How Often Do You Get You Car Serviced

With COVID lockdowns and WFH, I rarely use my car. I have driven less than 5000km in the last 10 to 11 months. As such, it occurred to me, it's been a while since I got a service.

How often does the community get their car serviced, particularly those with low usage?

For reference, I have a Mazda 2, 2010, manual - 173k km. Last logbook service was the 170k service conducted at about 168k.


  • +35

    I get mine once a year now or every 10,000. Whatever is first

    I don't get close to 10,000 (each yr) the last 2.5 years.

    • +2

      Every 9 months, to comply with the cars extended warranty requirements. Low kms & mostly urban driving, which if anything makes a 9mth service more worthwhile, in my own opinion. It's a decent vehicle, 62k on the clock and 2016 release, & has a 6.2L V8.
      Its very much not the sort of car to extend the service intervals, although annually once it's extended warranty expires will likely become the way forward.

  • +20

    Every 6 months or so.

    How that relates to you, we'll never know.

  • +13

    I generally service my daily driver every 6 months / 10,000 km.

    I've owned a few non-daily drivers and they just get serviced every 12 months regardless of km. They've usually done 1,500-3,000 km in that time. I wouldn't go more than 12 months without a service.

    • +3

      I wouldn't go more than 12 months without a service.

      any specific reason?

      • +13

        afaik, engine oils breakdown overtime and becomes less effective. so regardless of you not driving much it can have adverse affects on your engine’s longevity. if you drive alot then the oil gets dirty faster so will require more frequent changing.

        • +1

          Oil degradation is very much linked to temperature so the car sitting idle isn't going to be an issue in sensible time frames.

          • +2

            @sackrace: Agreed, how about the oil that sits on the shelf/drum of suppliers for years…

      • resale value of the car, almost all cars require at least every 12 months and the first thing any used car dealer or knowledgeable buyer asks for is the log books for proof it has been serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements

      • Same with Toyota Lease atm, they say 1 time every 12 months. For which is about right.
        When I was with Subaru, they were scamming me 6 months at a time that did not suit the Kilometres.

        I will never drive another Subaru, bad recall notices and bad customer service.

  • +53

    As per the maintenance schedule set out in the service book

    • +1

      Yeah but they put a bunch of conditions in there to try and push you from 12 month (or km based) servicing to getting the often unnecessary interval service.

      I do 10000 or less and my mechanic says the oil is still fine every 11-12 months when I get it serviced.

      • my mechanic says the oil is still fine

        Do they get it lab tested?

        I agree it probably is fine, but I wouldn't be telling my customers that without some sort of proof.

        • +10

          you pull the stick and check the colour. no rocket science there.

          • @No ONE: Well, I hope he actually empties it and refills it. Should be even easier to compare to what comes out of other cars they service.

          • @No ONE: Sorry, you can't tell how "good" an oil is by it's colour. It will pretty much turn black after a few thousand KMs, so it's no indication of how much life it has left.

        • +2

          If it is pretty black - not so good. Still kinda orange, good. Learnt that when I was 17 from a guy who had 40 years under the bonnet.

  • +1

    Every 10k (ish). The newer the car, the more I stick to 10k. Generally don’t worry about time. Lately have been oil change at home every second service.

  • +22

    When a wheel comes off

    • +18

      But you've still got three perfectly serviceable wheels left. Why the urgency?

  • +6

    When the oil darkens, which depends on the quality of oil used :P
    (Turbos and superchargers will darken the oil faster, as will mode of driving!)
    But can service my own vehicles and can practically rebuild them myself if needed!

    • +3

      Lol, almost missed the :P.

      Thought you were for real for a second.

    • +2

      When the oil darkens

      So after about 5 minutes of running?

  • +14

    When I reach the KMs on the sticker

  • +4

    Follow the service schedule. Typically every 12 months or 10,000 kms, whichever comes first. (Some cars have 15,000 interval)

    • i think Japanese cars are 6 months or 10k km.

      • +2

        That was in the past. For the Corolla anyway (which is now 12 months)

        • that’s good to hear.

