20k sevice intervals - Ash Phillips
The wife is getting a company car, everything paid bar the petrol. The car has 20k service intervals which means in the four years she will have it, it will be serviced TWICE, excluding the follow up at 1k or thereabouts. As it's a co. car none of this 5k oil changes etc. etc.

How good a buy will it really be for a punter when the lease co. gets rid of it? Will there be thousands of knackered low mileage ex fleet cars out there in the not too distant future, which will surely devalue everybody else's pride and joy that has had a little TLC. False economy?
Re: 20k sevice intervals - honestjohn in Indonesia
About the worst kind of buy possible. You're not getting the message. 20k service intervals are designed to minimise costs for fleet cars, and fleet managers do not give a stuff about how long the car lasts once it comes off the fleet. The only way they and car manufacturers will get the message is if private buyers shun ill maintained ex-fleet cars and their values plunge, forcing fleet managers to maintain their replacement fleet cars properly in order to have a market for them at disposal time.

HJ
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Ash Phillips
I see that the 20k service interval is to enable the fleet guys to neglect cars with a clear conscience. What about the service book - it will only have places for the stamps at the said 20k intervals, be it fleet or private, so how do you tell a good one from a bad one? A bundle of receipts for oil from XYZ are hardly any kind of proof of anything. Kind of devalues the worth of "... low mileage, FSH..." as the ads always say. At least with a book full of stamps at 6k intervals the oil ought to have been changed in good time AND you have some kind of proof. Maybe this could lead to the adoption of alternative service records that allow for more frequent servicing yet have the same status as the official book?

An academic point, maybe, but it seems it will have quite an effect on peoples' perception of what a well maintained vehicle actually is, and its value, when cars suddenly start dying at 60k rather than 160k or 260k yet have a full dealer FSH. God knows what that would do for the manufacturers' reputations, but I guess it wouldn't be positive. There is already a large body of people out there facing potentially large bills for ECUs, airbags etc. on ageing cars that otherwise are perfecly serviceable, let alone having to have rebores/replacement engines. Seems as though we're progressing towards the 1950's rather than the 2050's.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Roger Jones
Add to that the dubious standards in main-dealer servicing shops. When I switched my car (then an Audi) from main-dealer servicing to an independent specialist, his first question was "Who on earth serviced this car last time?" -- meaning that there were all sorts of items that had obviously been neglected (yes, he could have been making work for himself, but his bill was cheaper too). These days I would place more value on a service book stamped by a reputable independent than one stamped by a main dealer.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Adam Going (Tune-Up Ltd)
Ash,

Regarding Service Book versus Invoices, I personally would much prefer to see the Invoices, as this should show exactly what parts have been fitted, and should give an impression of what sort of garage has done the work (ie. is it legible and properly reported, or a scrawl on a fag packet !). Stamps in a Service Book can mean next to nothing. I can buy a blank / new Service Book for almost any car and for a small consideration get it stamped up at the pub, once I have found the right pub. This can also create a false mileage history, whereas it would be difficult to retrospectively obtain Invoices backing this up.

How often do you see information about cambelt changes in Service Books ? There is rarely any 'official' space provided, so again an Invoice is best.

Otherwise I agree entirely, 20k is far too long.

Regards, Adam
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Roger Jones
Very good point, Adam. The nice man who bought my Audi was much comforted by a complete invoice history.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - John Davis
One of the alarming aspects of this "sales orientated" tomfoolery regarding 20k service intervals is that, in this case, it is likely that no one qualified will be checking the vehicle for around two years. On this site, the depressing list of vehicle recalls can be studied, indicating that, with many new vehicles, the build quality is far from safe. Do please get Mrs Phillips to take her car to someone qualified, say at 6 monthly intervals, get it put up on a lift, and see that everything is in order and that those bits, which are starting to disintegrate and fall off, are attended to in the workshop and not at the roadside after a "near miss".
Re: 20k sevice intervals - John Slaughter
One issue with these long service intervals is that (usually) there is a time qualification - eg xk miles or one year - the latest Vauxhals certainly have this. Now, I get the impression that many private owners conveniently forget the 'or one year' bit and only look at mileage. It's bad enough now with typically 10k intervals, and certainly, cars serviced in this manner could be bad news, especially if the intervals are now extending to as long as 20k! However, a concientious, lower mileage private owner who has stuck to an annual service is likely to have had a more acceptable service record - these are the cars that may have a better second hand value.

The long service interval seems to be unique to the UK. I read a while back that the recent shift by Vauxhall to a 20k service interval only applies in the UK, not to the continent!

Sad, but I looked at the instruction book of the Pontiac I had on rent in the USA last year. Not only did it have a 'service due' light on the dash - making service time more difficult to ignore - but the book said this would come up at between 3,500 and 7,000 miles depending on useage. Interesting, as US driving conditions are less stressful than UK - the car was a 2.4 litre, and it was pulling under 2000 revs at 60 mph. My pal, who is working out there, says he reckons the American motorists seem to accept the need for regular lubrication service work. Instant oil change services are common, and he takes his wifes Jeep in to the local 'while you wait' oil change place - good quality oil and a OE filter for about 25 dollars. At that price it's not worth getting your hands dirty.

Regards

john
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Roger Jones
An expat was saying in the pub last year that his Cadillac, with the redoubtable Northstar V8, was scheduled for major services at 100k intervals.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - John Slaughter
Yes, but I'll bet that's not the first oil change - thats the first time the (expensive) plugs are changed!

