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Ask RiotACT: large discrepancy in car servicing costs

By Jane Williams - 7 March 2017 8

Ask RiotACT

Hi Rioters.

I recently took my 4 year old car in for a service at a large dealership in Phillip.

When I purchased my car I extended my warranty to 5 years.

I wasn’t overly happy so I took my car to a local mechanic to get a second opinion.

The local mechanic indicated some of the work that was flagged that needed to be done didn’t need to be, and ended up fixing a couple of the other issues for $500 instead of $1650 quoted from the large dealership.

I understand pricing will vary but surely not this much? Given the large discrepancy as well as telling me certain things needed fixing when they didn’t need to be I’d love to know if there is anything I can do to report this?

The other aspect that really annoyed me about the large dealership was I contacted the service manager (as I received these details via a survey after my service). I then phoned and left a message. I’m still to hear back.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: large discrepancy in car servicing costs
TinyTank 12:28 pm 10 Mar 17

iLazy said :

jcjordan said :

I for one will never go back to the small local mechanic every again. I have twice no had jobs done for lower quoted price to find out how they managed to achieve these prices.

Very low quality parts in the first instance and in one case for me a part that was so sub standard that it resulted in a significant failure and a huge bill to repair right. The other major problem is the level of quality control. They rush through the job and don’t check their work. This has again would have resulted in a major failure had I not caught on early. In both cases the local mechanic was not concerned but happy to charge me again to get it fixed.
I will stick with the dealerships that actually care enough to do the job right the first time even though it costs me more.
Just as an aside the Subaru dealership in Phillip has always been good for me.

Astroturf much?

Probably, but I’ll chime in with a similar story. I bought a new car and took it to a ‘local’ mechanic for the 15k service. Unfortunately, however, they didn’t service my car to the required specifications which directly resulted in me being stuck on the side of Parkes Way, needing a tow to the dealership for repairs. The dealership didn’t charge me (it was a somewhat simple fix that should have been done by the other mechanic- run a re-gen to clear the diesel particulate filter which was 97% blocked). I thanked the dealership mechanic but took my car to another local mechanic for the 30k service. This time I was told all my tyres needed replacing (which they would arrange for me immediately). I followed this up with a tyre shop and was told my tyres just needed a rotation and 2 would be fine for another 10,000km, with the other 2 fine for another ~15,000km.

Long story short, I’ve since taken my car to a dealership for servicing and haven’t had a single problem since. I’ll also note that the first mechanic wouldn’t accept any responsibility for their mistake. The owner tried to argue with me that my car didn’t even have a DPF so there’s no way it could have been blocked!

justin heywood 5:10 pm 09 Mar 17

According to CarSales.com, dealers only make around 5% of their profit on new car sales. The bulk of their profit comes from servicing cars.

The dealers get away with over-servicing/overcharging because so many people don’t pay the bill themselves or assume that, because it’s a ‘Name’ dealer, they won’t get ripped off (but oh yes they will).

Find a good private workshop and stick with them.

https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-advice/dealer-profit-margins-explained-32397

iLazy 11:49 am 09 Mar 17

jcjordan said :

I for one will never go back to the small local mechanic every again. I have twice no had jobs done for lower quoted price to find out how they managed to achieve these prices.

Very low quality parts in the first instance and in one case for me a part that was so sub standard that it resulted in a significant failure and a huge bill to repair right. The other major problem is the level of quality control. They rush through the job and don’t check their work. This has again would have resulted in a major failure had I not caught on early. In both cases the local mechanic was not concerned but happy to charge me again to get it fixed.
I will stick with the dealerships that actually care enough to do the job right the first time even though it costs me more.
Just as an aside the Subaru dealership in Phillip has always been good for me.

Astroturf much?

jcjordan 6:41 am 09 Mar 17

I for one will never go back to the small local mechanic every again. I have twice no had jobs done for lower quoted price to find out how they managed to achieve these prices. Very low quality parts in the first instance and in one case for me a part that was so sub standard that it resulted in a significant failure and a huge bill to repair right. The other major problem is the level of quality control. They rush through the job and don’t check their work. This has again would have resulted in a major failure had I not caught on early. In both cases the local mechanic was not concerned but happy to charge me again to get it fixed.
I will stick with the dealerships that actually care enough to do the job right the first time even though it costs me more.
Just as an aside the Subaru dealership in Phillip has always been good for me.

Paul Costigan 10:35 pm 08 Mar 17

Happy to name someone – we have a Skoda – and have purposely avoided dealers (actually we bought it in Moss Vale) – we have used Northside European in Mitchell for the services and a bit of advice. so far all good – very friendly – recommended.

Maryann Mussared 12:00 pm 08 Mar 17

I won’t mention names, but I felt bullied by the car dealership I bought my car from. Not only did they give me incorrect information about the wear on my tyres at the first service, and charge me over what the ‘set service cost’ was, but someone also scratched my car getting the spare out. They denied it. I mentioneall this to a friend who had the same type of car. He immediately went into a rant about the same organisation and gave me the name of a northside and southside servicer who I could use without compromising my warranty. I had specifically been told by the dealership the opposite. I am now a very happy customer of a very good car servicer who goes beyond what anyone would expect. Shop around and talk to people with the same sort of car.

Boobs 10:56 am 07 Mar 17

There is a very large dealership in Philip that serviced my “new” 2nd hand car that I would never go back to. Having made my 2011 Subaru un-roadworthy they then quoted me over $6K to fix it. I had the car towed after paying them $600 for trashing the car. My non-Subaru mechanic fixed it for under $2.5K… but didn’t use genuine parts! It would be been under $2K but for the damage they did.
I have since asked around and heard a lot of Subaru owners who have had bad experiences with that particular service centre.

paservank 9:27 am 07 Mar 17

Hi Jane – I had the same experience a few years back. VW Golf needed a part replaced and the dealership quoted $1500 and couldn’t do it for a few weeks. Took it to Dyno Tune in Mitchell and they did it the next day for $850. Dealerships suck! Small mechanics rock (and it won’t affect your warranty)!

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