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# 250969 3-Jun-2019 14:18
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Any thoughts on dealer vs independent servicing for a 4 year old Nissan, just out of warranty? We bought it from the dealer second hand three months old, it's done 46,000 km. We last had it serviced 13 months ago, every time we turn it on now it's telling us to get the oil changed - we just forgot to book it in for its service.

 

Dealer service has cost us $350 - $450 in the past. They're in the city and not super convenient, but we can manage to get the car there and leave it with them while we're at work. It involves a couple of taxis.

 

Autostop near where we live is convenient, and gets 4.5/5 stars on Google reviews. They don't publish their prices online, but in store recently I saw them and thought them reasonable. We had them fit tyres recently and they were good.

 

The dealer has been fine for us, but not fantastic. Recently we had a seat fabric seam wear through, which we thought must be a fault after such a short time, given our 18 year old Corolla is still fine. The dealer wouldn't do anything to help us, other than ask Nissan to look at it. Fortunately Nissan decided they will fix it for us.

 

NB: I don't do DIY on cars. Plus I'd like the thread to stay reasonably generic, not really that specific to me.


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  # 2250376 3-Jun-2019 14:34
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in my experience when i send to dealer they adjust everything from fluid levels to steering to brakes to etc.

 

when i send to independent (tried many) they charge through the roof and only change oil and filter.

 

now it's dealer 100%





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 2250489 3-Jun-2019 16:23
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As soon as my cars are out of warranty I start changing fluids myself and only take it to an independent that I trust for jobs I'm not confident to do myself.

 

I wouldn't go near a dealer for a basic service once out of warranty.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2250607 3-Jun-2019 17:39
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I agree... I wouldn't go to a dealer after warranty runs out.

 

In my experience with a bigger franchised dealer - faults started occuring after warranty - they used my car for on the job training - different mechanic at each service - did not check previous fault history records.

 

I then used then an independant mechanic with a reputation to up keep... never had problems again.

 

 





Gordy


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  # 2250665 3-Jun-2019 19:07
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After the warranty ended, I've serviced our cars every 10K km or 12month. Have a fault scanner and happily do anything necessary myself that I can.

I have no problems with a good independent outfit who specialises in the brand of car I have, useful for the bigger or precision jobs.

The list of items VW used to do at each service, minor or major was pathetic. Check coolant, check air filter, check, check, check, not much action other than oil and oil filter, and the occasional door hinge greesing.

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  # 2250668 3-Jun-2019 19:13
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I have never ever heard the dealer being 'value for money' or offering 'great service'. More often than not they have a captive market and enjoy charging exorbitant  prices for anything done. 

 

They use the forced Service period to milk customers to every last drop of cash, I've been charged $30 for changing window washing fluid for goodness sake!

 

 

 

I also rely on Google reviews, bad reviews are horrendously difficult to remove, (e.g. against the previous owners of an establishment) so they're relatively trustworthy.


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  # 2250681 3-Jun-2019 19:50
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Batman:

in my experience when i send to dealer they adjust everything from fluid levels to steering to brakes to etc.


when i send to independent (tried many) they charge through the roof and only change oil and filter.


now ż dealer 100%



When I had the dealer do the servicing the invoice was a printout of all the items due for that service rather than what was done. The labour charge was a better indication that they'd only done some of it. Their big mistake was claiming valve clearances were done at 60k when it was obvious that no covers had been touched. The mechanic's job sheet was just the usual oil and filter. The dealer was good at changing the coolant and brake fluid on schedule. I doubt that modern cars have much scope for adjustment. They go until something needs replacing.

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  # 2250700 3-Jun-2019 20:31
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First up, the OP hasn't indicated he's keen on DIY, so it's probably not terribly helpful to push this option - some people have the talent/time/inclination to service their own car, others (including me, knowing my own limitations!) would rather do anything but.

 

As for dealer vs independent garage - I used to be fully in the latter camp in using a local garage, given I'd heard and read (including on this forum) that the former was typically over-priced. Then my new (to me) car had two years remaining of bi-annual free servicing, and I kept an eye on the 'cost' of these services and found they were actually totally reasonable - actually generally lower than my wife was paying for her 1.5 Jazz at the independent garage (and mine's a 2.2 diesel).

