Author Topic: COMMENTARY: The dark art of car servicing - There must be a better way  (Read 2452 times)

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  • Posts: 260
  • au Australia
    Sydney
So I’m about to have my car serviced for it’s 6th time (72m service) and the 6 years I have owned it, every service has only involved engine oil and filter with the odd fuel filter on one of them and an air filter on this upcoming service and tyre rotation.  Everything else is a massive list of “inspect, inspect, inspect etc”.  Do you think anyone has realistically ever done these inspections?

Given the number of cars each dealership churns over each day and the fact that most staff doing these services must be SO bored changing oil and their reluctance to look at anything out of the ordinary that gets asked of them to check making it easier to just come back with “no fault found” or something like that, which means you need to leave it overnight for them to just repeat the same message the next day.

You only have to read about the out-of-the-ordinary issues reported on these forums and the absolute consistency of basically rarely being able to get anything looked at properly without some serious cage rattling and several trips to a dealer by the time most issues ever gets sorted.

I have looked at taking my car to a local independent and have walked past a few of them in my local area and to be honest would never leave my car there to be even touched judging from the chaos of junk lying around, filthy premises, cars packed in (amazed no scrapes or damage is done to these).  They have cheap prices for an oil changes, which is all the dealers do anyway but as soon as you mention log book service they jack up the price just to do the same work to be about $20 cheaper than the dealer just to stamp your book for doing exactly the same job.  I have never had any “relationship” with my local independents as I have had company cars for over 25 years.  This i30 is basically the first car I have ever purchased with my own folding stuff.

Not one dealer has ever come back to me for anything other than a TRY-ON job like a $99 cabin filter and brake fluid change request on a 2 year old car (the other HY)  but nobody has even brought this up with my 6 year old i30 other than to tell me what my brake wear is (funny how I can get my brake pads to grow in thickness between my 3rd and 4th year service so I even doubt this information).  Also, surely after the 6th year, the coolant needs to be changed and not just “inspect”?

SCEPTIC ALERT:  Do they really even change the oil on every service? 




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  • HOS BOSS
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  • england England
    Wirral
  • Wirral, UK. - 1.4 Petrol Active - Aqua Blue
What about brake fluid.
Thank should be included in 2nd, 4th, 6th......

So not done on your car?
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  • au Australia
    Brisbane Qld
I think cap price servicing is the cause for the love of INSPECT only,
I have notice a while back that the schedule in the owners manual  (manufactures recommendations) is different to the AUS HY schedule services, eg manufacture replace pollen filter every 12mths, AUS HY inspect only. Until outside of cap price service then replace immediately.

Same with the brake fluid, INSPECT only never replace, and when the dealership are inspecting to you think they are reading the moisture level or just "yeah it's full"

  • i30 MY14 Trophy Manual Petrol

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  • Author
  • Posts: 260
  • au Australia
    Sydney
I think cap price servicing is the cause for the love of INSPECT only,
I have notice a while back that the schedule in the owners manual  (manufactures recommendations) is different to the AUS HY schedule services, eg manufacture replace pollen filter every 12mths, AUS HY inspect only. Until outside of cap price service then replace immediately.

Same with the brake fluid, INSPECT only never replace, and when the dealership are inspecting to you think they are reading the moisture level or just "yeah it's full"

I don’t think any reading is done. Just a quick glance (if at all) especially out of warranty.

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  • Posts: 2,268
  • au Australia
    Tura Beach ( Deep Deep South Coast) NSW
Local Hy dealer tried to sting a friend of ours on Friday $97:00 + labour + gst for 2014 GD Cabin filter. Couldn't give firm price as unsure of amount of time required. 
Reply :
"Your name is ?
Dirty is it ? ,
OK , thanks for letting me know I'll call into PEP'S auto parts on way home and get one for about $25:00, thanks again ". I'll make sure to ask for YOU when I pick car up "  :rofl:
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  • Laughter is the best medicine. .
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  • au Australia
    Devonport Tasmania
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I'm sure there are some good dealer Service centres and staff around (we all know at least one)  :whistler:

