Know the difference: Major and minor car services

Ensuring your car is serviced regularly and on time will keep the car running smoothly and efficiently. It also ensures the longevity of your car. Depending on your car's mileage, you might require a minor or major car service. Besides price, the main difference between these two types of services is the duration and parts required.

The recommended intervals for car servicing may vary among vehicle manufacturers, but as a general guideline, minor car services are usually carried out every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometres, and major car services usually at around 30,000 to 45,000 kilometres. (Consult your car manual to confirm the specific servicing requirements for your vehicle.) 

Most modern cars have a service light on the dashboard that lets you know when a service is due. You could also make use of MotorHappy’s free online membership that allows you to schedule alerts and reminders for car services and license renewals. Click here to learn more about MotorHappy Drive, and to access incredible discount vouchers.


Minor services typically include a comprehensive vehicle system and diagnostics check, oil and oil filter change; checking all fluid levels, filter conditions, tubes and hoses for leaks; and fan belt and brake pad inspection. The service will also include checking all lights and tyre pressure.

If you’re having any specific issues with your vehicle, ask your mechanic to check that specific area.


A major car service is the most comprehensive type of car service, with a full inspection of the vehicle. It includes the outside of the vehicle, hinges and latches, and the timing belt. It usually includes spark plugs and filters; replacing transmission and differential oils; and checking brake and clutch fluid. This is also when wheel bearing grease will be checked and replaced if necessary.

These are just some of the items that would be covered in a major car service as the technician works through a comprehensive checklist that ensures your car is inspected from head to tail. If the technician detects any problems during the service, you should receive a quote for any additional work that might be required.


A car is made up of complex systems that need regular maintenance to keep the vehicle in good roadworthy condition. When you service your car as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, the car is more fuel efficient, and you minimise the risk of it breaking down and incurring unexpected repair bills. As the saying goes, take care of your car in the garage and the car will take care of you on the road.

If you miss out on any services, your car’s warranty could become invalid. Keep a close eye on the recommended time frame or kilometres between car services.

Additionally, a car with a full-service record is often more valuable than a car without one, because it shows the overall condition of the vehicle, as well as who did the work and when the work was carried out. A service history will also show if the car has received any recalls or if any warranty or major repair work was required.


A good service plan will help you make sure that you always service your car on time and that you do not miss any important replacements to your car components.

Car servicing can be expensive, but with a Service Plan through MotorHappy, you can budget for this cost with easy monthly payments. There are different Service Plan products available in the market and the benefits may differ slightly from product to product. Generally, the benefits of a Service Plan are as follows: 

  • The servicing costs of your car are fixed and provided for, so you don’t have to worry about the money required for servicing your car the next time it is due for its scheduled service
  • You don’t have to worry about inflation, parts, or labour cost increases
  • Fixed, affordable monthly payments for car servicing
  • Your car can be serviced at your vehicle’s manufacturer or any other approved service centre
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