Your Car’s Spa Day – How Long Does a Car Service Take?

How Long Does a Car Service Take?

A vehicle service involves a comprehensive examination of your car’s essential systems conducted by an automotive shop. Usually, when your car is scheduled for maintenance, it should be at the shop for approximately one day. But how long does a car service take exactly? We advise you to ask your workshop for the precise answer.

However, as a general estimate, an interim service usually takes about 90 minutes, while a full service may require around 3 to 5 hours.

How Long Does a Car Maintenance Take?

How Long Does a Car Service Take?

The precise duration varies depending on factors such as the car’s make and model, its condition, the specific repairs required, and the type of service needed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dad’s or a mom’s car; routine tasks like inspecting oil and filters, topping up fluids, checking tire pressure, and basic cleaning are relatively quick. However, for a comprehensive service involving tasks like wheel alignment and balancing, be prepared to allocate a significantly longer time.

What is involved in a Full Car Service?

A full car service might seem like it covers everything, but it falls between an interim and a major service. Whether you have a large SUV like a Toyota Sequoia or a sedan, it encompasses 60-80 checks, including:

  • Vacuum hose and radiator inspection
  • Brake pad inspection
  • Air and fuel filter replacement
  • Suspension inspection
  • Fluid top-ups
  • Tire rotation

Car makers typically advise a full service every 12,000 miles (20,000 km) or annually, taking around 3 hours.

How Long Does Tire Rotation Take?

Tire rotation typically consumes about an hour, except in cases of stubborn lug nuts or wheels. A skilled mechanic shifts the tires to ensure even wear during this process.

When considering a DIY tire rotation, understand that its tread pattern and the type of drivetrain in your vehicle determine the proper placement of each tire. For instance, directional tires are only interchangeable from front to rear and must stay on their respective sides. On the other hand, you can reposition the non-directional tires anywhere.

How Long Does an Oil Change Take?

An experienced automotive technician can replace an engine oil and oil filter in approximately 30 minutes. The duration may differ based on the presence of plastic covers and extra skid plates. Additionally, oil changes tend to be more time-consuming for engines with shallower oil pans.

How Long Does it Take to Change the Brakes?

The brake inspection and repair can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an entire day. Replacing brake pads is typically a swift task, yet a skilled technician must thoroughly examine the entire brake system. Remember that even a seemingly quick brake pad change can extend in time due to challenges like corroded brake lines, seized calipers, or broken bolts.

How Much Does Car Maintenance Cost?

Roughly one-third of drivers find themselves financially unprepared for unforeseen car repairs. Yet, routine vehicle upkeep proves far more budget-friendly than addressing neglect-induced damages. Car maintenance expenses can vary considerably, contingent upon the necessary tasks. While an oil change typically ranges from $20 to $60, a timing belt replacement can set you back anywhere from $300 to $500.

Read More: How to Save for a Car

What Aspects Influence Car Service Duration?

Make and Model

Not all cars are created equally. While some manufacturers adhere to straightforward engineering principles in their vehicle production, others, such as German automakers, incorporate intricate technologies. Consequently, these vehicles are occasionally susceptible to malfunctions that prove challenging to diagnose and repair due to their complex construction. It means certain car brands and models may require more extensive servicing compared to others.

Kind of Service

Performing intricate automotive repairs, such as addressing engine hydro locking, power steering issues, AC condenser leaks, or suspension problems, often requires a more extensive timeframe compared to routine vehicle maintenance.

Car’s State

The duration of the maintenance procedure can vary significantly depending on the car’s overall condition. Vehicles in excellent condition typically require less repair time, while those in deplorable shape demand more extensive diagnostic and repair work. Additionally, considering the time required to source and procure replacement parts, it’s not uncommon for severely damaged cars to undergo repairs that span approximately 3 to 4 days.

Why you Shouldn’t Miss Vehicle Service?

Neglecting routine car maintenance while prioritizing only necessary repairs can harm your vehicle’s longevity. Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations leads to fewer problems and longer-lasting cars.

  1. Enhanced Safety: Prioritizing routine car maintenance contributes to safer driving experiences. It prevents unexpected part failures and reduces the likelihood of significant issues. By diligently checking systems that may develop problems, you can eliminate the risk of driving a malfunctioning vehicle.
  2. Optimal Performance: Alongside improved safety, consistent maintenance ensures your car operates at its peak. Imagine enjoying better tire traction, more stable steering, and reliable engine starts.
  3. Financial Savings: Regular maintenance helps avoid costly repairs down the road. Investing in preventive upkeep now can save you a significant amount in the long term.
  4. Improved Fuel Efficiency: Well-maintained cars maximize fuel efficiency. Skipping key services can lead to decreased gas mileage, necessitating more frequent refueling. Staying on top of maintenance helps you save both time and money at the pump.
  5. Time Efficiency: Sticking to a maintenance schedule prevents major issues that could render your car inoperable. Dealing with extensive auto repairs can result in days or even weeks without your vehicle, causing inconvenience and wasted time.
  6. Preserving Car Value: If you plan to sell your vehicle in the future, maintaining a consistent maintenance schedule is crucial. Regular servicing not only enhances your driving experience but also maintains your car’s resale value. Well-cared-for vehicles command higher prices in the used car market.

How Long Does a Car Service Take – FAQs

How Long Can a Mechanic Legally Keep your Car to Fix?

The duration of your car service varies based on the chosen garage and service type. Interim service takes about 90 minutes, full service up to 5 hours, with same-day pickup, subject to garage workload.

What if a Repair Shop Suggests Additional Repairs for my Vehicle?

If a service uncovers further repair needs, your vehicle may require additional time at the garage, necessitating a potential rescheduled appointment. Some garages could provide a temporary replacement vehicle for your transportation convenience during the car’s garage stay.

What Typically Comes as Part of Regular Car Maintenance?

Car maintenance services encompass a comprehensive inspection, which involves assessing the power-plant, filters, outer lights, brakes, steering, tires, fluid levels, suspension, and battery. Additionally, many automotive service centers offer computerized diagnostic evaluations.

Are European Vehicles More Time-Consuming to Service?

European automobiles, especially those of German origin, boast intricate mechanical systems. This complexity can pose challenges when identifying and rectifying issues in German vehicles, demanding significant time and effort. Nonetheless, entrusting your car to a seasoned mechanic proves invaluable, as their wealth of experience enables them to diagnose and address these challenges swiftly, ultimately saving you precious time.

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Fatima is a professional chef who is now working from home and taking care of her 4 young ones. In her spare time she loves to cook up something new in her kitchen or take a long drive in her favorite Pacifica Plugin-Hybrid