But I agree about the re-jigging of service components since the fixed price service came about (I'm sure all brands would be doing it)  :disapp:
  • MY18 PD SR & 2014 1.6 GDi Tourer (Prev had 2008  i30 CRDi & MY11 Petrol CW)

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  • Tyre Guru
  • Posts: 15,235
  • au Australia
    Caloundra, Queensland.
I'm sure there are some good dealer Service centres and staff around (we all know at least one)  :whistler:

But I agree about the re-jigging of service components since the fixed price service came about (I'm sure all brands would be doing it)  :disapp:

Yep. I can confirm Toyota does it (if you let them.............  :victory:)
  • 2013 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport 6sp Manual. formerly 2009 i30 Hatch 5sp Manual.

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  • Author
  • Posts: 260
  • au Australia
    Sydney
Does anyone have any feedback on NRMA service centres?

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  • Posts: 2,268
  • au Australia
    Tura Beach ( Deep Deep South Coast) NSW
Probably only a franchisee who needs to cover costs and franchise %
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  • au Australia
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her..

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  • fi Finland
    Helsinki
Based on the condition of coolant and brakefluid, HY had never changed them during first 5 years /55tkm on my car.

On the other hand one local mechanic fixed my previous car. He provided me even the receipts of all the parts he had bought. So I only paid for labour and the real price of the parts he had paid.

  • i30 cw 1.6crdi -08

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  • Posts: 6,116
  • england England
    Manchester City centre
  • Curmudgeon
I dunno if this will work or not, but here goes:-

:link: Vehicle Health Check from Lookers ?KODA Manchester

I had my car serviced on Friday last and whilst I sat drinking their coffee and noshing their bscuits I recieved this informing me that my car was all done and dusted and that all checks had been carried out and here's the video to prove it.

I was well impressed  :goodjob: :goodjob: :goodjob: :goodjob:

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  • Posts: 41,230
  • england England
    Manchester, UK
    • i30 Owners Club
^ that's a good service they offer, Asa :goodjob:

Our local VW dealer has been doing that on the lass's Up!, pre and post service.
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  • Posts: 6,116
  • england England
    Manchester City centre
  • Curmudgeon
^ that's a good service they offer, Asa :goodjob:

Our local VW dealer has been doing that on the lass's Up!, pre and post service.

They're really upping (PUN intended) their game and I am sure this sort of thing will become the norm to stop doubting Thomasses (of which I was definitly one)

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  • Posts: 2,268
  • au Australia
    Tura Beach ( Deep Deep South Coast) NSW
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

Have you pulled one out to  check it?
Sometimes it's just , ...... filth!
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  • Posts: 2,568
  • au Australia
    Samford Valley
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

Have you pulled one out to  check it?
Sometimes it's just , ...... filth!

MICK  :disapp:  IN shock!!
 You expect us to actually, physically , do something ourselves. :Shocked:
Next it will be put tender pinkies under bonnet and check the fluid levels. Now that's filth!   :whistler:
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  • Posts: 2,268
  • au Australia
    Tura Beach ( Deep Deep South Coast) NSW
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

Have you pulled one out to  check it?
Sometimes it's just , ...... filth!

MICK  :disapp:  IN shock!!
 You expect us to actually, physically , do something ourselves. :Shocked:
Next it will be put tender pinkies under bonnet and check the fluid levels. Now that's filth!   :whistler:

 :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:
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  • au Australia
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

Have you pulled one out to  check it?
Sometimes it's just , ...... filth!

Yep pulled them out, didn't look too bad, gave it a vacume just in case. From memory, pull out the Glovebox undo 2 or 3 screws job done. Hardly something that should involve a charge of labor on a part whose price you have inflated to three times the cost on the market.

Personally don't mind things being checked and replaced as needed. It is inefficient to change things that still work.
  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her..

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  • Posts: 2,268
  • au Australia
    Tura Beach ( Deep Deep South Coast) NSW
Can't say I have ever replaced a cabin filter....

