Servicing & MOT FAQs

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Here at Ian Grieve, we understand that car and van servicing can be a confusing area with a lot of different jargon and options. As your local Falkirk experts in service Jeep, Isuzu, Subaru, Suzuki and Fiat Professional vehicles we understand your choices top-to-toe – and we want to make it as simple as possible for you to book a service, MOT, or buy parts and accessories.

As such, we’ve put together some answers to the most commonly asked servicing questions. Read on for these FAQs and our clear, straight-forward answers. Alternatively, give us a call if you want to know more, or book your service online today.

How long does a car service take?

Different levels of car service typically take different amounts of time. Here at Ian Grieve we are able to offer a major service (otherwise known as a full service), or a minor (or interim) service, which tends to be quicker. However, it is hard to pin down an average length of time they can take – because every service is different and we always dedicate as much time as is needed to do the job right. Generally a service will take between 30 minutes and 4 hours depending on the age and mileage of the car.

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What is included in a car service?

Because we specialise in a number of different vehicle manufacturers (Jeep, Isuzu, Subaru, Suzuki and Fiat Professional vans) it can be difficult to answer this question fully as every service for every model is unique to the car, the age and mileage. However, in general terms a service will typically involved looking at or topping up your oils and fluids, inspecting various physical parts and joins, testing a number of systems and car functions (such as the clutch, or the lights) and replacing any relevant products.

How often should I service my car?

Whether you drive a Jeep, Isuzu, Subaru, Suzuki or Fiat Professional van (or some other brand of car), it is generally recommended that you service your car according to its specific recommended intervals. These intervals are unique – for example on a number of Jeeps the first service is just an inspection, and some service intervals (such as Isuzu) are every 2 years (or 12,000 miles). The most common types of services would be a "major" service, which would look at a more comprehensive list of checks and areas, and a minor or "top-up" service.

How do I check my car’s service history?

If you have your car’s service book then hopefully this will contain your car’s service history, including dates and usually actions take, as well as official manufacturer service stamps.

However, if you have lost the service book then Ian Grieve may be able to help you with your history. First of all, you can see all MOT details since 2005 on the government’s MOT history check portal. Secondly, if your car was bought from Ian Grieve or serviced with us previously then we do maintain a digital record, so if you call and speak to our team we will do our best to give you as much historical information as we can.

What service does my car need?

We are specialists in servicing across all our manufacturers – Isuzu, Subaru, Jeep, Suzuki and FIAT Professional. Each model may have a different requirement for their individual service schedules, but generally they will require either a minor (interim) or major (full) service depending on how many miles they have driven or how many months have past since their last check. The services aim to check a number of safety areas, as well as ensure your car keeps running as well as possible.

Your service book should tell you when your car last had a service, but if it doesn’t then by all means ring our friendly Falkirk team to get advice on when your specific model is due a service, and what service kind will suit you best.

Can you service your car at a different dealership to where you bought it?

Of course you can – it is completely up to you where you service your car. If you bought your car at a different main dealer, from a private seller or from a used car dealership, you are able to opt to bring it to Ian Grieve for your servicing needs.

If you did buy your car from our new or used car teams, then we would encourage you to service it with us – hopefully you’ll have experienced our conscientious and helpful teams and will feel confident in knowing that our technicians and service experts understand your car through and through. However, it is still your choice to make!

Is it better to service your car at a main dealer?

Ian Grieve are main dealers for Suzuki, Subaru, Isuzu, Jeep and Fiat Professional brands, stocking the whole range of new and used cars. This also means that we are specialists in the types of models that you drive – whether you are in a utility-focused Isuzu D-Max, or a peppy Suzuki Swift Sport. We will have studied these models and have qualifications in their aftersales care.

For this reason, we would recommend you choosing a main dealer (like us) who is approved by the manufacturer and who know can be confident will service your car properly

What happens if you don’t service your car?

Car servicing ensures that your car is maintained – helping to make sure it drives as well as it should and also ensuring it meets certain safety standards. Without servicing you may find that parts wear out or break, fluid levels run out and many more issues. We would always recommend following a service schedule to ensure that your car performs optimally.

It is also worth mentioning that if you bought a new car from Ian Grieve (or, indeed, another dealer) then many come with a manufacturer warranty. Often a condition of these warranties is that you meet certain maintenance standards, including following the required servicing schedule. If you don’t want to invalidate your warranty it is important to keep your car serviced.

How long does a MOT take?

Generally a MOT takes between 45-60 minutes. In that time our specialists automotive servicing technicians will run a series of tests on your car, keeping tracking of passes, fails and "advisories" (work we would advise completing as the chances are it will cause your car to fail its MOT next time). If repairs are required as a result of the test this can add time on in order to complete them to the level of quality and expertise that you would expect from Ian Grieve Falkirk.

For this reason, we would recommend you choosing a main dealer (like us) who is approved by the manufacturer and who know can be confident will service your car properly

How do I tell when my MOT runs out?

our previous MOT certificate will provide you with the expiry date – we always recommend adding an alert to your diary for this date in order to prevent it expiring unexpectedly. If you don’t have your MOT certificate, the gov.uk website provides a convenient function for checking your car’s MOT status. This online portal will let you know when your certificate runs out – if it’s soon, make sure you ring and speak to our servicing and aftersales department to book your MOT as soon as possible.

How much does a MOT cost?

An MOT with Ian Grieve Falkirk will cost you just £54.85 – not much for the assurance that your car is safe and road legal!

What is checked on a MOT?

An MOT is a yearly test (once a car is over 3 years old) to ensure that it is fully roadworthy. To establish this, our MOT testers run through a comprehensive checklist of points, looking for common faults. During your MOT we will look at a number of points on each of the below key areas:

  • Steering / Suspension
  • Lamps / Reflectors / Electrics
  • Wheels & Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Seat belts and Restraints
  • Body / Structure / General Items
  • Driver’s view of the road
  • Exhaust, Fuel & Emissions

Some of these areas (such as tyres) are very common reasons for failing an MOT, so we would recommend downloading an online checklist and running through it quickly before bringing your car in, as it can prevent an unnecessary fail (i.e. your tyre tread is too low, or you have a bulb out).

When is a car due its first MOT? When is my first MOT date?

Cars are due an MOT when they are three years old – so if you buy a brand new Subaru, Jeep, Isuzu, or Suzuki from us at Ian Grieve then they will require their first MOT when they hit the third anniversary of their registration date. If your car is older than this then they need a fresh MOT every year (12 months).

How long does a MOT last?

An MOT certificate lasts for 12 months before needing to be re-tested.

What does MOT stand for?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport – meaning that every 12 months your car needs to pass a Ministry of Transport Test of roadworthiness. Bit of a mouthful!

What does OEM mean when talking about car parts?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Usually this means the company that manufactured the parts that were on your car when it came from the factory. Generally these will be high quality parts, designed specifically for your car – and this is the reason we generally recommend using OEM cars when you have your car serviced with Ian Grieve.

There are of course other parts providers on the market, with a range of quality and price brackets. If you have a preferred provider in mind when we service your car, speak to our technicians to see if they are a place we work with and are able to supply.

Ian Grieve are able to supply a range of the highest quality OEM car parts for our main brands Isuzu, Suzuki, Fiat Professional, Subaru and Jeep.

Should I only use manufacturer parts on my car?

We recommend manufacturer parts as the highest quality option, whether you are servicing your car with Ian Grieve or buying parts to complete work at home.