How Long Does A Car Service Take?

Having to take the car for a service isn’t exactly one of life’s joys, is it?

It’s a necessity, but we understand why you would want to know how long it might take. Perhaps you can do a few other little jobs around town while the service is taking place? Perhaps there is time to make a few phone calls, or get some lunch. Or would it be better to leave it for the day and come back in the morning?

These are all questions that might be asked by someone having their car serviced.

Like anything else as multi-faceted as motor cars, the duration of a car service will depend on a variety of factors, and if any issues are found this could extend the time it takes to complete.

We should be able to give you a general idea in this handy guide though.

Factors Influencing Car Service Duration

Type Of Service

Routine maintenance services, performed more frequently, focus on basic checks and replacements like oil changes, filter replacements, and tire rotations.

They occur at shorter intervals, often every few thousand miles, aiming to prevent wear and maintain optimal performance. 

how long does a car service take

In contrast, major services are more comprehensive and occur at specific mileage milestones, delving deeper into the vehicle’s components with thorough inspections, replacements, and adjustments.

These major car services, such as the 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000-mile milestones, address wear items and ensure the overall health of the vehicle, requiring more time and attention to detail.

Also Read: How Often Should You Service Your Car?

The complexity of tasks directly influences overall service duration too.

Simpler tasks or projects tend to be completed more quickly, while complex tasks, involving intricate processes or specialized skills, often require more time and attention.

Proper planning and efficient execution are crucial for managing the impact of task complexity on service duration across various industries and contexts.

Vehicle Make And Model

The make and model of a car impact full service time through factors such as design complexity, accessibility of components, availability of parts, technological features, and the need for specialized tools and expertise.

Variations in manufacturing standards and routine maintenance requirements also contribute to the overall service duration.

The accessibility of components and technology varies significantly under different vehicle makes and models, and this variation is influenced by the design, engineering, and manufacturing choices made by each automaker.

Some vehicles may have easily accessible components and straightforward technology, facilitating maintenance and repairs, while others, especially high-end or specialized models, may have intricate systems requiring advanced skills and tools for access and service.

Components Checked And Tasks Performed 

Routine car services involve a set of essential tasks to ensure the vehicle’s optimal performance, safety, and longevity.

Here are typical tasks carried out during a routine car service:

  • Engine Oil Change
  • Oil Filter Replacement
  • Air Filter Replacement
  • Fluid Checks and Top-Ups
  • Brake Inspection
  • Tire Inspection and Rotation
  • Battery Check
  • Steering and Suspension Inspection
  • Exhaust System Inspection
  • Lighting System Check
  • Belts and Hoses Inspection
  • Wiper Blade Replacement
  • Spark Plug Replacement
  • Diagnostic Scans
  • General Visual Inspection

These routine tasks contribute to the overall health and reliability of the vehicle, helping to prevent potential issues and ensuring it operates at its best.

Also Read: How Does The Motability Scheme Work

Comprehensive Inspections And Major Service Tasks

Tasks like engine diagnostics and transmission services are more time-consuming due to their complexity.

Engine diagnostics involves using specialized tools to identify issues with the engine’s performance, which requires in-depth analysis and testing.

Transmission services, including repairs or replacements, involve intricate work on a critical system.

Both tasks demand skilled labor, diagnostic precision, and meticulous execution, contributing to the additional time needed compared to routine maintenance.

how long does a car service take

Thoroughness in major services, involving comprehensive inspections, diagnostics, and precise repairs, has a direct impact on service duration.

While the detailed nature of these services may extend the time required, it is crucial for identifying hidden problems, ensuring precision in repairs, and developing a tailored maintenance plan.

The investment in thorough major services contributes to the long-term reliability and optimal performance of the vehicle.

Average Time For Different Types Of Car Services

Minor Service

The average timeframe for minor services and routine maintenance typically ranges from 1 to 2 hours.

This can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the service, the vehicle’s make and model, and the specific tasks involved.

Minor services often include tasks like oil changes, fluid checks, and basic inspections, which are generally quicker compared to more extensive procedures associated with major services.

It’s important to check with the service provider or refer to the vehicle’s maintenance schedule for more precise time estimates.

So the speed at which technicians complete essential checks and adjustments varies based on factors such as their experience, access to technology, the nature of the task (routine or detailed inspection), workload, teamwork, efficiency protocols, and customer communication.

While routine tasks can be done quickly, the complexity of the procedure and the specific vehicle requirements also influence the overall speed of service.

Major Service

Major services are associated with an extended timeframe due to the comprehensive nature of the inspection, advanced diagnostic procedures, potential for complex repairs or replacements, development of customized maintenance plans, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, scheduling considerations, and customer consultations.

