To Service Or Not To Service That Is The Question

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theorganicgardener | 15:18 Mon 19th Jul 2021 | Motoring
13 Answers
Should I have my Citroen Xara Picasso 2003 serviced this summer?

I have owned the car since new it is very reliable and has 101,000 miles on the clock.

In 2019 I had a major service carried out by the main dealer including brake fluid, engine flush, all filters, oil changed and spark plug changed and a petrol system agent added to the fuel system.

In 2020 I just had only an MOT done having a major service done a year earlier and as I had only clocked up around 3,000 miles since 2019. The car passed its MOT last year with flying colours and there were no advisory’s.

Since the major service in 2019 I have only done around 5,500 miles to date and I expect to do around 5,000-6,000 over the coming year.

Should I have my Citroen serviced this year or should I just get an MOT done?? Any advice would be much appreciated.


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I wouldn't be getting a major service after 5500 miles, even an oldish one.
Might just get an oil change (it gets old even without the miles) - but even that is probably OK for three years. Otherwise just do the MoT.
I have two cars and they are both serviced every year no matter what the mileage is. I would certainly never leave an oil and filter change any longer than a year.

I would also never buy a car that has not got a full service history.

It is a false economy not to get it regularly serviced. It doesn't have to be a major service.
I get an annual oil/filter change and any repairs needed for the MoT.
Other filters I change myself as necessary. I bought the car without full service history so maintaining it with dealer services was a bit pointless.

Toyota RAV4 90,000 miles

PS - If you look at the list of service items apart from the oil most of them are just checks which you can and probably should be doing yourself anyway.
I agree with Sunny dave and Electrochem - if you intend to do another 5 or 6 thousand miles, change the oil and filter, especially if most of the journeys are short.
Is it diesel/petrol and do you know what grade of engine oil has been used? The 'Maintenance and Warranty Guide' for my Citroen C1 also covers other models and for the Xsara Picasso 1.6 L Petrol the standard servicing interval is "12,500 miles or 1 year" (whichever is reached first). However, I see other engines (probably diesel using fully synthetic oil) are allowed up to "25,000 miles or 2 years".
These days the recommended interval between brake fluid changes is 2 years, irrespective of mileage, but doing my own servicing I've only bothered about every 5 years - should really do it again this year (car now 10 years old)!
Even if the vehicle is in excellent condition it is not worth £1,000 with a full MOT.
Going forward, I would only bother with an oil/oil filter change on an annual basis.

There are garages (such a National Tyres) who offer to change the oil/oil filter for less than £50 – whereas a main dealer is likely to rush you in excess of £100 for the privilege.
Go to someone like ATS and get the interim service.

If you get the MOT done at the same time there is usually a good offer, like the test for £20.

Er, what's that???

I run my cars on the basis of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I keep the tyre pressures, oil and coolant topped up and I might get an oil change perhaps once every 5 years or so but otherwise, unless something goes wrong with it, my car never goes anywhere near to a garage.

I've been doing that for the past thirty years without any problems, so it's unlikely I'm going to change my habits any time soon.

On such an old car as you've got, I'd skip this year's service . . . and next year's . . . and the year after that . . . and . . .

When I was more supple I used to get down and change the oil myself.

Not only do I creak too much for that now, but they changed the oil drain stopper for one that needed a specialist tool to undo.
^^^ You know you're getting old, Hopkirk, when you need oiling more than your car does ;-)
You just need an oil and filter change, maybe it would also be safer to have an inspection at the same time.
Engine oil should be changed annually no matter what mileage as short trips also degrade it.
Any local or mobile mechanic can do that easily and cheaply. Ask around first though to get best price.

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