What is “Periodic Maintenance” or “General Service”?

What is “Periodic Maintenance” or “General Service”?

In this article, we will cover all steps that go into carrying out a thorough periodic maintenance service for your car (also known as “General service”).

A general service for your car is carried out at regular intervals, either every 10,000 / 15,000 kms or every year, whichever comes first. The service interval also depends on the grade of oil that you choose for your car’s engine.  Generally, vehicles that use Synthetic Engine Oil have a longer service interval than those that use Mineral or Semi-Synthetic Engine Oil.



General service usually starts with a complete vehicle check up including a test drive along with the customer to check for engine, electricals, braking, suspension, clutch, wheels and tyres. Every service provider has a standard checklist of items to inspect in the car prior to start of service.




Servicing your car at regular intervals is vital to the health of the car’s engine.  The main components that need to be replaced in a periodic service are

  • Engine oil
  • Oil filter

The primary purpose of engine oil is to provide lubrication between the various moving parts of the car’s engine and also to act as a cooling medium to carry heat away from the engine parts.

After every 10-15k kms, the car’s engine oil tends to deteriorate (mainly lose viscosity). If the engine continues to run with poor quality oil, it can cause increased friction between the various moving parts thus damaging the internal components of the engine which will lead to engine seizure and an expensive repair bill.

The oil filter is another component that has to be replaced periodically. As the name suggests it filters the oil that flows into the engine block to minimize friction that may be caused due to particulate matter in the oil.

Following are the steps involved in replacing the engine oil and the oil filter.

Step 1 : The oil filter is first unscrewed from its place near the engine block.


Step 2 : After removing the oil filter, the oil drain nut is removed from underneath the oil sump and the oil is drained out of the car.

Step 3: Once the oil is completely drained out and collected, the drain nut is fixed back in place and fresh oil is poured into the engine. After the oil is poured, the new oil filter is fitted in place.

Step 4 : The engine is cranked and left to idle for a few minutes so that the oil circulates inside the engine.



The braking system of your car is critical and needs periodic maintenance too. For most mass market vehicles, the front wheel hubs are equipped with brake disc and calipers that contain brake pads and the rear wheels hubs are equipped with brake drums that contain brake shoes.

The friction causing element of brake pads and shoes are made up of abrasives which wear out during braking. This creates fine brake dust that gets trapped between disc and pad as well as between shoes and drums along with dirt and mud from the road.

Hence brakes need to be checked periodically

  • To ensure that surfaces of the brake pads and the brake shoes are clean from dust (Brakes cleaning)
  • To ensure they are replaced if worn out (Brake pad / disc overhaul)

Why is it required?

  • Presence of brake dust will reduce braking effectiveness
  • Worn out pads and shoes will reduce braking effectiveness
  • Screeching sound on pressing the brake pedal

Following are the steps involved in Brakes cleaning.

Step 1 : While the engine is idling, the technician gets to work, removing the wheels from each wheel hub, dismantling the brake calipers for the front wheels and the brake drums of  the rear wheels. In the front, brake pads are removed and checked. If found to be worn out they are replaced, else, they are cleaned and placed back inside the caliper and refitted to the brake disc.


Step 2: The caliper pins are greased before reinserting them into the calipers.


Step 3: For the rear wheels, the brake shoes are inspected. If found to be worn out they are replaced as well, otherwise they are cleaned.


Step 4: In some cases, the drums can develop rust, hence anti rust / lubrication spray is sprayed onto the drum to prevent corrosion.




The air  inducted into the engine is filtered by a component called the air filter. It is important that the air is filtered properly so that particulate matter which would hamper the process of combustion thereby leading to inefficiency and engine damage are filtered out. It is recommended to change the filter at least once every 20,000 kms (or more frequently depending on the environment conditions where you drive the car and as per recommendations of your car manufacturer).


The filter is removed and inspected. If it is not completely covered by dust, it can be cleaned and placed back inside the filter housing. In cases where it is thick with dirt, it will need to be replaced. Below is the step involved in air filter inspection, cleaning and replacement.




The engine coolant is a water based chemical that is circulated inside the engine block with the primary purposes of extracting heat from the engine. The coolant flows through the engine block where it absorbs heat and then into the radiator where the heat is transferred to the atmosphere by convection with the help of the radiator fan.


It is important that coolant levels are checked every service interval. Low coolant levels can cause overheating of the engine therefore reducing its efficiency and potential engine seizure.


Coolant levels are checked and topped up into the coolant reservoir with an appropriate mix of water. In some cases the entire coolant tank is flushed clean and filled with fresh coolant + water mix.




You car battery is needed to provide the starter motor with sufficient energy to crank the engine. Also, it provides power to all the electronic systems in the car, like accessories, AC System etc. The most basic test of battery strength can be done with the help of a multimeter.

A multimeter is connected to the two terminals of the battery and the voltage of the battery is checked. If the voltage is lesser than 12V at any point of time, it means that the battery is weak and will need to be recharged or potentially replaced.


The battery terminals are cleaned and sprayed with a terminal spray which prevents accumulation of deposits on the terminals. Distilled water is topped up in the battery as required.




Usually anti-rust / lubrication spray is sprayed onto the door hinges, bonnet and boot locks of the car to prevent accumulation of rust in these areas.


Water is poured into the wiper wash reservoir and then topped up with 250ml of soap solution.


Fuel Filters, Cabin filters are be inspected and replaced if necessary or as per the manufacturer recommended schedule.


Wheel alignment and balancing are carried out based on requirement.


The whole process usually takes less than 2 hours after which the car is generally washed on the outside and vacuum cleaned inside and returned back to the customer. You can avail the entire service now at your doorstep with Cartisan. Convenient booking, genuine spares and 6 month warranty on service.


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