 

So, 2.5 years on I'm still using the dealer (Palmfield Motors, the Mazda/Subaru dealer in PN) and am totally happy with their work and charges. I've not once felt they've tried to over-charge or push additional unncessary work.

 

I know this may not be the typical experience of those using dealers (as an example, I've heard Ford in much of Akld is a complete rip), but thought it was worth pointing out there are exceptions.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2250707 3-Jun-2019 20:51
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Those of you who are experiencing poor customer service from dealers should be escalating your concerns to the vehicle distributor that the dealership represents. One of the benefits of dealing with a franchise is that they are accountable up the line. 


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  # 2250708 3-Jun-2019 20:59
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alasta:

 

Those of you who are experiencing poor customer service from dealers should be escalating your concerns to the vehicle distributor that the dealership represents. One of the benefits of dealing with a franchise is that they are accountable up the line. 

 

 

Tried escalation on my problem with the franchise... Head office did the ping-pong crap...

 

 





Gordy




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  # 2250709 3-Jun-2019 21:04
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I'm definitely not into DIY for cars. Dealer or independent is the option. My only real concern with "we can service any make and model" is their experience and expertise with any particular make and model is likely to be very low, whereas the dealer mechanics do it all day every day.

 

If there's a Nissan specialist independent then they'd be worth looking at, but I expect they'd not be in a convenient location for us. So it's really generalist or dealer.


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  # 2250733 3-Jun-2019 22:01
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I used to do my own oil changes etc but now don't have anywhere convenient to do it and it's a PITA to get rid of the oil. Having moved to Tawa I take both my vehicles to Bridgestone just down the road for services: Ford Focus and Nissan March. They do a good job at a very reasonable price so I'm more than happy.

 

The Autostop in J'Ville you're referring to - been there a couple of times a number of years ago when I lived in Newlands and thought they did a good job. A work colleague of mine takes his vehicles there too and is quite happy with them.

 

As others have alluded to: if you're out of warranty, is there any real point in going to a dealer if you believe it's not value for money?


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  # 2250738 3-Jun-2019 22:15
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For a run of the mill 4 year old Nissan, the only thing I can think of that Nissan could offer that an independent couldn't is software upgrades. Which I doubt is something they would do unless they had reason to anyway. 

 

 

 

Oil, filters and a basic check over are easy enough for any mechanic to do, which is all a service is anyway.


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  # 2250761 3-Jun-2019 23:05
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If you can find a good independent garage - do this.

 

I had my car serviced at the dealer for several years - and while the (assumed) detailed knowledge/courtesy cars/coffee etc is handy - this service comes at a premium.

 

Recently changed to a good local independent garage and servicing costs have halved from circa $600 to $300 ish/service.

 

 


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  # 2250771 4-Jun-2019 02:28
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An experienced good quality independent mechanic is one of the best contractors you can have, much like a good builder.

 

They are generally cheaper than the dealer and give you less biased advice. 

 

On the other hand a crap mechanic is crap where ever they work. It really comes down to the people.

 

 




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  # 2251548 4-Jun-2019 21:20
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I had a look at the last service log from Nissan. Is this a similar set of things to what an independent would do? How's the prices for parts below?

 

Here's the highlights:

 

  • Oil and oil filter change
  • Air filter clean
  • Check battery, under body cabling and harness
  • Check fuel / brake lines
  • Inspect condition and tension of drive belt
  • Inspect cooling, brake, steering system for leaks, level and condition (including brake pads)
  • Inspect suspension
  • Lubricate all locks, hinges, bonnet etc
  • Inspect seatbelt and anchors
  • Check lights
  • Check brake fluid viscosity
  • Check tyre condition and report depths (we just replaced them all anyway)
  • Diagnostic check where appropriate
  • Road test
  • Recall action: replace washer drain
  • Recall note: right rear wheel arch letter - repair to be done free

Parts charges

 

  • Filter assembly - oil - $31
  • Fuel system Tr - $12
  • Parts cleaner $8
  • Environment disposal fee $10
  • Screen wash concentrate $4
  • Helix semi synthetic SN A3/B4 $65 (3.5L) - I note that 4L of oil can cost $20 to $80 at super cheap auto, and I'm not sure which one they used.

 


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