How Long Does a Car Service Take in 2024? (Plus 2 Points for a good preparation)

When we ask “How long does a car service take?” we’re tapping into a crucial aspect of vehicle maintenance. From a quick oil change to a comprehensive check-up, understanding the timeline helps us plan accordingly.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping our vehicles running smoothly and safely, so we must have a clear idea of what to expect.

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05/07/2024 09:44 am GMT

Understanding How Long Does a Car Service Take?

How long a car service take depends on the specific service your car is getting. Let’s explore the details to know what to expect.

Types of Car Services

There are primarily two types of car services: interim and full services.

  • Interim Service typically includes an oil and filter change, a top-up of essential fluids, and checks on tires, lights, and brakes. It’s usually recommended for drivers who cover a lot of miles throughout the year.
  • Full Service generally covers everything included in an interim service, along with additional checks, tweaks, and replacements that may cover parts like spark plugs, air filters, and more.

Average Time Frames

Depending on the type of service being performed, car servicing can take:

  • Interim Service: 1.5 – 3 hours
  • Full Service: 3 – 5 hours

These times can vary based on the car’s make and model, the garage’s schedule, and the specific issues that might be discovered during the service.

Factors Affecting Service Time

When we consider the question, “How long does a car service take?”, various factors play crucial roles.

Vehicle Condition

The state of our car significantly influences service duration. A car that’s been maintained consistently and has no major issues often requires less time to service. On the other hand, a vehicle that’s been neglected or has underlying problems may need a longer inspection and repair period. Note that, regular servicing keeps a car in good health.

Service Complexity

The type of service can vary. The complexity of the service is directly proportional to the time it takes; basic services are quicker, while a rigorous service plan takes longer due to the detailed work required.

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Preparation for Car Service

Understanding how long a car service might take also involves preparing efficiently for the appointment. Our preparation ensures the service goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

#1 Booking Your Service

First, ensure you book your car service in advance. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines to know when your next service is due and don’t leave it to the last minute. Here’s a simple checklist to get the timing right:

  • Check your car’s manual: Scheduled service intervals are typically listed here.
  • Consider your vehicle’s condition: If you’ve been on long drives or through tough conditions, book earlier.
  • Plan around your schedule: Aim for a time when you won’t need your vehicle, just in case the service runs longer than expected.

#2 What to Bring

When you bring your car in, certain documents and items are essential:

  1. Vehicle’s logbook: This helps the technician understand your car’s history.
  2. Warranty documents: Especially if your car is still under warranty.
  3. List of issues: Note any concerns or changes in your car’s performance.
  4. Wheel lock key: If your wheels need to be removed, this is crucial.

Pack all these items the Night Before to avoid showing up Late.

During the Service

When we talk about car maintenance, one of the most frequent questions is “How long does a car service take?” Understanding the service procedures and what you can do while waiting is crucial.

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Service Procedures

A typical car service consists of several steps that keep your vehicle running smoothly. Inspection of critical components like brakes, suspension, and tires is performed to identify any problem. Maintenance tasks, such as changing the oil and replacing air filters, are essential to ensure your car’s engine remains in good condition. Depending on the service type, tasks might vary in complexity and duration:

  • Interim Service: Usually involves basic checks and oil changes.
  • Full Service: Includes more checks, filter changes, and other maintenance.

Waiting Options

While your car is being serviced, you’ll have a couple of options to spend your time:

  1. Waiting Areas: Many service centers offer a lounge with amenities such as Wi-Fi, coffee, and magazines.
  2. Shuttle Service: Some places may offer a shuttle to take you home or to work while your vehicle is being serviced.

Remember to ask your service advisor what options are available to you beforehand.

Post-Service Considerations

After understanding how long a car service takes, we must consider what comes after the service is completed.

Service Report

Every time we get our car serviced, it comes with a Service Report. This report details the work that was done, parts replaced, and any potential issues discovered during the service. We should check the Report for:

  • Particular services performed
  • Recommendations for future repairs or maintenance
  • Dates and mileage for the next recommended service

Follow-Up Actions

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The Service Report often entails Follow-Up Actions. Here’s what we routinely do:

  • Schedule necessary repairs: If the report suggests imminent repairs, we don’t delay and set a date.
  • Monitor the vehicle status: Keep an eye and ear out for any odd sounds or behavior following the service.
  • Validate warranties: Ensure all replaced parts come with appropriate warranties for future reference.

My Experiences with Car Service Duration

Have you ever wondered, “How long does a car service take?” The truth is, it can vary quite a bit depending on what we’re having done.

Our Routine Experience:

  • Oil Change: Typically takes about 30 minutes
  • Tire Rotation: Usually completed within 45 minutes to an hour
  • Basic Inspection: Can be done in about 15 to 30 minutes

When we go for more comprehensive services, the timeline extends:

In-Depth Service:

  • Full Service: Up to 3-4 hours
  • Major Repair Work: This could take a full day or even several days

Dropping off our vehicle early in the morning often means getting it back by the afternoon. However, there are times when the garage is busy, or parts are not immediately available, extending the wait time.

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Timing Tips:

  • Always schedule an appointment to minimize waiting.
  • Ask the mechanic for an estimated time when dropping off the car.
  • Be prepared for the service to potentially take longer than the initial estimate.

From simple oil changes to full servicing, our experiences have shown that a little patience and planning go a long way in managing the duration of car services.


What takes the longest to fix on a car?

Significant repairs such as engine replacement, transmission, and head gaskets seem to take the longest. These major automotive repairs can take much longer if parts are unavailable, details are wrong, or there is a wait time for the parts to be manufactured or delivered.

Is brake fluid included in a full service?

Remember – brake fluid is checked during a service (both interim and full) for its general condition and to ensure its boiling point is adequate, but it will not be replaced as part of the service.

How often do cars need to be fixed?

Regular Car Maintenance: The service technician changes the oil and filter of your car. Minor Service: Should be performed every six months or 6000 miles, whichever comes sooner. Major Service: Should be performed every twelve months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.

What is your experience with car services?
Usually how long does a car service take for you?
Let us know in the Comments or write us an mail, we would love to hear about your experiences, till then see you next time when it says again…
Let´s Ride!

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Carsten Theermann
Articles: 524

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