        • My 06 Corolla is 6m in the manual but I do 12m while doing low miles and its lasted perfectly for 5 years with no issue.

      • My ASX is 15,000km or 12 months. For me it is 12 months.

  • +4

    12 months or 10,000 kms. Whichever comes first.

  • +3

    I go with the recommended schedule. Which was 6 monthly and is now 12 monthly (bought car new in 2012). I tend to do low kms (about 5-6,000 per year) due to taking public transport to work (when not working from home).

  • +1

    Every 3 months - all DIY

    • I miss doing my own service. A lot cheaper than using the dealership/authorised Logbook servicing.

      Do you replace the Air Filter, or shake it out like most mechanics do?

      • +4

        Replace air filter as per schedule. I live regional so cop a bit of dust and bugs.

        • A friend of mine worked for a few dealerships, and they quite often skimped on the air filter, if it looked reasonably clean.

          • +5

            @BewareOfThe Dog: It can look clean but the out of sight fibres could be clogged. I travel 50k per year and I need a reliable car. Parts are cheap and the labour is my own time.

          • @BewareOfThe Dog: Cabin air filters are so cheap and easy to replace, I normally just chuck in a new one about every 3 months.

  • +6

    Around the 12-15 months mark if I don't drive much or just before the 15,000km point.

    • I'd recommend every 12-15 months, but every 10,000km, whichever comes first. More frequently if you drive mostly in city conditions, or with a turbo engine (stick with 8-10k km or 12 months).

      • The recommended interval for my car is actually 12 months or 15,000km. (I'm assuming it's a conversion from 10,000 miles overseas).

  • +3

    every 10,000km, sometimes if it around 7-8k mark and I am going to do a long trip I get it service and check up before I go just to be sure brakes and tyres are in good condition

  • +6

    This should be a poll.

    About once a year.

  • -1

    every 6-8 months or 7000-8000 Kms whichever comes first. For me personally its almost always time first like 7 months i think I'd be done like 5K-6K Kms. So usually around that time, (because I only really do city driving).

    If you only do highway driving aka driving at speeds of 90 Km/hr in your service intervals, you can easily stretch the 7000 kms to 8000-9000 Kms. But honestly just do at 7700 Kms or something, better be safe than sorry. (if you saying you'll be paying more, then do it yourself, you'll save labor costs, e.g. instead of $80 oil change service charge, you buy oil on special for $20-30, and get discounted oil filter $2-10) All in you cost only max $40, half of what you'd have payed $80 in this example)

    and do it myself for cheap price, and ofcourse self assured quality work.

    Changing oil soon cannot harm your car, as long as its done correctly and with right parts.

    • +2

      Very specific.

      • If you wanna know further, I have even serviced oil and oil filter a few times under $15.

        5L Branded Oil was like $5-7
        oil filter $3 i think
        Shipping $5

        All in $15 service totally worth it. at that price I wont even mind halving my intervals from 8 months to 4 months, or 8000 kms to 4000 kms

        Can still get that 5L oil For $6

        • Link us plz

        • +1

          I'd rather go full synthetic and avoid the hassles of going under there unnecessarily. Would be great if I have an inspection pit dug in the driveway lol.

          • @truetypezk: yeah would be great to have a inspection pit dug in drive for INSPECTION AND SERVICING ONLY, when it will time to clean it, or when you accidently drive your car onto it, then you'll regret it.

            Always better to lift stuff instead of going under stuff

            Regarding synthetic if you are changing oil at 7 month intervals (not reaching 6500 kms), doesnt make sense to pay extra for synthetic

            • @USER DC: Yeah I mean I d rather use full synthetic and do yearly oil changes than using cheaper oil and change more frequently so I don't need to lift the car up

  • My car requires yearly services.

  • +1

    One car under warranty; Every 15k km minimum as per warranty terms.
    One 32 year old crapbox; As infrequently as possible so nobody can tell me that it's not worth fixing.

  • +1

    every 17 minutes

    • +10

      We found the Veyron owner.

