Knowing when your used car needs a service

6 signs your car is due a service

If your car is over three years old, you’ll know that it needs regular servicing to keep operating at its best. Different manufacturers have different timeframes or mileage intervals for servicing, so we’d always recommend checking your manual, but typically a used car service is due every 10,000-12,000 miles.

Sometimes, however, your car can start giving you signs that it needs looking at. Not sure what they are? We’ve put together a list to help you recognise when the time for a service has come.

Warning lights

Warning lights are the most obvious indicator that your car needs a trip to the garage. Designed to illuminate when the area they monitor isn’t functioning properly, they tell you about an issue before it results in a breakdown. Check your manual to determine exactly what the problem is and book your car in for a service as soon as possible.

Sensitive or unresponsive brakes

Braking technology has evolved rapidly in recent years and with it the temptation to overlook the performance of the brakes themselves. The response should be crisp and smooth, with no strange noises or resistance. If such noises or issues do occur, it’s a potential sign you need car repair.


If you find your car stalling a lot, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your clutch control has slipped! Stalls at junctions when you’re in the right gear could be down to issues such as faulty spark plugs or clogged fuel filters.

Ignition problems

Trouble starting your engine is never welcome, especially in the cold winter months. Splutters, stutters or numerous attempts to get the car up and running is a sign that it’s time for a used car service. You may be facing a failing battery or a starter motor problem, so it’s best to get professional help.

Reduction in power

As with the brakes, it’s essential to be attuned to the way your car runs when you accelerate. If you notice it becoming sluggish as you pull away from the lights or experience surges in power, it’s time to get it checked. The power decrease could simply be a sign of natural deterioration in performance, but in a car of only a few years old, it’s more likely to indicate an issue that needs attention.


Although vibration can be down to a fairly minor issue such as tyres that aren’t properly balanced, it can also mean something more serious like a weakened joint. Even a tyre imbalance can result in uneven wear on tyres, so it’s advisable to get your car to the garage for a check.

What happens if you don’t service your car?

Not servicing your car can result in a deterioration of performance, and can potentially lead to some serious issues. Waiting until a problem occurs can lead to costly repair work that could have been avoided with regular servicing.

Book your next service

The professional technicians at Carwise Group can perform full and interim used car services on a range of makes and models. Contact your local dealership today to arrange a service – we have branches in Harlow, Dunstable and Maidstone.