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Servicing through a Dealer or local garage

In the past we have seen much argument for and against servicing with other than the Dealer who sold you the car..

You local Dealer will have you believe that their serving is better, that they use only original parts and that if you don’t use them you will void your warranty. They have been known to go as far as discrediting you local garage as mechanics that couldn’t cut it in their work shops.

Today it is a little different. Thank heavens for the Internet and the power of information.

The local garage is used for many reasons such as price, location, loyalty, local knowledge and reputation but some of us still can’t resist using the local Dealer on our precious new vehicles. That is fine, a Dealer is excellent but you should keep you options open.

The trick to a local garage is knowing them personally or knowing someone who does. Referrals are the best source of cost saving and information (outside the Internet) we have.

You can/must specify to your local guy that you want original parts, best oils, the same tyres, and the log book service requirements covered and stamped. The other thing to remember is that you have the right to check. Ask them to keep the oil container and the receipts of purchase from the original equipment needed to show you. This will allow a two way respect and a great result.

I also recommend if you do use your local ‘guy’ copy the invoice of work done and parts used and staple it into your log books. When you go to sell the vehicle this is very handy to show good workmanship.

If the garage does not want to do this for you – go elsewhere.

You have the right to return if work is unsatisfactory to both a Dealer and a local mechanic. I personally have returned my vehicle to Dealer’s workshops more than I have my local mechanic. So now I take my new car (which is in excess of $60,000) to my local garage and have done from day 1 and have never been happier.  The other upside to this is that I am approx $800 or more in front this year.


  1. Rick Mason says:

    Where does this leave us if the vehicle requires specialised diagnostic/interface equipment (supposedly only available through an authorised Dealer network) to communicate with the onboard computer(s)? We have been extremely happy with the services of NRMA/Motorserve in the past, but they cannot ‘talk’ to my MY’09 Jetta …

    November 23rd, 2010 at 6:42 pm