How Many KM Should a Car Run After Being Serviced?

Servicing a car usually involves sacrificing a few precious hours and dollars to get the job done. That’s why it is important to know when exactly your next service will be. It’s a small price to pay for better planning and of course better car engine performance. How many kilometres should a car after service? We explore.



Factors Determining the Frequency of Servicing

Frankly speaking, there is no one-size-fit-all kind of advice as far as car servicing is concerned. What is important is to first appreciate the general rule of the thumb which recommends a maximum of 10,000 Km or 6 months of active driving. There are however factors that can necessitate more frequent (or delayed) servicing. 


Diesel Vs Petrol Engine

Diesel powered vehicles require shorter durations before next service compared to petrol vehicles. This is because diesel is thicker, heavier and dirtier than petrol. Its viscosity leads to more debris being deposited on the filters, which reduces engine efficiency. It is however worth noting that a clear difference between diesel and petrol engines’ need for maintenance emerges after around 15 years of vehicle use. So, if you own a brand-new diesel powered car, there’s no cause for alarm. Just stick to what your manufacturer or mechanic recommends. 


Driving Conditions and Habits

Yet another factor that determines frequency of servicing a car is the driving conditions. Cars that are mainly driven in dusty areas require frequent check-ups than ones mainly driven on tarmac. Vehicles that are mainly driven for short distances also require more keenness. This is because short trips are associated with dirtier engine oil and incomplete battery charge. Also, city driving tends to place too much stress on your car engine due to frequent braking and acceleration in traffic.



The DIY Method

You don’t always have to rely on arbitrary numbers to decide when the next service is due. If you spot clear symptoms of the need for a service, don’t hesitate to get one. Always be on the lookout for changing engine oil and brake fluid levels. If you are familiar with your car’s bonnet, be sure to check the condition of the filters as well. 

What Your Manufacturer Recommends

Different car manufacturers have varying specifications regarding the intervals of servicing. In general, Subaru recommends servicing at 12,500 kilometres of 6 months. Hyundai recommends 15,000 kilometres or 12 months. Most Toyota’s perform reasonably well with half-year servicing. Mazda recommends every 12,500 kilometres of 12 months, whichever comes first.


When the Car Demands

The general recommendation may be 10,000 kilometres of 6 months. However, your car might make a special demand for a service before the recommended period. Some signs to be on the lookout for include: 

  • Production of unusual noises including knocking, rough running and grinding
  • Unexpected high fuel consumption
  • Signs of leaks under the bonnet and a fast diminishing oil level on your dipstick
  • Significant cloud of smoke from your exhaust pipe when you accelerate
  • Appearance of unexpected indicators on your dashboard


Final Word

There is no finite number of car tips that can be used to replace the need for frequent servicing. Fortunately, your car always has a way of reminding you when it badly needs a check-up. You don’t have to always wait for that to happen, though. Sometimes it’s recommended to take the responsibility of tracking engine performance to determine what’s best for your vehicle.