Service Car at dealership or back street shop - b80
Hi

It's a little way off yet but thought I'd pose the question.

I normally take our cars to a back street garage as I've used them for many years after they were recommended. They've always helped us out at short notice and their prices are very reasonable.

I'm wondering whether to take my 3 year old chain driven civic to them or the Honda dealer when it comes around to servicing. I'm sure our trusty garage know which grade of oil to use, but after reading on here about some places not being to particular it makes me wonder... I guess I could request the garage use a specific oil and genuine Honda parts... not sure if this would cause offence though.

Advantages of taking the car to the dealership could be that the car may be easier to sell with full dealer hitory rather than an unknown garage. To be honest I'll mostI likely to keep the car for a long time (10 years plus)if it gives me no issues.

My other issue is trust. I feel I've built a relationship with the backstreet garage and that's worth a bit to me. If I took it to Honda I'd be wondering if I was being taken for a ride if they started finding faults.

Although I mention the civic I guess this is a general question in regards to the subject as I'm also considering my wife's car and what we'd do with future cars too.


Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Vitesse6

I would ask them to use the oil and parts that you want used. If they take the huff over it then find another garage. After all you are the customer and it is your money.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - RobJP

You aren't sure if it would cause offence, regarding the oil / filter - simple, ask them if they are happy to either get the parts direct from Honda, or even if you can supply the items yourself.

Most places will be perfectly happy for you to supply the oil and oil filter yourself if you want specific ones using.

Modern DPF-equipped diesels, and modern turbo petrols are very sensitive to the correct grade and spec of oil. As to oil filters, you may find that some non-OEM parts aren't built the same, I'd stick with genuine Honda parts, personally speaking. The cost difference will be tiny, in comparison to all the other costs.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - daveyjp

Honda are generally very good at looking after customers with cars suffering component failure out of warranty if they have shown loyalty to the main dealers for servicing.

This may be worth considering, espeically on a vehicle which is only three years old. After 5 years I'd be more inclined to go elsewhere, but many dealers have reduced rates for older vehicles so elsewhere may not be much cheaper.

Edited by daveyjp on 07/08/2017 at 15:51

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T

You seem to have answered your own questions. If you already trust this garage, and you haven't used the Honda dealer before (I presume the car is a second-hand Civic?) and you are only talking about routine servicing, then go to your regular garage - especially if you trust them not to find unexpected (costly) problems. The only other thing you may need to do is to trust the Civic not to fail while under warranty, probably a fair bet?

Edited by Andrew-T on 07/08/2017 at 16:02

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - gordonbennet

This is a difficult one, depending on how good or not the Honda and believe it or not they aint all they are cracked up to be, as my daughters barely 18 month old type R coming out from the workshops with so much air in the braking system that they needed pumping to stop the car could testify, and that isn't all....however the dealer in the next town is as one would expect from Honda and where my son (who sorted the offending dealer out) takes their own CRV.

Good point about goodwill, keeping it in the dealer group does make sense for that for a couple of years, and i would be inclined to do so, but Honda do not have a regular brake strip clean lube routine as part of servicing, so i'd be inclined to get my indy to do that annually and any associated jobs like new pads etc using genuine parts so you keep in touch and can pick back up for full servicing in a couple of years if you wish to.

When it comes to something like a clutch change hopefully a long way off then that friendly indy could well save you a decent bundle, as we all know good indies are rare and should be a protected species.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - catsdad
Honda menu price for a minor service on a Civic over three years old is £160. Adding pollen and air filters and brake fluids is another £100 or so. Apart from very occasional spark plugs and valve clearances these are the only routine service items. Not bad compared to some manufacturers.

I face the same choice as the OP as our Civic service package has now ended. As long as they honour the free MOT deal that was part of the original purchase I will stick with Honda. I will do air and pollen filters myself and pay menu price for any brake fuid changes required. As fall back we have a very good indie who services our Corsa but I doubt he'd be much cheaper.

