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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Just like independent shops, dealerships range from first rate to stealerships.

I go to the dealer during the bumper-to-bumper period (1 more year on our Mazda) and if necessary for warranty work on the power train (3 more years). Beyond that, I would rarely service a vehicle at dealerships. We have been satisfied with one of Kal Tire franchises near us for the past 10 years. They've got a pretty good reputation, at least in their 'home region' of the Okanagan Valley
So if I have warranty, I should be going to a dealership? And outside of the warranty go somewhere else?
 

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So if I have warranty, I should be going to a dealership? And outside of the warranty go somewhere else?
I would for 'free' warranty work, e.g. replace a malfunctioning sensor like adaptive cruise control. Post-warranty, for me at least, it depends on what the problem is as to whether I'd go back to the dealer. Something that is oddball and likely to stump an independent, or complex like a bad sensor in the auto tranny, it is probably best to go to the dealer. I wouldn't go back to the dealer for brakes, alignments et al.
 

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So if I have warranty, I should be going to a dealership? And outside of the warranty go somewhere else?
I have close family that are mechanics. In fact we used to buy whatever make that our mechanic worked at. We would go to him for our maintenance, he was able to sign off on the work (he could do that for any brand). If there was warranty work, he would tell us, and we would bring it into the dealer, and we were covered. He's gotten busier and my spouse wanted a brand that our mechanic didn't like servicing because it's harder for him to get the parts. . For that one, we bring it in to the dealership, just because. Though, if there is an emergency, or someone weird, he will look at first to make sure we are not being taken for a ride.

If you find a trusted mechanic, and follow the schedule then you are fine.
 

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I really hope I can keep doing my own work for a long time. I’ve been wrenching on my cars since I was 16. Many decades have passed. My experience and tool inventory just keeps growing. Its been fantastic saving a ton of cash all my life. I have not been to a dealership shop or any other garage for many years. I currently maintain 5 vehicles my wife and I own. (2 are 1938 vintage) Our adult sons have a couple of vehicles and I use those to teach them how to do their own repairs. My tools and experience really get a lot of use. Lol. Its rewarding and we all love the savings. The work is done right.

I’ve always loved the saying “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.” Unfortunately for my wife sometimes, I’ve lived by those words my whole life. Lol.
 

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I do most of the basic maintenance myself.

Needed a new engine air filter for my GM Volt. Turns out the dealer is my only source now. CTC stopped carrying it. Even Amazon sellers have dried up.

So I ordered it at dealer. Not stock; would be in the next day. I can understand - the gas engine runs so little I swap this thing every 2 years.

Taxes in it cost me $86. One screwdriver 5 minute job to swap it.

I hate to even dream what the dealership would have charged to install it.

At the price and rarity I actually vacuumed and then soak washed my old filter in dilute fantastic to fight the embedded oil and smog particles.

Then a couple of water rinses. I have all the time in the world for the thing to dry- I just put it under cover on days with rain in the forecast. In two years there is a good chance this used one will go back in the car and I will start the same routine with the one I just shelled out the funds for.
 

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Why are GM Volt air filters $86? Because it's a hybrid?

In the US I just order one for $15 USD on amazon and had it installed a day later. 2 screws for the MAF sensor and a couple latches

I think the performance reusuable ones are like $86 but I find Canadian winters too harsh on them
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I have close family that are mechanics. In fact we used to buy whatever make that our mechanic worked at. We would go to him for our maintenance, he was able to sign off on the work (he could do that for any brand). If there was warranty work, he would tell us, and we would bring it into the dealer, and we were covered. He's gotten busier and my spouse wanted a brand that our mechanic didn't like servicing because it's harder for him to get the parts. . For that one, we bring it in to the dealership, just because. Though, if there is an emergency, or someone weird, he will look at first to make sure we are not being taken for a ride.

If you find a trusted mechanic, and follow the schedule then you are fine.
So after 4 times my dealership can't find the issue I've been complaining about - strut is making a noise. I will find another shop to do my regular maintenance as well pay for a diagnosis and go back to the dealer with the results. These mechanics at the dealerships are useless!!!
 

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So after 4 times my dealership can't find the issue I've been complaining about - strut is making a noise. I will find another shop to do my regular maintenance as well pay for a diagnosis and go back to the dealer with the results. These mechanics at the dealerships are useless!!!
Yes

I've tested them a few times and they don't follow their own service manuals. They take any short cuts they can and actually care less and know less than the online communities

European dealers (Germany) on the other hand were 100% by the book
 

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I took my car to the dealer when it was on warranty and after that when I wrote my car expenses off against income. Since then I have been dealing with the same trusted mechanic for 15 plus years.

I might take the car into the dealer for an oil change. The dealer service people give me a list of what they want me to do along with the price. I review that with my mechanic.

I do keep track of, and follow the maintenance guide closely as it pertains to all fluid replacement....transmission, brake, coolant, oil, etc. Seems to have worked. Last car had no issues top 350KM other than routine mtce items.

Doing exactly the same for our 2006 and 2007 vehicles and have no current plans to upgrade.
 

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Bought a low mileage Maxima and took it to the Nissan dealer for an oil change. I lost a clip for the air filter. They told me that they could only replace the filter housing for 400 plus. They also said my drive belt needed replacement for another $200. I ignored their crap. Bought two new clips from eBay for $15 and took the car to a corner mechanic. for the drive belt. The guy said it was unlikely that I needed a new drive belt, I had him change it and it cost me 160. He said the old bely was in good shape with no issues. I was thinking how this Nissan dealer might exploit the unknowing public. They will never have me show up there again.
 

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I‘ve never changed a drive belt on a car. Been driving for 30 years. Guess I’ve been lucky.

what’s the usual change interval? Wife’s car has 130k on it. Will have a look at it today.
Check your owner's manual for maintenance schedule. The first cars with belt driven cams, in the seventies, often called for a new belt every 100,000 Km. That went out the window in the eighties, most do not ever require the belt to be replaced in other words it lasts the life of the engine. But if you inspect it and the rubber is cracking and it is getting frayed along the edges better replace it or trade in the car.
 

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My car is now 10 years old with 100k kms. I will do all the belts, thermostat, water pump just for piece of mind. All the fluids will be changed as well

Recently it started to make a horrible sound that I figured was the belts. It was actually air in the power steering fluid. I was at Subaru for a recall and asked them for an estimate they quote like $1500

I fixed it for $3.53 (1 OEM o-ring that probably cost a few cents) and it took exactly 1 socket and 2 bolts to fix. Probably the best google mechanicing I've done
 
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