When you get your car serviced what do they actually do usually?

I often suspect that they don't look at stuff unless you tell them to. Are therer standard things that are looked at everytime? e.g. oil change?
Only go with ASE certified shops, Having one ACE certified mechanic is not good enough. Also check the reputation of the shop, ask questions before you leave your vehicle there.
My dad has been a ASE certified mechanic for over 35 years,

They should check :
All fluids including, oil, tranny fluid, brake lines, fuel lines.
They should check your belts
They should do a basic check of all mechanical systems ,Filters, points,shocks, brakes,and top off your fluids, some will change fluids which is better than topping off!
Some shops will put your vehicle on a scope a system that checks your vehicle for any computer codes, These codes will help pinpoint any major problems with your car.
Most places will try to get away with as little as possible and then tell you something is wrong with your car. They do try to sell you anything,
They often try to sell you things like fuel filters, Water pumps, Air filters etc.. beacause they are Low priced with high mark up.
Beware of shops that offer a free, car check up ! They want you to buy something you do not need.
Ask alot of questions is key. ASE certified. Get it in writing. Know the facts .. once you find a good mechanic who is honest stay with them and reccomend to others!
They usually change:
the oil filter,
the oil itself,
the air filter,
the spark plugs,
brake pads (if necessary)

They'll also top up the:
brake fluid,
power steering fluid,
transmission fluid

Every couple of years they'll change the petrol filter, petrol pump, HT leads and every 40,000 miles they'll change the cam-belts
nope they look at everything even things you dont need.they want to sell sell sell..that wont happen if they are not doing inspections..find a good shop and stick with them..avoid jiffy lube. presision tune firestone..those places will rip you off all the employees are paid on commision
It depends on the people, if you can find somebody you know, go to them. Usually when you take a car in for an oil change, they change your oil, fill up your washer fluid, check your air filter, tranny fluid, radiator fluid. They may check your tires, battery, and most likely windshield wipers.

And for the record, most all lube shops pay on commission.
Hi if you want the whole details then i could text me fiancee he is a mechanic and he will tell me everything they do, But i dont actually know myself. If you want me to ask him for you then email me and ill get back to you.
Depends on the milage of the car, you have intermediate and major services, minor services is usually oil + filter + air filter, plus check on the condition of loads of stuff. Almost every item on a car has a service interval and when a car reached the right milage or age it has to be replaced or refurbished.
If they don;t change something at the right interval and it leads to problems down the line, I would imagine they are liable for some of or all of the costs
Depends on the mileage? some things get done at different intervals .For example If your car has a Timing Belt belt ,that would only get done at 60.000 miles or whatever the recommendation was.
So if your car gets serviced at every 10.000 miles so your timing belt belt would be changed at 60.000 miles ,not every 10.000 miles.
Nugent is right, those in/out places will try and sell you "needed" services. I would recommend sticking to the recommended service intervals in the owner's manual. It will list all the things that need to be checked at every interval. Most importantly, find a reputable mechanic that is established and you can trust. Ask around, people will tell you who they use. As a technician myself I know that there are good ones out there that won't rip you off. It is very expensive to maintain and repair cars, so you really want someone who has your best interests in mind.
not alot. i do my own its so easy. after you have screwd it up once, you don't again!
when you get your car serviced what they should do is make sure your car is 100% safe until you get it back if this is not done then they haven't given you a good enough service. your oil should be changed your screen wash should be topped up, anti freeze should be topped up. your breaks should be checked an drained if necessary. your seat bealts should be checked. all four tyres should be checked. theses are Major things that are checked an then they should also check minor things like mirrors an stone chips on windows if all of this is done then you have a complete service..
Minor Service: Engine oil & filter change. Air filters changed. Top up other fluids. Check brake disks & pads, tyre wear.

Major service:
All above plus transmission (gearbox) oil, timing (cam) belt / chain. Possible engine de-coke (pointless in Europe - cleaner burning fuel), spark-plug change.and a free 'magic tree' air freshener.
this depend on the sevice
ie 1st service ice just oil & filter
2nd is slightly more & so on all so depends on dealers
ford are different to vaxhall & so please define you question
& i might help more as i am a fully qualified mechanic
They kick the tyres, give it a wash & leave some oily fingerprints on the seat..
Change the engine oil

Put dirty finger marks on the steering wheel and upholstery

Fill in the Servce book.

Reset the service indicator.