Car servicing intervals related to lockdown mileage

My Hyundai Kona car is due for its annual service, but it has been in the garage for many months of the year so has only done a couple of thousand kilometers. Do I really need to do the service now or can I leave it for another 6 months.


Is the car under warranty or not?

Let’s assume the car is under warranty. Unless Hyundai has specifically indicated they have extended the service interval due to Covid, you will be required to have your vehicle serviced in accordance with the service schedule (time or distance). If you don’t service you vehicle in accordance with the service schedule, you will void the manufacturer’s warranty (pdf link to warranty T&Cs - see Owner Responsibilities section).

If the car is outside the warranty period, it is your choice whether you wish to risk the additional time. Additional time can impact on consumables associated with the vehicle (engine oil, other lubricants etc). If these consumables are impacted by time (e.g. water absorption in oil), it may mean accelerated corrosion, wear or part failures. If you are concerned about consumables, such as engine oil being impacted, possibly do a minor service where these are replaced but other items are left to the next main service.


Yes you do need a service, lubricants age regardless if used or not, fluid levels need checking, brake fluid may need to be replaced, there may be items subject to recalls that may need addressing. There is a long list of why yes and an extremely short list of no reasons which would include being kept in a controlled atmosphere.

As you probably wish to rely on their warranty, they state usually number of kilometres or time whichever arrives sooner so if km are not there yet it will be the period of time that is of primary importance.


Discuss with your service centre. Our previous experience has been some dealer service centres will carry out a lesser service as an interim and record accordingly. Others will follow the guide by rote.

Should it be assumed the vehicle is low in total kilometres and under a capped price Hyundai servicing scheme offered with the original purchase?

There may be no substantive technical reason to meet the 12 month service interval. If the vehicle is still within the manufacturer’s warranty, deferring the service without approval, may make a claim against warranty later in the vehicle life into an argument. Their expert vs your opinion!

@grahroll has made a good case for not deferring. Post warranty a reliable service centre may assess needs differently, given higher quality lubricant options and experience.


I have never taken any notice of the time interval for servicing, only the kilometers driven.

Never had any issue with my cars bought new and under warranty on the odd occasion something needed fixing by a dealer as long as it had been book serviced by kilometer give or take a thousand.


As mentioned by others in the post get the car serviced . Synthetic oil will deteriorate rather quickly even if the vehicle has not seen much use . Play it safe and have the service .


The one thing to watch over the years is the timing belt replacement interval, often specified by kilometers or years. ie. distance and time factors. The time factor becomes the important one for low usage cases. If the belt fails it is a big problem for the motor.


Tell me about that. My car had a schedule to replace the timing belt at 100k. Well it broke at 70k, and caused a few thousand bucks of damage to the engine. And just out of the warranty period, which in those days was only 2 years.
Any car I have bought since then has NOT had a timing belt. Chain yes.


I don’t do a lot of kilometres each year but have my car serviced once a year when the rego is due for the usual oil and fluid replacements plus anything that needs attending to. When I reach a log book service interval, I just incorporate that in my annual service. If I’d followed the log book servicing interval, my car would have just had it’s 165,000km service after only 80,000km, with logbook services much more expensive generally than the annual services it does get. Also, in that time I’d have had a very expensive major service at the ‘105,000km’ service interval after only doing about 50,000km. As pointed out in an earlier reply, parts do deteriorate due to age which is unrelated to mileage, so having an idea of what is checked and replaced at the various service intervals does help guide requests for additional checks at the annual service.



Yes you do need a service, lubricants age regardless if used or not, fluid levels need checking, brake fluid may need to be replaced, there may be items subject to recalls that may need addressing. There is a long list of why yes and an extremely short list of no reasons which would include being kept in a controlled atmosphere.

As you probably wish to rely on their warranty, they state usually number of kilometers or time whichever arrives sooner so if km are not there yet it will be the period of time that is of primary importance.

This is not what I was told. Prior to covid in 2019 I was looking for a car for my daughter and found a unregistered demo model with less than 100km on it, but the build date was mid 2016 (so basically a 2.5yr old car). I asked about if it needed servicing for warranty reasons and they said only after 12mths or 15000km after being bought.

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This sounds like a special case. The dealer would normally do a predelivery inspection. They may have done a basic service. Did you ask specifically what they had done? It’s a very unusual example to have a vehicle on stock for 2.5 years. Hopefully the paperwork supplied with the sale contract confirms the vehicle has a full warranty period from your date of purchase?

