How much should a car service cost

 The car dealers and car service providers are reaping off the unsuspecting customers (and business houses) off thousands of money. Readers can learn from my experience with car repair and maintenance workshops in Port Moresby. It's reassuring to know that you can get a professional service for less than the dodgy dealers.

Cost of servicing your car every 5000 km
A-Service Checks, Inspections and replacement

Read about MVIL Vehicle Registration Requirements

How much you should pay for a car service?

The major car service cost depends on the in milage (miles/kilometres) a car incurs over time and the type of vehicle. For an average vehicle, you may want to consider one of these services. 
  1. A Service: If you have not done any service for under 6 months, an A-service for your car is recommended. This service is recommended to be done every 6 months. See below is a list of checks and jobs done during an A-service at a GOOD car service provider. Cost: K500.00 parts + labour maximum
  2. B Car Service: This second (high) service is ideal for vehicles that have not been serviced for over 6 months. In this service, the vehicle would need a thorough inspection and recommendations for changing parts. This will also include the jobs in the A-service. Cost: K1,000 maximum (plus inspection and labour).
  3. C Car Service: The third (and higher) category of service is best for cars that have not been serviced for over 1 year. In a C-Service the vehicle will undergo a complete check and overhaul; and parts replacement. Cost can be in access of K1,500+ including the parts replacement. So, communicate effectively with the workshop people before work starts on your vehicle.

Find out MVIL PNG Base Premium and Registration Charges

Apparently, the garages/workshops are not all the same. Some lesser know garages source the parts from suppliers and do their mark-ups. That is where it gets messy - so be sure to ask questions.

How much should a car service cost depends on the type of service one may opt for. The above cost estimate is based on a reputable dealer's receipt and actual payment (see image for detail, name withheld). If you want the best for your car, do an A-service every 6 months. This will keep your car in good running condition. 

Here are 5 questions you should ask when taking your car in for service:

  1.  Can I have a Service Quote (SQ)?
  2. If you are going to change any main parts, can you please call me before making any replacement? (Most garages do that)
  3. If you are replacing any parts, can I have the replaced parts back, please? (This is important because then you'll know the parts are actually replaced. I've done that and found some con-jobs have been done on my car on several occasions)
  4. Do you have any special service and parts offers for this month? (This can be the chance to get a brand new part or accessory such as the tyre and battery for your car)
  5. When do I expect a call from you to pick up the car? (This post first appeared on

How often should you service your car?

The best way to keep your car in a good condition is to service it every 5,000 km or every 6 months.

An A-service should be done every 6 months if you use the vehicle every day; and ideally, for a vehicle that are doing 5,000 - 10,000 kilometres at the last service. In an A-Service typical service, the mechanic will do the following: 
  • inspect and adjust, 
  • check and clean, and 
  • replace oil and lubricants. 
The A-service is probably the service that can be done professionally at a garage/workshop/car service provider.

As a car owner, you'll know when your car needs a good service. Vehicles that do 10,000 - 50,000 km or 50,000 to 100,000 km must undergo a B and C services, respectively. This service can be expensive. 

A Service: List of inspection and check for an A Service 

Here is a list of tasks that any reputable car-serving company will carry out. The list is based on a reputable Toyota dealer in Port Moresby.

  • oil filter
  • engine oil, 
  • gearbox oil
  • differential oil
  • sump plug washer
Inspect and check
  • air filter element
  • battery water level
  • power steering fluid
  • all engine drive belts
  • cooling system hoses
  • brakes & brake fluids
  • wipers and operations
  • seat and belt operations
  • wheel bearing Freeplay 
  • front and rear brake pads
  • tyre and spare wheel tread 
  • steering system components
  • suspensions and driveline systems 
  • coolant level and condition of fluid
  • operation of blower, heater and air conditioning 
  • operation of lights, horn, washers and indicators
Adjust/tighten /lubricate/clean
  • tighten bolts
  • adjust brakes  
  • clean battery terminals
  • lubricate door hinges and bonnet latch
The mechanic will carry out a ROAD TEST after all the inspections, checks, adjustments and replacements have been done to your vehicle. 

The reputable car dealers and car servicing workshops will also wash and clean the interior of your car. Here is what they did to my car. Happy customer!😁

Best car service near you
Clean interior: what reputable car-servicing companies do in Port Moresby

ALL THESE CAN BE DONE AT LESS THAN K500. If you see that a car service provider is charging you more, there is something wrong. You should ask why and get a response from them. Perhaps it is important to note that the car service providers may charge extra for the jobs done if they are getting parts from suppliers in town or overseas.

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