What is an interim service?
An interim service is carried out on a car by a mechanic, who checks a number of key components and parts of a car.
An interim service can be extremely helpful for finding minor problems before they develop into major ones as many parts of a car will naturally wear down over time. The ones at high risk will usually be checked during an interim service.
For a driver, having an interim service carried out is a smart move as you may not realise there is a problem developing and it could end up costing you even more money down the line.
It is also recommended that you should get an interim service every 6,000 miles.
What would you prefer, to replace a pressure gauge or have your car written off entirely due to the head gasket blowing!
What is the difference between an interim service and a full service?
The difference between a full service and an interim service is the amount of parts checked. As the name suggests, an interim service will be less thorough than a full service.
However, that does not mean that a lot is checked during an interim service!
In the next section, we will list what is checked during an interim service.
If you would like to know what is included in a full service, click here to see a dedicated page.
What gets checked during an interim service?
Oil and Oil Filter Replacement
Engine oil is absolutely vital for keeping your car is good health and serious damage will be cause to a vehicle if there is low or none existent engine oil.
This is one of the easiest things to check and will always be included in an interim service.
Brake fluid is vital for the brake system as it is responsible for applying pressure to the pads and discs when bringing a car to a halt. If there is a small leak in the braking system, the liquid will inevitably pour out. This will then prevent you from braking all together so it is vital that this never happens!
During the winter months, if a car is left outside for an extended period of time, it will be subject to potential problems. Coolant is a liquid which runs through a car engine, keeping the level of heat and friction down, similar to engine oil.
The radiator needs to have a healthy supply of coolant to operate and keep the engine cool, which is why it is vital there is also enough anti-freeze in the system as well. If the coolant freezes and you start your engine in cold weather, your engine could overheat and damage could be caused extremely quickly.
Having enough windscreen wash may not strike you as critical, however, if you are driving your car and your view of the road becomes obstructed, you need to be able to wash your screen.
Power Steering Fluid
Like brake fluid, power steering fluid is checked in an interim service and the reason are exactly the same. Power steering fluid is critical for being able to steer a car and if there is a leak, or even air bubbles in the system, you will be in trouble.
If the problem is air bubbles, you can pump the clutch to resolve the issue, however, if there is a leak, a bigger repair will be required.
It is a legal requirement that you have working headlights so the wiring around rear and headlights will be checked during an interim service to ensure they are not at risk of cutting out.
Windscreen wipers naturally wear down over time and lose their ability to remove dirt and water from a windscreen. A mechanic will make sure your windscreen wipers are good enough to do this during an interim service.
The most common problem car batteries have is dying however, with a jump start, this problem can be sorted. A mechanic has no way of knowing if this will happen and so they cannot check for anything specific when it comes to this potential issue arising.
However, the integrity of a car battery could come into question and they can sometimes crack, resulting in battery acid spilling into the car engine. This is a very serious issue and so the battery will be checked for signs of damage during an interim service to ensure this does not happen to you.
The charging system is responsible for keeping your car battery full of power, if it is compromised, then it highly likely that you will suffer from a regular dead battery.
The alternator can be to blame for problems with the charging system and so will be checked during an interim service.
The most common issue the exhaust system suffers from is rust and leakage of dangerous fumes. There are several parts of an exhaust system which will be checked in an interim service including the catalytic converter which is responsible for taking the most toxic and dangerous elements out of the fumes created by a car engine.
A mechanic will mainly be checking for holes and rust when it comes to the exhaust system.
Tyre Tread and Pressure
It is a legal requirement to have 1.6mm tyre tread depth in the UK as this allows a car to grip the road firmly, if it is any lower, you are actually breaking the law!
This will always be checked while an interim service is being carried out, as will a pressure check on your tyres.
Full Brake Check
A brake test will be carried out during an interim service to ensure your car is able to come to a stop properly. If your car cannot do this, there is a good chance the brake pads or discs have worn down.
Surprisingly, some drivers don’t realise that their steering isn’t what it is supposed to be which is why this service is provided in an interim service.
There may be a number of issues which would cause steering issues including wheel alignment, in which case, a simple fix is available.
Shock Absorbers Check
The shock absorbers make up a part of the steering and suspension system and are self explanatory in their role in a car.
However, their effectiveness will drop over time resulting in a less comfortable ride for passengers. The large springs will be checked during a full service for degradation.
The suspension of a car is part of the steering system and so will be rigorously checked during an interim service.
What are the benefits of an interim service?
As mentioned at the top of the text, an interim service can help identify problems before they arise as mechanics are trained to be able to recognise the signs of a part having issues at an early stage.
This means you will be able to avoid a serious and potentially dangerous situations developing in the future.
What is the cost of an interim service?
The cost of an interim service will vary depending on the garage and the car itself. At the top of the page you will be able to see what the average cost of an interim service is in the UK, however, you can get free and personalised quotes for an interim service using WhoCanFixMyCar.
Simply enter your details in the form above and you’ll get bespoke quotes from the best local garages in no time.