I do agree that additional brake service is a wise precaution. The Civic needed pads at about 30000 and I had similar short life on an Accord I had. Other makes have not required pads during my ownership of up to 60000 miles.
Service Car at dealership or back street shop - carl233

The parts used need to be OEM quality, and the oil absolutely without exception MUST be the correct spec for the vehicle. From my experience not all but many indepdent 'specialists' have a tendancy to reach for the good value bulk purchased 10w40 semi synthetic for any vehicle that has got 4 wheels! This is not acceptable and the correct oil will be key to the overall lifespan of the engine.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - SLO76
Depends on a few factors. Age and value of the car, how long you intend on keeping it, whether you intend on selling it privately or trading in when the time, whether it's a diesel or not and just how much do you trust that independent.

I've been in the trade for two decades and many of the smaller workshops I know use the same bulk bought oil in every car that graces their ramps which is the cause of much of the timing chain and other issues we commonly see on cars. While it was fine with older engines to just bung any old thing in, today it's a fast road to destruction with complex modern motors which are highly oil specific.

Main dealers have access to training, equipment and technical bulletins to update them to known issue while back street garages don't. They often have to blunder their way through on jobs they're unfamiliar with. Modern complex turbocharged cars especially diesels need to be maintained by people who fully understand them.

Now there's also the option of make specific specialists but the last time I priced up work with our local VW specialist I then called the main dealer to see if they'd discount their prices to match and they came within £30 for a service and t/belt plus water pump change. The specialist was also quoting with aftermarket parts and not VW stuff. His price using manufacturer parts was higher than the main dealer! Be wary also of substandard garages posing as specialists, one ruined a BMW I owned by using the wrong oil.

To answer your question. I'd spend a few minutes on the phone getting quotes from local garages and main dealers within reasonable distance before calling your local dealer and asking for a discount. I found a noticeable difference between Honda dealers with our local branch quite willing to discount service prices to get business. They know the cars, they know what to look out for (not much on a Civic) and that dealer service history will add several hundred pounds to the value if you sell it on privately, it may even make a dealer more willing to up an original trade-in offer too. I've always found it's worth paying a bit extra for main dealer attention. Plus our VW dealer in particular is very good at valeting the car inside and out before returning it.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T
<< While it was fine with older engines to just bung any old thing in, today it's a fast road to destruction with complex modern motors which are highly oil specific. >>

Maybe this isn't the thread to ask this question. Accepting that old engines can tolerate almost any kind of oil, what is it about modern engines that mean the Best Oil for car A is not the best oil for car B ? Presumably (forgetting about viscosity rating) it is all about additives - so what are they, and why don't they suit some engines?

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Engineer Andy
<< While it was fine with older engines to just bung any old thing in, today it's a fast road to destruction with complex modern motors which are highly oil specific. >>

Maybe this isn't the thread to ask this question. Accepting that old engines can tolerate almost any kind of oil, what is it about modern engines that mean the Best Oil for car A is not the best oil for car B ? Presumably (forgetting about viscosity rating) it is all about additives - so what are they, and why don't they suit some engines?

Whilst I think many car manufacturers are trying to find creative ways (other than cheating) to make their cars more fuel efficient and less polluting, in line with governmental dictats, I also think many are reacting to the squeezing of profits from and during the worldwide recession (e.g. when car importing and brokers became more popular, giving more people access to bulk discounts, especially with the growing power of the internet) by deliberately making their cars more complex to maintain and repair, and thus trying to remove business from independent (especially the smaller ones) garages/repair shops who may not be able to afford the larger amount of training required in order to be up to speed on modern cars, even of one make.

That was the reason why (as others have said) some 'back alley' garages have taken to using generic parts (often fine in terms of quality), but especially consumables such as oils and fluids (which are not fine nowadays) to save money. It all comes down to trust, especially if you specifically ask the garage owner to use a specific manufacturer part or grade/type of engine fluid as per the manufacturer's specs. When I was looking round for quotes to get my Mazda3 (2005 build) last year, I found my local dealership was only about £10 - £20 more than the best local indie price (who was using a generic part, though a decent one), so its not always bad news.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - gordonbennet

Save the odd must have such as low saps for DPF equipped cars and things like VW PD engines that needed specific add ons, i think a good quality decent brand full synthetic will suffice for most of our requirements.