Regards

john
20k sevice intervals - David Lacey
In response to Adams valid point WRT cambelt history in service records, MG Rover have just brought out a new style service book with cambelt service check boxes. I think the book with my Audi also has 'cambelt/brake fluid changed' boxes that are endorsed by the dealer when these items are attended to.

As John S rightly says, the Americans (love 'em or hate 'em) do indeed value their 'lube services'
There are dedicated drive in lube service shops in the US charging very reasonable money for the dirty job in hand. I think this could catch on over here. (To make up for the loss in service work through our workshops due to the now 15K service interval on most MG Rover products!!)

Even with the advanced oils we use these days, I think 20K is too long between oil changes/vehicle inspection. I'm sure it will lead to increased tyre problems as many company car drivers do not check their tyres, they rely upon our reporting at service time. They then get offended because we refuse to road test the car due to the illegal state of the tyres. (Leasing companies will not allow us to replace tyres, even if we are CHEAPER than the ATS etc they are tied to with end of year rebates!)

Rgds

David
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
Re the Americans and their "lube jobs" The yanks are just so clued up on the benefits of a regular oil change it is second nature for them to take the car to the "shop" for a "lube and tune" A friend of mine tried to start up a mobile franchise in the UK from the American "Port-a-Lube" service from the Carolinas. This is a well established service in the states geared more towards HGV servicing. Result was a resounding failure as to most Brits servicing a car is only done when A) The car has died or is about to do so or B) The afternoon prior to the annual holiday.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Marc
Quick oil changes are possible and have been for some time over here. National Tyres does them while you wait (20 mins or so) I think it's roughly £20 (possibly cheaper) for Duckhams mineral hypergrade and a new filter. you can of course upgrade with semi - synth or fully synth and a flush if you want. I use these for the interim 6k service on my Mercedes 190E to keep cost down
Re: 20k sevice intervals - fecker
Were waiting for a new Mini Cooper - I bet that has at least 20k interval otherwise they wouldn't do 5 years servicing for £100.
It's just a sign of the way cars are going , they're becoming more of a disposable product like white goods. Ignore it for 100k and throw it away when it breaks.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Greg Hill
For her own (and your) peace of mind, Mrs Phillips should get her car serviced privately at least once a year or as per HJ's recommendation. Spending your own £50- £100 per year for a basic service is probably the best bargain in the world, considering that the rest of her car (specially depreciation) is paid for by the employer.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - sam
you cannot go around doing something to a car without the owners permission, in this case the employer or lease company are the owner, and there would be all sorts of hassle if say a faulty oil filter was fitted...
Re: Employers/lease Co.s attitude - Greg Hill
They will welcome the employee paying for the service at their approved location - as it will improve saleability of their property. I know, my employer does.
Company Car? - Guy Lacey
No-one seems to have asked the question - for such low mileage does it make financial sense to have a company car?

An amusing story - a recent memo was circulated at my place of work bringing it to the attention of drivers to get their vehicles serviced as per the service schedule or the company would be liable for any failures. It turns out a certain salesman ran his engine dry and needless to say - it was knackered. On closer inspection, he hadn't had it serviced for over 50,000 miles and had *never* checked the oil.
Re: Company Car? - Ash Phillips
At 12-15k a year, 4 yrs = 48-60k, with 20k intervals means at 4 years probably only coming upto 3rd service, unless as John S. says there is a yearly proviso, even then it will only be coming up to its 4th service.

The mileage is average, but living in Leeds, potholes and all, it's nice to know someone else is covering the depreciation, VED, servicing, recovery (it will be a C5) etc. The car is a status perk rather than essential, but Gordon Brown has sorted that out from next April. The cash alternative is quite measly in comparison, and it just so happens we're in the market for a new car anyhow, so it seems a no-lose situation. I was just gobsmacked by the length of the service intervals, having been a devout follower of bangernomics and home servicing these last 10 or so years.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Mark (Brazil)
A Lease Car makes a very good buy if it is your own and has been all along and you want to buy it. Especially since if the standard care isn't all that you'll probably get a reasonably economic quote from the leasing company.

If you want it, then look after differently and do all the extra stuff. If your mum, dad, sibling, friend will want it - ditto.

If you're thinking of buying it when the lease runs out to sell it and make a profit. Forget it, save yourself the heartache and hammer the thing into the ground for three years.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - Dai Watchalowski
The policy here is that service intervals are for the guidence of wise men and obedience of fools. Plenty of customers opt to have their cars serviced in-between maker's sched. We advice/suggest it on a take it or leave it basis.I had an old dear bring in her 7000m 3 year old motor, that we had never laid a spanner on, in for its "first" service and free MoT, it was a bit of a shock her system when the Service Manager, kindly, pointed out that she should have it looked at least once a year and she accused us of trying to profiteer on her back......what can you say to someone like that ?. We are main dealers and we try to avoid ripping
people off 'cos we simply want them to come back. An Indie garage down the road now services the aforementioned motor, and they are honestly welcome to the business; I know the owner well, respect his work, as a trader and friend.
Re: 20k sevice intervals - John Slaughter
Dai

Yes, must be difficult, even when you can point to the relevant paragraph in the service or instruction book. I came across the other situation a while a while back - well qualified chap I used to work with insisted that his Mitsubishi required only an annual service 'no matter how many miles it does' I suggested he should RTFM. Ho hum.

I wouldn't mind, but how cheap do these people think running a car is?


regards

John
 

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