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Recommendations for a good car service?

By geminisc 8 October 2009 26

I moved in from Sydney about 2 months ago. Am loving the change of pace and exploring all that Canberra has to offer.

A few weeks into my arrival in Canberra my car was due for a service. I did a quick google search and on advice from my boss (make sure they offer a complimentary car service to take you to work and pick you up while your car is being worked on) picked a car service at random.

Suffice to say that sometimes picking a company at random based only on the criteria that drive you to work and pick you up to collect your car isn’t necessarily enough to guarantee a satisfactory car service.

Usually after a car service my car seems to drive more smoothly – even if it is only for two weeks before it reverts back to being a grumpy little thing.

In this case within minutes of gaining my car back, I noticed that it struggled a little between gears (it’s an automatic), especially when I first start the car – something that I’ve never dealt with before. Usually the gears shift fairly smoothly and when they do start growling, you know it’s due for a service. I was told that the brakes had also been replaced, but within hours of receiving my car, I noticed that my car brakes were squeaking. I thought the whole point of replacing brakes was so that they *wouldn’t* squeak?

Other than the replacement of a front globe (which I specifically asked for), the complimentary ride and a bevy of very friendly mechanics, I don’t feel that the cost of my car service was worth it.

Not to mention they managed to screw up my clock and car radio. I know that’s small and petty but my previous mechanic never had this problem. I’d come back to collect my car and the time would show the right time and all my stations were still in their preset buttons.

I’ve had friends who’ve suggested that I should’ve just returned the car straight away and asked why it felt like the car still had problems. But me being 1. non confrontational, and 2. not all that au fait with car stuff, decided I’d give the car a little while to adjust and see if it was just my own paranoia abt being taken advantage of by a car mechanic that made me feel like I wasn’t getting my money’s worth and give it some time to see how it goes.

Two months later I’m still experiencing these problems, although the brakes have started squeaking a little less. I’m starting to think I should just change mechanics altogether and treat it as an expensive lesson learned.

Not to mention that I know for a fact that my engine belt (?) – that thing that supposedly keeps my engine moving – is due for a replacement and is fairly vital to the running of my car. My previous mechanic told me it should on average cost me around $300 on top of a normal service. Talk about expensive….

So my question to all you Rioters is…. do you have recommendations for a good car servicer? My car is a Holden, but it’s an old model, so I’m not too precious about going to a Holden dealer to get it serviced.

Here are the basic parameters:

  • I’m happy to go anywhere to get it done – I currently live in Bungendore, so I’m more than prepared to drive around, although naturally it’d be ideal if the car servicer was somewhere between or along the way between Bungendore and Acton where I work.
  • I’d also like to have the complimentary car service thingy where they can drive you to work while your car is getting fixed. It makes life a lot easier compared to figuring out bus schedules or paying for a taxi to get to work.
  • I’d love for the service to be reasonably priced given that I know for a fact I will have to spend at least $300 on the getting the belt replaced. I say reasonably priced because I notice that prices in Canberra in general are pricier than Sydney. Having said that if they’re a decent mechanic they’re probably worth the extra dough.

Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated!

What’s Your opinion?


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Recommendations for a good car service?
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geminisc 6:14 pm 10 Oct 09

thanks for these further recommendations

further to everyone’s comments about buses – dumb thing to say, but i didn’t realise that mos buses would likely stop a my work place. although now that the obvious is pointed out to me, some of the places recommended sound pretty convenient, in terms of ‘all buses should stop near civic’

when i originally looked at places to get my car serviced i was looking at places in fyshwick (husband’s suggestion, as he reckoned that they would likely be cheaper priced than cbd) and I wasn’t sure abou buses to and from fyshwick to acton.

there are definately lots of recommendations here and i will need to spend some time investigating them all.

thanks again for all your recs. i knew i could rely on riotact to show me the right way to go! =)

cleo 1:53 am 10 Oct 09

PS Richards phone number 62972333

cleo 1:49 am 10 Oct 09

Gombars were really good, used them years ago, had my car done recently, it was going to cost me almost $800.00 so I checked around and talked to friends, took it to Richard on Canberra Ave and Stephens Road Queanbeyan, cost me $520, he is honest, I put my car in about 10am and picked it up at 2.30pm, I already had a service done close to home, also two new tyers and wheel aligment, I rang the people who did the service about parts for my car so they could repair it, rang twice, he said that he would get back to me, as he was chasing the parts up,never heard back, so I called in and he said your answering machine isn’t working properly, what a load of BS, I will never go back to them again

andym 3:55 pm 09 Oct 09

+1 for Canberra Motor Works at Mitchell. And Ray will organise a loaner for you if you ask when you book for a small fee.

none-a-wall 1:36 pm 09 Oct 09

Gentech in Mitchell are great, esp. with Holdens. Worked on everything for us, from new VE’s, to Vectra, and even my old Apollo. They were able to bring it back from the dead after a 5 year string of dodgy services from around the Mitchell area. cleaned all the ‘gunk’ out from the engine during a regular service, even though others quoted as much as $2000… And they always call before they do any additional work! You can google gentech perfomance for more info.

Pommy bastard 1:00 pm 09 Oct 09

I use the guys at the Hawker K-Mart, godo blokes, good work, fair price.

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