      • or chiron or divo…

      • I found out where the name Veyron came from - the Aveyron region in South of France - with the most fantastic high-speed highways along rolling grassy ridges with 360-degree gorgeous vista views - totally the place for that feeling - so Aveyron is deffo the place to drive a Veyron

  • Oh dear, it was over four years for my last service.

    • which car?

      • +1

        2009 Mazda 2 (manual)

        • +3

          I feel less guilty about my tardiness now.

    • +4

      That oil would be THIKK

    • +1

      Are you cereal?

  • My car needs 6m servicing. I missed one cos of lockdown. Meh.

  • bro username is same as password 😂

    • found the hacking culprit

      • Does ozbargain account creation mechanism warns or/and prevent users from using the same username as password?

    • +1

      It's not.

      • Is too!

        • +8

          Would have been hilarious if this comment came from OP's account

      • +1

        it snot ?

      • +1

        If you type your password it will show as stars:
        ************ see!

        • +1

          Yeah ***********
          Lol never knew that

  • +2

    Don't think you need to service a Camry ;)

    • +1

      Sawdust and pee is all they ever need

  • OMG! I ended up with a Cadogan recommended brand before I even hear of him.
    Been buying oil when specials come up on ozbb.
    Fixed price dealer service proved to be a nightmare.
    Dealer had used an aftermarket oil filter. Cheapest possible oil regardless of specs.
    So I follow Todd from PF and he tells me how his lubricity tester grinds down metal!

    • Todd from PF?

      • Project Farm youtuber

  • 6months or when i start hearing strange noises.

    • +2

      There's medication for that kind of thing.

  • +1

    Every 10k - 15k. FWIW I never take it in at the 'time intervals'.

  • I go by 10,000km, which has been between 12-15 months mark for me since Covid days.

  • +1

    For me, diy maintenance every 5-6k (mostly oil/filter change).

  • +1

    Every 10k for me, unless the oil is looking particularly dark (a bit of a leadfoot). If it were a turbocharged car I'd probably do it every 7-8k while still keeping an eye on the oil. Turbochargers are very hard on engine oil and 15k intervals for modern turbocharged cars are in my mind just ludicrous and contribute to the sheer waste and disposability of cars.
    Also remember to get your transmission serviced, auto or manual. I recommend this about every 50k, manufacturers do NOT want you to know or do this! They much prefer you come for a new transmission when it ultimately goes bang because the fluid has never been changed.

    Speaking from experience as our family ran a fleet of chauffeured cars that did approx 100k per year, next door neighbour was a transmission specialist who followed this exact schedule for all of the cars in the fleet. Other people in the industry were replacing transmissions at 150k whereas our cars were reaching 4-500k on the same transmission.

    Prevantative maintenance is key, manufacturer recommendations are usually pushing components to their limit to reel people in with lower short term ownership costs and not mentioning the long term ramifications.

  • Based off the KM service schedule, don't go off time.

    • I don't think so. Especially if the car is under warranty.

    • Unless it's brake fluid which absorbs water over time regardless of how many km you do. A brake failure is the last thing you want.

      • Yeah this is really.bad advice. A lot if short trips ie. Small kilometres is worse for your oil than long trips as start up contaminants won't have the chance to burn off.

  • I do my own oil change at 5-6,000 km (when oil goes black).

    However my service manual says every 10,000km.

    I do the major service on time (every 100k) at the mechanic though.

    I own Subaru Forester 2014 non-turbo, 150k km.

    • +1

      Don’t forget the upper engine cleaner!

  • +1

    Never. Runs on grape seed oil top up.

    No… Should be 10k or 12M, which ever is earlier. Or DIY, all up should cost under 100$ in parts.

  • stretch it out to compensate for the over servicing and contingencies on contingencies that the corporates add in:
    15k-20k or 18 months.

  • +1

    generally once a year i dont usually hit the recommend km numbers

  • +6

    Regardless who service your car, always follow your vehicle's manufacturer recommended service interval.
    Contrary to some conspiracy theories, manufacturer set service intervals are there for your vehicle's optimum operation and longevity.

Login or Join to leave a comment