Have you pulled one out to  check it?
Sometimes it's just , ...... filth!

Yep pulled them out, didn't look too bad, gave it a vacume just in case. From memory, pull out the Glovebox undo 2 or 3 screws job done. Hardly something that should involve a charge of labor on a part whose price you have inflated to three times the cost on the market.

Personally don't mind things being checked and replaced as needed. It is inefficient to change things that still work.

Fair enough,  horses for courses as they say. 
Only pulled 2 out,
our GD at 6 months old,  full of black crap - same crap i hosing off the car every couple of mornings when Anita was working at Canterbury. (Yes, it was Canterbury rd, yes it was in bedding, no it wasn't that  :lol:) Had that replaced with 12 mth service as well.
The FD we bought Kate,  posted pics somewhere,  about 2 years old, yuck.
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  • Posts: 2,568
  • au Australia
    Samford Valley
(funny how I can get my brake pads to grow in thickness between my 3rd and 4th year service so I even doubt this information). 

Its definitely due to climate change.  :goodjob2: True!
The floorboards in my house expand when it rains a lot.
  • Every FD model; BMW Z3 M; Mitzi Magna(mobile office)

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  • Posts: 4,386
  • au Australia
Back on topic,

Servicing these days seems to be...

Would you like an oil treatment to get the krud out before we change the oil $15
We have a special on A/c treatment and disinfect $99
Some other dodgy add on $30
  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her..

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  • Author
  • Posts: 260
  • au Australia
    Sydney
@beerman definitely agree.  Instead of concentrating on the stuff that is important, they are only interested in bumping up the total price by $30, $99, something with some labour costs etc knowing full well that you cannot easily show whether it has been done or not.

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  • Posts: 2,568
  • au Australia
    Samford Valley
So I’m about to have my car serviced for it’s 6th time (72m service) and the 6 years I have owned it, every service has only involved engine oil and filter with the odd fuel filter on one of them and an air filter on this upcoming service and tyre rotation.  Everything else is a massive list of “inspect, inspect, inspect etc”.  Do you think anyone has realistically ever done these inspections?


 :rolleyes:

Whats wrong with getting your hands dirty?  Do the work yourself !
  • Every FD model; BMW Z3 M; Mitzi Magna(mobile office)

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  • Laughter is the best medicine. .
  • Posts: 61,522
  • au Australia
    Devonport Tasmania
  • Best Car Forum on the Net
So I’m about to have my car serviced for it’s 6th time (72m service) and the 6 years I have owned it, every service has only involved engine oil and filter with the odd fuel filter on one of them and an air filter on this upcoming service and tyre rotation.  Everything else is a massive list of “inspect, inspect, inspect etc”.  Do you think anyone has realistically ever done these inspections?


 :rolleyes:

Whats wrong with getting your hands dirty?  Do the work yourself !

You are either that way inclined or you are not. I do 90% of things myself to save a $. I don't like paying anyone to do something I can do myself. Yet, despite being brought up around garages and car dealerships I've never serviced my own car. (apart from the basics like checking and topping up oil, tyres and changing easy filters.) My dad was a mechanic as was my Stepdad at one stage and my older brother had an Auto electrical business for many years. Go figure!  :crazy1:

It could be because I don't like getting my hands dirty (greasy)  :undecided:
  • MY18 PD SR & 2014 1.6 GDi Tourer (Prev had 2008  i30 CRDi & MY11 Petrol CW)

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  • au Australia
Changing oil isn't that hard, getting rid of it is. The time I would need to take to and from the tip to dump the oil makes it marginal in my mind. Plus when I am in a brick doing 110 km/h I would like to think that someone who knows what they are doing has looked over the brick to make sure it is safe. Paying someone $120 (I supply the parts) to do this once or twice a year seems reasonable to me.

I'm getting the 1500k service done today, wonder if they will wash my car......
  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her..

