actually save you lots of money in the long run. 

Identifying and fixing any small issues early on can prevent them from becoming bigger, more serious problems which can be very expensive to fix, or even worse, end up costing you your life. 

Book a Full or Interim Service with Autocentre Chorley

At Autocentre Chorley we offer both full and interim services and your dealership warranty will be protected. Visit our service page for a free quote today or call us on 01257 269 298 if you want to talk to our friendly staff about the services we provide in Chorley. 



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