A mechanic performing a major car service in a garage.

What’s Included in a Basic, Major and Logbook Car Service in Australia?

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Wondering whether it’s time for a basic or major car service in Australia – then we’ve got you covered. In this article we look at what’s the difference, how much you’ll pay and how often to get your car serviced.

You might want to put off servicing your car for a little while. If so, it’s worth keeping in mind that cars cost less to maintain than to repair. Kind of like that good old saying “a stitch in time saves nine”.

So without further ado, let’s dig down into the nitty-gritty of car servicing in Australia.

A mechanic performing basic car service examines the hood of a car.

How much does a car service cost Australia?

Although we do go into figures further down, Australian car servicing prices – like many other things – depend on which state you’re in. Prices also depend on who your mechanic is, how many grey hairs your car has (so to speak) and the make and model you drive.

As you can imagine, replacing bits and bobs on luxury car brands typically cost more than for, say, your Toyota, Hyundai or Mazda. It’s a good idea to compare quotes and choose a mechanic you trust. Not every mechanic will include the same offering or cost. So be sure to compare, compare, compare!

Capped car price servicing

Because there’s no single factor affecting the standard or average car servicing cost, capped price servicing has been introduced by many car manufacturers. The idea here, is that you can anticipate a fixed service cost for a defined period of time.

Here’s more on whether capped price servicing is worth it so you can decide.

A man and woman walk through a car repair shop where a red car is hoisted up

What is involved in a car service Australia?

You guessed it, not every car service in Australia is equal. More to the point, your car only needs a minor or basic car service most of the time, but there is a schedule to keep for a major car service too. Let’s begin with the basics, shall we?

Basic car service

As basic car service is the one you should schedule more regularly. The general rule of thumb for a basic car service in Australia, is every 12 months or 10,000 km driven (whichever happens first – we explain this further down).

The basic car service is a preventative measure. Your mechanic will inspect and do minor adjustments. This gives them a chance to identify repairs that might be needed and advise you on them. Actual repairs will usually be charged separately as basic servicing isn’t about repairs so much as routine checks.

Cost

Remembering that the price varies on the condition, make and model of your car, the average cost can be around $245. That said, you probably want to know what you’ll pay, specifically. And there’s a service for that – AutoGuru offers an online service that lets you input your make, model and location to get quotes.

A man performing basic car service by pouring oil into a car.

Basic car service checklist

The basic car service checklist is all about prevention rather than cure (which costs more and takes longer).

A basic car service in Australia may include the following safety inspections and diagnostics:

  • air conditioning testing
  • battery charge testing
  • car tuning
  • engine coolant replacement or top-up
  • engine oil draining and replacement
  • filter checks
  • lights check
  • oil filter replacement
  • power steering, clutch, transmission and brake fluid replacement/top up
  • steering/suspension testing
  • tyre pressure adjustment

Remember that any repairs that are found to be needing during this basic car service give you a chance to fix them before they become serious. This could save you a ton of $$ down the line.

Even though you might never be able to accurately measure these types of savings, it’s times when your car does require serious repairs that provides insights into this area.

Two mechanics performing a major car service on the underside of a car in Australia.

Major car service

Generally, a major car service is one you’ll do every 30,000 km driven or every three years. Another way to look at it is that you should get this done after every second basic service. Many modern cars also have dashboard signals that warn you if your car requires a service.

Cost

The replacement along with certain repairs may be included in the cost of major car service. This makes the cost entirely pleasing when you look at the upfront savings. In Australia you may pay around $386. Keep in mind this depends on your vehicle’s condition, make and model.

Major car service checklist

A major car service in Australia generally includes everything that a basic service entails but in much greater detail. As a result, you can generally expect it to take twice as long (roughly four hours rather than one or two).

The major car service will also include several more checks and replacements that are key to your vehicle’s well being, including an overall tuneup.

Major services may include the following:

  • Brake cleaning/adjustment
  • cabin filter replacement
  • fuel filter replacement
  • spark plug replacement
  • suspension check
  • timing belt replacement
  • wheel alignment
  • wiper blade replacements
  • wheel bearings

Be sure to also read our car servicing checklist article when making sure you get what you’ve paid for.

A business woman is standing next to her car, about to drive her car to the mechanic to get a basic car service.

How often should you get your car serviced in Australia?

You should get your car serviced at routine intervals, based either on the mileage or the amount of time that’s passed. In other words, if your car needs to be serviced every 10,000 km travelled or every 12 months then it’s whichever happens first.

For instance, if your car is meant to be serviced by these intervals then even if you’ve only driven 7,000 km come the 12 month mark, enough time has passed that your car needs a check-up. Or if you’ve already driven 13,000 km at 11 months, that’ll be enough time on its feet that your car will need its routine service.

Here’s more on how often to get your car serviced.

A mechanic performing a major car service under a car in a garage.

What is a logbook service?

Both your basic and major car service could be used to get a logbook service done. A logbook service includes specific checks recommended by the car manufacturer according to the manufacturer’s schedule. A logbook car service needs to be captured in your logbook and keeps your vehicle warranty valid.

A log should be done according to the recommendation in your vehicle manufacturer’s manual. Like any basic or major car service in Australia, the logbook service is designed to proactively maintain your vehicle. This type of service is particular to your vehicle make and model, rather than cars in general.

Get award winning car insurance

Another proactive safety measure to have that supports your car and driving lifestyle is car insurance. You can choose between three levels of award winning car insurance to match your car and your pocket.

Car insurance helps pay for accidental damage to your car and other people’s property. This can be a lifesaver to your savings. It can help cover the cost of repairs for hail, fire and flood damage to your car, as well as vandalism. It can also help pay for a replacement car if yours is written off or stolen.

Need to get a quote? It’s easy and free – just click below.

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