Take control of your car service

Woman getting her car key back from mechanics after servicing

Confused about what your car service actually involves? Find out what to expect and how much to budget for. 

Having your own car gives you the freedom to get where you need to go, when you need to go. No waiting around for buses in the rain or sweltering on a stuffy train platform. But running a car can be expensive. Car insurance, rego, fuel, servicing – there’s always something to pay for. 

Many car owners dread getting their car serviced because they are worried about hidden problems and being faced with a mammoth bill. But it’s important to get your car serviced regularly for your own safety while driving. 

A regular car service helps prevent potential failures in your braking and steering system. And keeping your car in good nick will help extend its life too. 

Mechanics will advise that you get a service every six months or every 10,000 kilometres. But what is actually involved in that car service? And why are some more expensive than others?

What to expect from a general car service

Your six month car service will include the following:

Replace oil and fuel filter. Engine oil becomes less effective over time. Replacing it can help extend engine life. Fuel filters can get clogged with sediment and also need to be replaced. 

Check/top up automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid. A significant drop in transmission fluid could point to other issues in the transmission system. 

Check/adjust drive belt tension. The drive belt is responsible for many car functions including power steering and air conditioning. A loose drive belt can result in engine failure.


Check and clean spark plugs. Spark plugs can be affected by carbon deposits, oil and oxidation, and can highlight other problems in the engine.

Check brake pads and replace them if necessary. The brake hydraulic system hoses and pipes should also be checked for leakages and corrosion,

Check tyres for wear and damage, and rotate. Your mechanic may also pick up on problems with suspension and wheel balancing from looking at the tyres. 

Visual check of windscreen wipers, battery condition, charging system, exhaust condition, coolant and antifreeze levels and windscreen washer levels. 

Your annual car service (or every 20,000 kilometers) is a more thorough inspection of your vehicle. It includes everything in the six monthly service along with cleaning the air filter, renewing spark plugs, changing the manual transmission fluid, checking rear axle lubricant level and re-greasing front wheel bearings, adjusting park brake, aligning wheels and checking steering angles and aligning headlight beams.

After each service, your mechanic should record the list of works done on your car in your vehicle logbook and handbook.

Prepare for your next service

The cost of a car service in Australia can be anywhere from $150 to $550, depending on the model of your car, the type of service you need, and the mechanic you go to.

From time to time, your mechanic will spot wear and tear and advise you that key elements need to be replaced which will often push out the cost of your bill. 

Your safety on the road is paramount, so it’s important to stick to your service schedule and address any issues with your car immediately.  

BNPL can be a great tool to manage the cost of your regular service and can give you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is safe on the road. 

You can pay for your service upfront and manage repayments over time in a way that suits you. 

Check out humm’s automotive partners here to use BNPL on your next service