Why car servicing costs differ

None of us want to spend loads of money on car maintenance but most of us want a car with decent service history. Servicing prices can differ significantly and here’s why.

Levels of service

There are generally two main types of service, interim and full. These can also be known as full and major services. It’s worth knowing what exactly you are getting for your money, for example, are all the engine filters and spark plugs being changed? What other checks are carried out, brakes, suspension, etc. Here is a link to an industry standard service sheet which highlights what we check or replace in an interim and full service. Click here.

Quality of parts and fluids

Original equipment or OE quality parts are the same as original manufacturers parts from new but at a lower price. Non OE parts are cheaper still due to the quality of the materials used in the manufacturing of the parts.

OE quality parts Vs non OE parts
Air filters

Cheap air filters are made from poorer quality paper which tends to block or break up which can cause it to stick to components in the induction system such as the air flow meter, map sensors, etc. This can lead to engine management faults and the necessity to change these components which can be expensive.

Oil filters

Cheap oil filters have a tendency to block up easily and collapse which restricts oil flow and oil pressure. This may not always cause the oil light to come on. It can however be enough to cause engine damage over a period of time. Also due to the poor quality of what they are made from, the filter corrodes more easily leading to oil leaks.


Cheap oil often doesn’t have the correct additives in it and the viscosity isn’t tested as rigorously as OE quality oils. OE oils are certificated to guarantee that it is exactly what it says on the tin. Cheap oils don’t go through this process and so don’t have certification which makes it cheaper to produce. See our post on engine oil here.

Fuel filters

Usually fuel filters have a long life with between 35,000 and 100,000 miles recommended change intervals. We always change fuel filters on a full service because the differing quality of modern fuels can cause fuel filters to block with sediments before the replacement interval. This leads to the engine under performing, a rise in fuel consumption and engine management issues. Cheap fuel filters also block and corrode more quickly than their OE quality counterparts.

Pollen or cabin filters

These can also have a long replacement interval but can easily block with cut grass or leaves which can cause issues with the heater motor so we always check them and replace if necessary. Also cheap filters are made with lower quality paper which doesn’t filter as well as a higher quality one.

Spark plugs

Cheap spark plugs are made from cheaper materials which don’t consistently create a good spark for as long as OE quality plugs. This leads to the engine being less efficient in terms of fuel consumption. This is because they don’t ignite the fuel properly to create efficient combustion. Engine misfires or rough running can also become a problem when cheap spark plugs are fitted.

For these reasons we will always use OE quality parts and fluids. This helps our customers to avoid the ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ trap and other potential repairs.

If you would like a quote for your vehicle’s service, then please contact us here for a price based on your make and model. Alternatively telephone us on 01805 601509 and we’ll be happy to help.


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