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  • Laughter is the best medicine. .
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  • au Australia
    Devonport Tasmania
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Changing oil isn't that hard, getting rid of it is. The time I would need to take to and from the tip to dump the oil makes it marginal in my mind. Plus when I am in a brick doing 110 km/h I would like to think that someone who knows what they are doing has looked over the brick to make sure it is safe. Paying someone $120 (I supply the parts) to do this once or twice a year seems reasonable to me.

I'm getting the 1500k service done today, wonder if they will wash my car......

They should and would at my local dealer, but the quality of the wash varies considerably from fair to very poor..  :undecided:
  • MY18 PD SR & 2014 1.6 GDi Tourer (Prev had 2008  i30 CRDi & MY11 Petrol CW)

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  • au Australia
So I'm guessing the foul black brake dust on the front wheels will remain for me to clean either way??

How hard is it to wash a car properly. I did a quick half hour job on the Kia before I sent it back to Right to Drive (I had done the inside the day before). It was clean to my standards (and about 1000% better than how I got it) they thought I was a superstar.... To do a crap job would have saved say 5 minutes.....Why bother?
  • A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her..

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  • Laughter is the best medicine. .
  • Posts: 61,522
  • au Australia
    Devonport Tasmania
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So I'm guessing the foul black brake dust on the front wheels will remain for me to clean either way??

How hard is it to wash a car properly. I did a quick half hour job on the Kia before I sent it back to Right to Drive (I had done the inside the day before). It was clean to my standards (and about 1000% better than how I got it) they thought I was a superstar.... To do a crap job would have saved say 5 minutes.....Why bother?

Yep, the brake dust is usually what is left. About half of it anyway, which is probably worse than leaving it dirty. They missed a whole side once!  :crazy1:
  • MY18 PD SR & 2014 1.6 GDi Tourer (Prev had 2008  i30 CRDi & MY11 Petrol CW)

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  • Author
  • Posts: 260
  • au Australia
    Sydney
So I’m about to have my car serviced for it’s 6th time (72m service) and the 6 years I have owned it, every service has only involved engine oil and filter with the odd fuel filter on one of them and an air filter on this upcoming service and tyre rotation.  Everything else is a massive list of “inspect, inspect, inspect etc”.  Do you think anyone has realistically ever done these inspections?


 :rolleyes:

Whats wrong with getting your hands dirty?  Do the work yourself !

That’s all good and I have done this in the past but why should I have to?  My real issue is that the car service industry is probably one of the shonkiest. It goes across independents right through to the major dealers and nobody has been able to create a business model that fixes the trust issues for consumers.

Some thought capped price services may have helped only to lead to cost cutting under serviced cars that are only “inspected” and very little work is done to earn their $250-$400 cap.

The industry is ripe for a disruptive business model that would bring back trust and integrity and shake up the industry.

  • *
  • Laughter is the best medicine. .
  • Posts: 61,522
  • au Australia
    Devonport Tasmania
  • Best Car Forum on the Net
So I’m about to have my car serviced for it’s 6th time (72m service) and the 6 years I have owned it, every service has only involved engine oil and filter with the odd fuel filter on one of them and an air filter on this upcoming service and tyre rotation.  Everything else is a massive list of “inspect, inspect, inspect etc”.  Do you think anyone has realistically ever done these inspections?


 :rolleyes:

Whats wrong with getting your hands dirty?  Do the work yourself !

That’s all good and I have done this in the past but why should I have to?  My real issue is that the car service industry is probably one of the shonkiest. It goes across independents right through to the major dealers and nobody has been able to create a business model that fixes the trust issues for consumers.

Some thought capped price services may have helped only to lead to cost cutting under serviced cars that are only “inspected” and very little work is done to earn their $250-$400 cap.

The industry is ripe for a disruptive business model that would bring back trust and integrity and shake up the industry.

 :Agoodpost: well said and valid comments!   :goodjob:
  • MY18 PD SR & 2014 1.6 GDi Tourer (Prev had 2008  i30 CRDi & MY11 Petrol CW)