I believe there is a lot of hype about this gucci oil malarkey, hence the dealer can charge £100 for a sumpful yet you can find the same stuff they use for about £25 for 5 litres, with exactly the same contents as other good branded full synthetics.

I've been using Fuchs Millers Morris and now Shell Helix full synthetics in a 5w40 flavour for donkeys years, no problems here and the engines are clean and stay clean, yes even my 95k Diesel keeps its oil clean for around 1000 miles.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T

<< deliberately making their cars more complex to maintain and repair, ...

.... some 'back alley' garages have taken to using ... consumables such as oils and fluids (which are not fine nowadays) >>

Thanks Andy, but you have skated round my question - why the right viscosity oil of the right kind (mineral, synth or semi-syn) will not do for a Ford, but will for a VAG car (for example). Do some additives really react badly with some maker's EGR valves, or something?

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Stanb Sevento

Good question Andrew. I was interested in this and did some reading a couple of years ago. There are a number of thechnical differences like diesel needs low ash to protect the DPF, catalysts need low sulpher and metal content and Modern engines run hotter in the cylinders so need synthetic oil with more detergent. A lot of the stuff that made oil work in the past has had to be removed and alternative chemicals developed. Older engines ran high pressure oil pumps new ones run low pressure with higher flow rates, there are a number of things like that. One of the reasons there is so much variation is less to do with oil grade and more to do with certification. If say an oil maker submits oil to Honda and gets certified for use he can sell it as meeting Honda spec, but another maker of exactly the same oil submits his to say BMW there looks as if there are two oils when in fact they are the same.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 08/08/2017 at 10:23

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - skidpan

Save the odd must have such as low saps for DPF equipped cars and things like VW PD engines that needed specific add ons, i think a good quality decent brand full synthetic will suffice for most of our requirements.

If you buy the correct spec oil it will only cost a few pence more than the wrong one. You don't have to buy Mobil or Shell etc, there are plenty of alternatives out there who supply oil to the spec required by manufacturers.

A few years ago when we had the Kia and the BMW oil changes at the dealers were very expensive. the Kia dealer used Shell Helix Ultra C3 and the BMW dealer used Castrol Professional BMW LL04, both charged about £65 + VAT for the oil. I went on line and found Total (hardly a 3rd world brand) Ineo MC3 at £80 for four 5 litre containers (inc postage) and it was appoved by Kia/Hyundai and had BMW LL04 approval. I used it for the annual change in the BMW and the Kia dealer was happy to use it and deduct the cost of the oil from the service. Saved me a nice sum.

The other week I was in Asda and spotted their own brand 5w30 Ford spec oil was on offer. Fully synthetic, meets Fords spec as well as A1/B1 and A5/B5 all for £14 for 5 litres. That will do very nicely in the 2 litre Zetec in the Caterham later this year.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - gordonbennet

Don't now about wrong spec, here's the spec from that 5w40 Shell Helix Ultra

Specifications: API SN/CF; ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4; BMW LL-01; MB approval 229.5, 226.5; VW 502.00/505.00; Porsche A40; Renault RN0700, RN0710; PSA B71 2296, Ferrari. Meets the requirements of Fiat 9.55535-Z2 and Chrysler MS-10725

Nothing about Toyota or Subaru but if it meets the above then a fair bet my jalopies will be happy with it, and by buying it in 20 litre batches it too worked out just over £20 per 5 litre bottle.

Edited by gordonbennet on 08/08/2017 at 11:09

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Falkirk Bairn

From my experience it pays to phone round, say 4/5 Honda dealers.

Phone later in the month & ask for the service ASAP - the service \manager has targets - just like new car sales.

Year 4 Service for CRV cost me £185, year 5 service - 2 weeks ago, £125.

