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Nationwide AC - Servicing - adam f
Has anyone used the Nationwide Auto centres to have there vehicle serviced? I have looked at there website and looked over what they do for a 'major service' and for the price of £260 (with AA discount) they will do the following -

Oil and Filter change
Fuel filter
air filter
Replace brake fluid and bleed system
Drain cooling and replace coolant

Plus all the checks. My car is a 98 Mercedes c240 sport. Do you think thats a good price? Would a indy do a major service for that or a cheaper price? (i haven't bothered ringing MB as i am sure the price will be very expensive)

Nationwide AC - Servicing - Rattle
I would let a good indie do it instead they are more likely to be experienced. The last time I went to Nationwide the average staff member looked 16 and I am young myself.

However if you are certain they will use the correct oil and you can watch them do it to ensure they do everything they say they will what have you got to loose? The price seems a tad steep but assuming they actually do a service as well e.g check other parts of the car then it seems pretty good.

I personaly have just had bad experiences with fast fit centres in general. The customer experience always leaves a lot to be disered. I wish I could get away with "yeah mate it will be ready when its ready" sort of langauge in my job.

A good indie needs to treat their customer well, at the big chains they don't really care they get paid regardless and there will always be enough mugs to replace the unhappy punters. I am talking about fast fit centres in general btw :).

Edited by Rattle on 27/10/2009 at 14:18

Nationwide AC - Servicing - Stuartli
It costs me £25 for an oil and filter change at National (Ormskirk branch), a price that has risen from £15 or £20 depending on offers, over a few years and the staff have always proved very efficient and thorough.

However, in the case of Nationwide, I seem to recall a thread a year or so back that wasn't always very complimentary (franchises do tend to vary according to the standard of employees on their books).
Nationwide AC - Servicing - Pugugly
My local branch have been very good at tyre related things - especially so with bike tyres. I had a punctured tyre which was replaced without quibble under their guarantee,
Nationwide AC - Servicing - DP
I would have thought £260 would have bought you a major service at a good MB specialist indie. Looks almost as good in the service history as a MB dealer stamp, and these places are far more likely to know the idiosyncrasies and pecularities of your particular car.

My local Volvo indie charges about £250 for a "major" (36k) on the S60, which is a good £150 cheaper than Volvo dealers if the invoices in the service history are correct.

Edited by DP on 27/10/2009 at 14:44

Nationwide AC - Servicing - Dipstick
Always worth at least checking the main dealer - sometimes they surprise you. Sytner Bedford are offering a major (B) service on a C class for £299, for example, so with a little haggling and a ring round of two or three dealers you might not be miles away from your £260, if you value a main dealer service at all of course.


Nationwide AC - Servicing - Bill Payer
a major (B) service on a C class for £299

Dream on - a "major" B service at an MB dealer is still only an oil and filter change, plus pollen filter. They're supposed to take the wheels off to carry out the checks more rigourously than on an A service, but that's about the only difference.

Everything else is extra and the work listed would cost a good £7-800 at a dealership. And then they'll suggest all sorts of other stuff that needs doing.

Personally I wouldn't take any car to any fast-fit type place. As others suggest, ideally to find a Mercedes independent (whereabouts are you?) or failing that any good garage will be able to service it - older Merc's are pretty simple.

Edited by Bill Payer on 27/10/2009 at 15:49

Nationwide AC - Servicing - TheOilBurner
if you value a main dealer service at
all of course.

It would seem better to go main dealer, if affordable, to me.

I don't know about '98 Benzes, but Nationwide also quote the same price for my car, a C5 3.0 V6. Given that it uses shed loads of fully synth oil and has 6 very expensive spark plugs of which 3 are difficult to get to, if they can really do it for £260 using parts that meet the proper spec (including filters, brake fluid and coolant), I'd be amazed.

Still, can we also trust the main dealers to use the proper parts on cut price service offers?

In any case, I think I'd struggle to do all that work myself for that much. Which makes me wonder....
Nationwide AC - Servicing - Bill Payer
I have a diesel Merc and I'm not sure about the older petrol's, but I think the C240 has 12 plugs. Changing them on their own would be at least a couple of hundred at an MB dealership.
Nationwide AC - Servicing - TheOilBurner
Yes, you're right, no less than 12 plugs. A complete set on eBay is already £70-£90 before fitting...
Nationwide AC - Servicing - andyp
I agree, try to find a good Merc indie, for one thing, draining and refilling a cooling system is not always a straightforward job these days and could cause major problems if not carried out to the proper procedure !
Nationwide AC - Servicing - TheOilBurner
Brake fluid too. I know on my car there is rumoured to be a special valve that must be opened via the dealers computer system for a brake fluid flush. Something a specialist would have access to, but Nationwide?
Nationwide AC - Servicing - adam f
I live in Crawley - West Sussex (5 mins from Gatwick Airport) i have done a google search and i haven't found a MB specialist. I have serviced my old cars before (BMW 4cyl, VW) But i dont fancy attempting the MB. Im sure it has 12 plugs and takes 7-8 litres of oil, so that alone will set me back £100 before i have even with the other parts.
Nationwide AC - Servicing - Bill Payer
I live in Crawley - West Sussex

Not sure about the geography, but I found these garages mentioned on MB Club UK:

Alan Robertson, Car Surgeon in Hove, East Sussex, 01273 770838
IN AUTOS LTD, Unit 33B, Hobbs Industrial Estate, Newchapel, Near E Grinstead. 01342 837836

This guy is recommended by a few posters but he points out himself that he is a one-man band and is usually pretty well loaded with work:
ACE Engineering in Billingshurst. 01403 785000

Note that they're suggestions, not recommendations. You might find the smaller places have no courtesy car etc which could be awkward if you do need all the listed work doing.

Even if you don't use them this time, might be worth tucking the names away in case something more complicated arises.

ETA; I can't help thinking that for £260, let Nationwide do it, and if they mess up then get the MB dealer to sort it with Nationwide picking up the bill! Just be wary of them bumping up the bill with pads and discs, brake pipes, suspension rubbers, exhaust etc. I'd be standing over them and watching them work.

Edited by Bill Payer on 27/10/2009 at 18:00

Nationwide AC - Servicing - TheOilBurner
. Im sure it
has 12 plugs and takes 7-8 litres of oil so that alone will set me
back £100 before i have even with the other parts.

So the question you need to ask yourself: what spark plugs and oil will Nationwide put in to make it cost effective for them?
Nationwide AC - Servicing - loskie
Tke a look at this thread here;
my own experience of Nationwide is included.
"selling up" is a term I think fits this practice.

Nationwide AC - Servicing - adam f
Well i rang a local MB and audi speacilist for a quote and the price they came back with was betwenn £500-£600 + £50 to bleed the brakes and £50 for a coolant change. Dont think ill be going there as the car is really only worth double that.
Nationwide AC - Servicing - TheOilBurner
Are you sure that was a MB specialist and not a main dealer? I would expect a specialist to be a good £200 lower than those prices.

Value my car