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Thread: Car Servicing

  1. #1
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Car Servicing

    Just wondering opinion about dealer service history versus independent garage. I've got a cheap 3-year old Ford Fiesta that I use as a runaround. Think it cost £8000 initially bought from Ford Used Approved. Ford servicing isn't massively expensive...£300 for a major, but its a lot more inconvenient to go to the Ford garage compared to the local family run garage.

    Would you just go the family 'arches' type garage with a good reputation or go to Ford at such an early stage in its life? I don't plan on reselling soon but would it massively effect resale value and will I miss anything by not going to Ford?

  2. #2
    Craftsman ELD1970's Avatar
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    Definitely a good local independent. Main dealer prices if anything needs doing are horrendous. Just had discs and pads all round done on my MX5 for around £400...not cheap but would have been double at a Mazda garage


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  3. #3
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Most main dealers nowadays do fixed price servicing including the upgrade items so if you're happy with the number stay with them, you can even ask for a discount off the listed; my M3 running-in service (total scam, basically on ail change) was listed around £500 but they did it for £295 after bickering.

    If you can get a recommended local at a knockdown price by all means go for it. Either way no real effect on resale on a small middle-aged car, IMO.

  4. #4
    Sometimes main dealers have been cheaper. They also occasionally have offers, I had a full service on my Audi carried out for £99 the other year for example.

    The other issue might be that smaller independents don’t get the diagnostics, or dealer updates; which can be an issue on newer cars with new tech.

    That said, I use independent specialists where possible, or known mechanics.
    It's just a matter of time...

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    100% go with a good independent.

  6. #6
    I bought a new VW Golf 1.9Tdi in 2000 and for the first five years all main dealer then I started using a local VW specialist, cheaper and did a good job.

    It then developed an annoying fault which would cause it to cut out, could be once a month or umpteen times a day which was down right dangerous at times but two mins later I could restart it, I took it to the specialist five times and they just could not find a fault so decided to try the main dealer, booked it in and I explained the problem and right the way he said "I know what the problem is", £15 for the new component behind the ignition switch and half hours labour and the problem never came back.

    I now have all my servicing etc done by a main dealer, ok I perhaps pay over the odds at time but I feel comfortable that the work has been done correctly and fingers crossed I havent had a car breakdown in years, you get what you pay for imo and thats why I also have my watches repaired by the best :)

  7. #7
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Lately I have become more and more disappointed with the service received from main dealers, in every respect, to the point where I would MUCH rather use a decent independent - particularly for servicing a relatively straight-forward car.

    Main dealers have (for me) become somewhere I would avoid if at all possible. I know your question is about servicing, but I would even rather buy a new car online than put up with the utter BS and overly scripted sales crap I had to listen to when I bought my last new car. All from a smug, shiny-suited dipstick who knew nothing about the product he was selling.
    Shameful.

  8. #8
    Master
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    I bought my daughter a fiesta a while back - fantastic cars. Whilst it was under warranty we used main dealer but have now moved over to an independent. When it came down to it, the main dealer spent most of the time trying to "upsell" fuel additives, windscreen wipers, bi-annual air conditioning services etc and the scope of service undertaken for the money was poor.

    The independent has carried out a wider scope of checks and items as part of the routine service, at a far lower cost and built the trust that they only flag an item if it is something that needs considering, no up-selling.

    No brainer as far as I'm concerned, if you don't need the goodwill that comes from using an OEM to service to support warranty claims, a good independent for a brand like Ford is the way to go.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Iím biased as a garage owner but Iíd personally stick it into a good independent.
    Main dealers do offer good prices on their servicing but itís a rare thing to stick a car in and not have a phone call listing all the Ďfaultsí that need to be rectified.
    A decent garage will use OE quality parts and will likely give you a better long term service.

  10. #10
    Grand Master WORKSIMON's Avatar
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    Recently tried to book my Volvo in for a recall (which they have now said won't be available until Christmas) and thought Id ask for a full service at the same time including gearbox oil, they quoted £1000 +vat + any extras !!! I'll do it myself !
    Cheers

    Simon



    Ralph Waldo Emerson: We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or noble moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.

  11. #11
    Independent. Going to a main dealer is a great way to burn money.

  12. #12
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    When I bought my Honda from a Honda franchise and later took it in for a service, they rang me up and said this needs doing and kept advising me that other issues need looking at.
    I told them not to bother and took it to an independent garage (old school mechanics), told them what Honda said. They checked the issues and couldn't find any such issues at all.
    I've only ever used that independent since and they are brilliant, plus very honest and well priced.

  13. #13

    Car Servicing

    Volvo stealer hourly rate in the SE = £144/h (that was last year, so probably £150+/hr). All for a bit of spannering. And known for trying to screw you on earlier replacements (pads and rotors etc.) than necessary

    The Volvo Indy I use (ex Volvo techies) and only use Volvo parts and recoomended oil and proactively minimises my spend = £60/h

    I used Volvo up to year 5 for service only in case I needed to rely on goodwill. Changed to the Indy as fast I could after that.


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  14. #14
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    A lot to be said for a good independent on a car out of warranty.

    That said, I've been very impressed with my local VW dealer (less so with VW themselves)

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  15. #15
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    As above, I would use a main dealer if itís in warranty, but a Indy when out.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    A lot to be said for a good independent on a car out of warranty.

    That said, I've been very impressed with my local VW dealer (less so with VW themselves)

    M
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonM View Post
    As above, I would use a main dealer if itís in warranty, but a Indy when out.
    Nothing wrong with using a good Indy in warranty also

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    Nothing wrong with using a good Indy in warranty also
    I think it is a false economy using an Indy when the car is in warranty. It may save you some money in the first 3 years, but if your engine goes kaput after 3 years and 1 day, I feel you are going to struggle for goodwill from any stealer.

    The prospect of stealer goodwill when out of warranty by a year or two is worth factoring into any decision.

  18. #18
    There are normally fixed price service bags around
    Try different dealerships and tell them
    What each are charging
    Some will
    Price match was my (Audi) experience

    Depends on the total diff in cost I guess


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  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Worked as parties manager in a main dealer, Ďhealth checksí are a way to try to encourage spending, a pain cause I was pricing parts that no one with some mechanical knowledge would approve, and now the hourly rate is a joke, especially compared to what the staff are paid. Independent using oe parts and approved oil are fine with warranty, although many manufacturers want itemised receipts from vat registered indies for proof when warranty work needed. £100+vat (and more)+vat v £35+vat, no contest.

  20. #20
    In the warranty period, I would use the main dealers, once you are out of that use an Indy. I found a decent Indy for my m240i, he cant update the Idrive which is the main downside but I just got a service book which they stamp. I buy all the parts from BMW (and keep receipts) and they install. On the main service saved me a fortune.

  21. #21
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'm just outside the warranty period, so I've gone for a recommended independent at about 2/3 of the cost of the dealer...although its a Ford and not expensive anyway, so its more about convenience of where the garage is in this case.

  22. #22
    Journeyman
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    Are they still offering free European breakdown cover? When I ran the costs it was cheaper for me to service my sonís fiesta with Ford and have the breakdown cover than use an independent and buy breakdown cover

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