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Low volume imports can be like that. My Renault is a 2017 build, compliance 2019, put on the road in May 2019. First recorded service in May 2020. All good according to Hoyle.

A pre-delivery inspection is recorded that does not include (document any) fluids, etc. so @omy005aw comment/question is valid.

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For this topic, it’s a different but related question. I’ve purchased demonstrators 3 times over the previous 30 years. In this time ACL has evolved and State Fair Trade legislation or covering Motor Dealers has changed. I’ve purchased vehicles in two states with very different T&C’s.

Cars Guide does not advise against a purchase. It advises caution concerning the start date for warranties.

In respect of two of our demo purchases they received a basic service before delivery. One had several hundred kms on the clock, the other nearer to 1000km. Both were under 12 months old by build date.

On extending service intervals with low mileage use.
All lubricants and fluids have a finite life, even in storage. How long after manufacture or first use they should be replaced depends. There are differences between brands, grades and batches of product. The conditions for storage of the product or once in use in the vehicle are all factors.

The dealer and importer/manufacturer may have acted appropriately in @omy005aw instance. It asks a question. Is it the same circumstance as a vehicle that is several years old and has had less than the needs for a full scheduled service on distance but not time due to a Covid?

It depends. Please excuse the lawyers stock answer. If your vehicle is under warranty or subject to a future warranty claim, a legal opinion may become very relevant if something breaks.

There is some well considered and more directed comment in the prior posts.


Warranties on a vehicle start on the date the the vehicle was first registered. As the car was built in the mid 2016, it is possible the car was first registered in late 2016. In 2019, when your daughter bought the car, even though it has less than 100km, the car was within 2-3 years of its manufacturer warranty.

As the car was 2-3 years within the manufacturer warranty, the 12 months or 15000km would have been the remainder of the manufacturer warranty or a used car warranty provided by the dealership. Most states require licensed car sellers to provide used car warranties.

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It’s also possible the car was first registered in 2019. We don’t know.

Each state has specific legislation or none. It pays to check. EG WA legislation states warranty on a demo vehicle commences on the date of purchase. It is for the full term, and is not discounted for time. It is adjusted for mileage.

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Here is an example or what I was referring to above. It has 45km on it yet next month it will be 3 years old. I’m pretty sure it’s not been serviced every year? Prior to covid this was common for euros to be a couple of years old and still “new”

[2018 Citroen C3 Shine Auto MY19]

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And it notes that "Balance of new car warranty until January 2024’. It also states that ‘and the first owner was Citreon (sic) Australia.’ and this particular model had a 5 year warranty, so it would have been first registered in January 2019 by Citroen Australia, leaving just over 2 years left on the manufacturer’s warranty.

An interesting question to ask the dealership. I suspect that it has been warehoused/yarded since arrival in Australia and only used once or twice by Citroen (hence the low mileage of 45km). I suspect that being warehoused/yarded, it would not have been serviced, but this won’t void the warranty as the Australian arm of the manufacturer is the first registered owner. They have sold the vehicle with the balance of the new car warranty.

I also wonder if they replaced the engine oil, fluids and lubricants before it gets resold. Something again to ask the dealership…and something I would be requiring as part of the contract of sale. These items over three years are likely to have degraded and may expose the vehicle to problems later in its life.

They aren’t new, but considered used vehicles. This is the case as the vehicle was first registered to Citroen Australia. They have made it clear in the advertisement to remove any doubt that the vehicle isn’t new (even though it is very low mileage and is almost as new condition).


A demo is generally between the dealer and manufacturer, and if registered by the dealer becomes a used car. In a practical sense the demo has never been registered and has been driven with dealer plates or not at all.

A demo gets a rebate or discount from the manufacturer/importer which is why it is done.

In my experiences the warranties start on the date a vehicle is registered (with the manufacturer/importer) as a demo, or when first registered to an owner, even if the rego is to the dealer, whichever is first.


One of our daughters bought a demo Honda CRV in January, 2008, and as it had been registered as a dealer demo in late 2007, the warranty had already commenced from when the dealer registered it.

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Hi, I have a 2005 Mercedes Viano, bought new in 2005.It has always had oil and filter changes done purely using the electronic service indicator, generally the intervals are around 30,000 km, but can be up to 40,000.Other service items have been done on a time basis, brake fluid, diff oil and coolant. So oil changes can be 2 years apart. It uses a top grade full synthetic engine oil and shows no signs of mechanical problems after almost 250,000 km. I would agree that for a vehicle under warranty- the manufacturer’s service intervals should be used.

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