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Service Car through Main Dealer ?

April 27th, 2009 at 01:13 pm

My Honda is due a service so I booked it in with the closest Honda Dealership.

My brother & father think I'm crazy and should get it serviced by an independent garage that services anything and everything - cars, vans, lorries etc etc.

I know that the independent garage will be cheaper but I don't know what quality of service they will give the car.

I have doubts about:

Their knowledge of Honda cars.
The parts they will put into car.
Whether they will just do the bare minimum - change oil, filters etc.

I know the Main Dealer is equally capable of checking the bare minimum... but I'm hoping that they will have serviced 100s of cars like mine and through experience have learned to look out for certain things.

Also the Main Dealer will stamp the Service Log and that will be helpful when selling the car - (I'm no plans to do this - will hopefully get 8 or so more years of it until it becomes valueless anyway).

I bought it from a Main Dealer who said it had a Full Service History - closer examination of log book revealed it missed a couple of services - so I guess you can't trust Main Dealers either ??

What do you think ?

5 Responses to “Service Car through Main Dealer ?”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Any garage would be just fine. One with a TRUSTED, highly recommended mechanic is fine. Integrity is probably about as important as finding someone with skill.

    My personal experience is we drive extremely used cars; my first car was a Toyota that ran 200k miles. People all the time tell me we must really maintain our cars well, etc., etc. It's funny because we don't spend much at all on car maintenance. We try to buy cars with good track records. Our maintenance involves oil changes religiously every 6 months. Take the car in immediately when we notice a problem (an ounce of prevention...). That is simply it. There's not much more to it.

    Though you may have some very slight validity to your argument for some of the more rare cars and non-American/Japanese varieties. A Honda? Any old mechanic will really do.

    For the record I never have taken any of my cars to a dealership. I can not believe what people pay at the dealerships. (My clients are happy to drop a few hundred for "maintenance" annually which I just find crazy). I guess the irony is they do all this unnecessary/expensive preventitive maintenance so the car last longer and then think at 50k miles it's time for a new car. Ugh.

    Well, you asked what I thought. Wink

  2. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Monkey Mama you've convinced me !

    Independent it is !!

    The car has 56k on it now and I'm secretly hoping to break the 200k barrier with it...

    Thanks for sharing your experience !! :-)

  3. dmontngrey Says:

    I would go to an independent shop whenever possible, no question about it! ESPECIALLY for a tuneup! The dealership is most likely going to overcharge you on things where an independent shop will just do a basic tuneup - probably all you need. You just need to find a trusted mechanic who knows about Hondas. Parts are just as likely to fail from a dealership as they are from an independent mechanic. I was stuck getting the work done at the dealership for my VW - no one else knew how to work on that thing! Good riddance...

  4. Loveusedcars Says:

    Dealerships? Are you kidding? They are the most insidious yet flagrant scam artists around! Think of them as salesmen who work in the garage instead of the showroom. AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!!

    An independent mechanic will be able to fix everything but the most specialized problem and will do so for a fraction of the cost.

    Remember, a car is NOT an investment--it's an expense and nothing more. Treat it as such by doing all you can to minimize the total overall cost of ownership.

  5. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    Thx for the advice !

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