Despite the longer duration, major services ensure thoroughness in addressing current issues, preventing future problems, and optimizing the overall health, longevity, and safety of the vehicle.

Also Read: How Much Does A Clutch Replacement Cost?

There may me additional steps involved here that have an impact on duration.

These steps, including thorough inspections, diagnostic procedures, complex repairs, customized maintenance plans, adherence to manufacturer guidelines, and customer consultations, contribute to a longer service timeframe.

Despite the extended duration, these steps are essential for delivering a comprehensive and high-quality service, addressing current issues, and ensuring long-term vehicle health and performance.

how long does a car service take

DIY Vs. Professional Car Service Timeframes

Routine maintenance tasks like oil changes or air filter replacements may take 15 minutes to an hour, while more advanced tasks such as timing belt replacements could require 2 to 4 hours.

Beginners may take longer, and these estimates are subject to variations based on factors like skill level, available tools, and the specific vehicle model. Additional time should be allocated for research, gathering supplies, and unforeseen challenges.

Beginners might take longer as they familiarize themselves with procedures, while more experienced individuals can complete tasks more efficiently.

Proficiency and familiarity with automotive maintenance contribute to a smoother and quicker execution of DIY tasks, ultimately impacting the overall time spent on servicing the vehicle.

Professional Car Service Timeframes

Professional mechanics excel in delivering efficient automotive services, ensuring prompt and effective solutions for vehicle issues.

Their expertise, precision, and specialized knowledge streamline the repair and maintenance process, minimizing downtime and maximizing customer satisfaction.

Factors contributing to a quicker turnaround time for professional car services include:

  • Specialized Training
  • Advanced Tools
  • Diagnostic Accuracy
  • Efficient Workflows
  • Experience
  • Quality Parts
  • Team Collaboration

What To Expect During The Car Service Process

In the initial steps of a car service, professional mechanics conduct thorough inspections and diagnostics.

They systematically examine key components such as the engine, brakes, suspension, and electrical systems. Advanced diagnostic tools are employed to identify potential issues, enabling precise and efficient problem detection.

This meticulous process serves as the foundation for targeted and effective automotive maintenance or repair.

how long does a car service take

Following the initial steps of inspections and diagnostics, the identification of issues leads to the planning for necessary repairs or replacements:

  • Issue Prioritization: Evaluate the severity and urgency of identified issues to prioritize repairs.
  • Detailed Diagnostics: Conduct further diagnostics for complex issues, using specialized tools and equipment.
  • Cost Estimates: Provide the vehicle owner with detailed car service cost estimates for necessary repairs or replacements.
  • Customer Consultation: Communicate findings with the customer, explaining identified issues and proposed solutions.
  • Approval and Authorization: Obtain approval from the customer before proceeding with repairs, ensuring transparency.
  • Parts Procurement: Source and procure necessary replacement parts, ensuring quality and compatibility.
  • Scheduling Repairs: Plan and schedule repairs based on the availability of parts, customer preferences, and workshop capacity.
  • Timely Execution: Efficiently execute the approved repairs or replacements, adhering to established timelines.
  • Quality Assurance: Conduct post-repair inspections to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the completed work.
  • Documentation: Maintain detailed records of the identified issues, repairs performed, and parts replaced for future reference.

Also Read: How Much Does A Catalytic Converter Cost?

Service Execution And Component Checks

During the execution phase of a car service, technicians conduct thorough checks and adjustments to various components.

This includes inspecting and adjusting engine parameters, assessing fluid systems, evaluating the battery and charging system, checking and adjusting tire and wheel components, examining the brake system, inspecting suspension and steering, verifying lights and signals, assessing windshield wipers, and performing a final comprehensive inspection.

Following manufacturer specifications and industry standards, technicians ensure that identified issues are addressed and the vehicle’s performance is optimized.

A systematic approach to car servicing involves a comprehensive inspection, advanced diagnostics, prioritizing and communicating identified issues to the customer, obtaining approval for repairs, sourcing quality parts, scheduling and executing repairs, making necessary adjustments, conducting a final comprehensive inspection, and maintaining detailed documentation.

This structured workflow ensures that all aspects of the vehicle are thoroughly addressed, promoting efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction throughout the service process.


In the realm of car servicing, time is a crucial factor shaped by various elements.

From routine checks to major services, understanding the intricacies helps you appreciate the meticulous efforts of professional mechanics.

Whether it’s the efficiency in routine tasks or the comprehensive nature of major services, the commitment to vehicle health and longevity is evident.

So, next time you wonder about the clock ticking during a car service, remember, that it’s the dedicated expertise and systematic approach that ensures your ride runs smoothly for miles to come.