Service (motor vehicle)

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(Redirected from Car maintenance)

A motor vehicle service or tune-up is a series of maintenance procedures carried out at a set time interval or after the vehicle has traveled a certain distance. The service intervals are specified by the vehicle manufacturer in a service schedule and some modern cars display the due date for the next service electronically on the instrument panel. A tune-up should not be confused with engine tuning, which is the modifying of an engine to perform better than the original specification, rather than using maintenance to keep the engine running as it should.

Common tasks involved in maintaining a vehicle[edit]

  • Inspection - vehicle components are visually inspected for wear or any leaks. A diagnostic is performed to identify any electrical components reporting a failure or a part operating outside of normal conditions.
  • Replacement - Given certain lubricants break down over time due to heat and wear, manufacturers recommend replacement. Any parts that are close to their expected failure are replaced too to avoid a failure while operating the vehicle.
  • Adjustments - as vehicle components wear, they may need adjustment over time. Example: parking brake cable.

The completed services are usually recorded in a service book upon completion of each service. A complete service history usually adds to the resale value of a vehicle.

Mechanic and customer


The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make, and model of a car, its driving conditions, and driver behavior. Carmakers recommend the so-called extreme or the ideal service schedule based on impact parameters such as

  • the number of trips and distance traveled per trip per day
  • extreme hot or cold climate conditions
  • mountainous, dusty, or DE-iced roads
  • heavy stop-and-go vs. long-distance cruising
  • towing a trailer or other heavy load

Service advisers in dealerships and independent shops recommend schedule intervals, which are often in between the ideal or extreme service schedule.

Common maintenance[edit]

Maintenance tasks commonly carried out during a motor vehicle service include:

Mechanical parts that may cause the car to cease transmission or prove unsafe for the road are also noted and advised upon.

In the United Kingdom, few parts that are not inspected on the MOT test are inspected and advised upon a Service Inspection, including clutch, gearbox, car battery, and engine components (further inspections than MOT).

See also[edit]



  • Hillier, V.A.W.; Coombes, P. (2004). Hillier's Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology. Hillier's Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology. Nelson Thornes. ISBN 978-0-7487-8082-2. Retrieved 24 May 2021.

External links[edit]