Other Honda dealers were some £80 more expensive.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - skidpan

I can 100% garantee that if the garage knocks money off the cost of a service they will omit certain items. As I said on a recent post our local Nissan dealer kindly knocked off £10 from our service because he used the wrong 10w40 mineral oil instead of the correct 5w30 semi synthetic. Our local BMW dealer reduced the price by £60 from the one they had quoted the previous week because they had omitted the oil service and pollen filter service completely. He then said they were due the following week and would cost me £160. Both resulted in heated "discussions" both of which I won.

Just remember the 3 golden rules of motoring.

Rule 1 All garages are liars.

Rule 2 All garages are liars.

Rule 3 Refer to rules 1 & 2.

We all have to use them but if they are aware you are not an idiot they will not treat you like one. Just pity the people that follow you, someone has to pay.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T

As usual, Skidpan, some of your more expletive remarks have to be taken with a cellarful of salt and a degree of self-restraint. If your golden rules are correct there would be no names on HJ's list of Good Garages - unless of course every contributor to the list has been thoroughly hoodwinked.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - skidpan

As usual, Skidpan, some of your more expletive remarks

I used no fekin expletives.

If your golden rules are correct there would be no names on HJ's list of Good Garages - unless of course every contributor to the list has been thoroughly hoodwinked.

I simply said what should be obvious from the posts recieved on here. If garages were all nice honest people there would be no need for a forum and those on the list of Good Garages have been lucky not to be caught out this far (or the people using them are too stupid to notice).

Anyone who takes an internet recomendation as fact needs their heads checking over. There are more than a few busineses either post their own brilliant reviews or get mates to do it for them.Its also a fact most negative reviews are removed.

Does Honest John vet every garage personally?

The only reviews are worth anything are those form close friends or family and even then thing can and do go badly wrong.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T

<< If garages were all nice honest people there would be no need for a forum .... >>

Ah now, that's a very different proposition. Your rule(s) said "ALL garages are liars", which is pretty black and white, leaving no room for any exceptions. I agree that word of mouth is one of the best recommendations, but that's still second-hand info, possibly from someone who has been hoodwinked?

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - SLO76
"I can 100% garantee that if the garage knocks money off the cost of a service they will omit certain items."

Nope, the Mitsubishi and Proton branches I worked at when selling new certainly didn't. If you asked for a discount they'd do it, if you were happy to pay full price then you did. Workshop staff were not instructed to cut out any part of the service or to use non-manufacturer parts.

Your experience at that Nissan dealer was not typical and I know Nissan UK would've jumped down their throats if they knew they were using the wrong oil.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/08/2017 at 20:22

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - IRC

It never hurts to ask. My Skoda Octavia is now 5 years old. Having the 1.4Tsi chain cam engine the correct grade of oil is important. Skoda fixed price for a minor service is £149.

I asked my nearest main dealer his price for an oil and filter minor service. After checking that I didn't need a courtesy car I was quoted £124. More than the non franchise garage I use for my wife's 10 year old Nissan but I'm confident the correct oil and filter will be used and I'll get a Skoda stamp in the book.

Last year another Skoda dealer slightly further away did a oil/filter/air filter/pollen filter/ spark plugs service for a reasonable price - something like £150 or £160 as far as I remember, certainly well under £200.

.So far my car has had oil changes at 7k when I bought it an early service being part of the deal, 16k, 26k, 36k, 46k and now, next week, at 53k. Not due on time basis until October but as the car will be getting parked up for 7 weeks from late August until early October I decided to get it serviced early. May as well sit with clean oil for 7 weeks rather than dirty oil. Or am I over thinking that one?

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - TheGentlemanThug

If I were interested in buying your car, I'd be far more willing to do so if it had been serviced at the same place throughout its life. If it had been serviced at different garages, even if one of them was a main dealer, I'd be wondering why and asking myself what issues the car may have as a result.

I own a 56-plate Accord, have used Honda dealers for servicing in the past and they've dropped the ball on more than one occasion. Last year they wanted to charge me about £600 to replace the exhaust manifold (a common issue) and knew nothing about Honda's extended warranty for it. Apparently, Honda hadn't told them...

Have you considered how all this may affect your warranty, assuming you have one? Genuine Honda parts are well and good, but you'll have to ensure that everything about the service is documented. If the garage doesn't do the service by the letter then you'll have a struggle on your hands if you have to make a warranty claim.

Edited by Bicycle_Repair_Man on 09/08/2017 at 12:14

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Andrew-T

If I were interested in buying your car, I'd be far more willing to do so if it had been serviced at the same place throughout its life. If it had been serviced at different garages, even if one of them was a main dealer, I'd be wondering why and asking myself what issues the car may have as a result.

This advice depends on the age of the car and the length of its maker warranty. With makers' servicing recommendations tending to lengthen, a warranty period may include few services if the car does only modest mileage. If it's an older car the service history can tell a more revealing tale, but perhaps the owners may just have moved house.

The number of owners is probably a more significant indicator, but even then the most important thing is that the car has been attended to.

Edited by Andrew-T on 09/08/2017 at 12:56

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - TheGentlemanThug

As a generalisation, yes, I agree, but in the OP's case, a three year old Civic which they're planning to keep for another seven years before selling on will be more appealing if it has a service history from the same place.

If I were buying a decade-old car I'd be looking for attentiveness, sure, and consistency is a good indication of that. If the OP considered part-exchange then most franchised dealers probably wouldn't even ask about the service history as the car would almost certainly go straight to auction. I recently got a part-exchange price for my Accord and the franchised dealer I went to didn't ask me anything, which took me by surprise.

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Nomag

I simply don't agree all garages are liars. I have a superb relationship with my local backstreet garage, owned by a 65 year old gentleman mechanic who (lucky for me) refuses to retire.It's in a old school wooden garage. Whenever he replaces anything he keeps the items removed (e.g. pads and discs) for inspection. Small jobs he never charges me for.

But I must say my experience at franchised dealers has been very mixed, and mostly negative. You pay for their glass palaces. Yes the stamp in the book carries more kudos come resale time, but as cars get to a certain age and their value plummets, it's not megabucks. Different if you change your car frequently.

WIth my hyundai, I main dealer serviced it until 5 years old to ensure I didn't have any issues with warranty claims. Any non-servicing I got my indie to do - just brakes really. Dealers seem very keen to change discs and pads early - I've experienced this at Audi, Hyundai and Ford dealers. Oh sir, your pads are 75% worn time to change them. Take car to Indie -says pads are fine- eventually get them changed a year later- Indie shows me pads taken from car which are by now still only about 80% worn. Hmm. That's after another 15k miles!

The Hyundai dealer I used most recently also have become very keen on taking silly videos of the car whilst in for ANY job , which are then emailed to you-e..g. so called mechanic flicks at rear wiper blade "this is split and needs replacing" - well it is now you've messed with it! What's the point in a video taken of the wheel fitted to the car saying "look your pads are worn" "your discs are worn" - yes in so much as you can see through the alloy wheel! But of course many are convinced and have the work done - I know my parents have been caught by this tactic as completely non-mechanically minded individuals.

But the most irritaing thing of all is the reviews which are constantly requested after even a minor service "please rate us 5*", why does everyone want praise just for doing their job properly!

The most irriating experience of late was at our local Kia dealership for my wife's Sorrento's most recent service. Car was booked in well in advance to allow me to take advantage of their free "collect and return" service. Telephone call at 3.30pm to say - Sorry sir your car won't be ready unitl tomorrow. Why when it's in for a routine service says I, well we haven't done the service yet as we started with the recall to replace the door latches and the work isn't finished yet. They told me NOTHING about any recall work being required - surely all that was needed was a phone call to see if this would be OK before they took the car to pieces! So, how am I supposed to get home from work today - answer - my wife drives a 50 mile round trip with 3 kids to pick me up! The car was returned the following day, and suffice to say, I shall never be gracing their door again. Which will cost me a lot in inconvenience but never mind!

Edited by Nomag on 10/08/2017 at 00:12

Service Car at dealership or back street shop - Avant

For that very reason I'd have a courtesy car every time rather than collect and return. They'll get the job done in a day if someone else has booked the car for the next day - even more so if it's the service manager's transport home that night.

 

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