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Car maintenance/repair
Old 01-12-2015, 06:38 PM   #1
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Car maintenance/repair

For those who do not work on their cars, where do you take your car for service/maintenance/repair? Do you stick with the factory recommended service schedule? Is there a local mechanic who you like to deal with or do you use a national chain like Jiffy Lube, etc? Or do you just go back to the dealer and have it serviced there?
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:58 PM   #2
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I stick with the factory recommended maintenance.

It is done by a local garage that has a good reputation.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:09 PM   #3
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+1 Though I usually go to the dealership for oil changes and routine maintenance during the bumper-to-bumper warranty period. The only charge $25 for an oil change IIRC so that doesn't seem so bad.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:11 PM   #4
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The people who designed and built the engine would be the ones whose opinions carry the most weight. Their recommendations appear in the owner's manual, so that's what I go by.
Luckily I found a local mechanic whose work I like, so that's where the cars go.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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I follow the recommended maintenance in the back of the owner's manual and only have warranty work done at a dealership. I use a good independent shop for oil changes and work out of warranty. A good resource to find said good independent shop is the Car Talk Mechanics Files.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
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Find a busy local mechanic and treat him (or her) right.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:06 PM   #7
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back to the dealership for work......they have all the right equipment and parts for my car.....they are aware of all factory recalls and give me a free loaner either free or cheap.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:25 PM   #8
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With my current car, I rely on the maintenance minder of the car as to when to get regular work done. Only service I've needed (bought car used in 2013) is oil change. I bring that to a Car-X within bicycling/walking (well, at least in the summer time) distance.

There is an independent shop where the mechanic has a good reputation but he's always really busy. More convenient to just go the Car-X route. A dealer is the plan B, but I don't like going to dealers' shops for maintenance.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:51 PM   #9
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As long as the car is under warranty I have the factory dealership do most of the work. (except oil changes since it's easier and much quicker just to do it myself. Also, I want to be sure the highest quality oil and filters are used)

Out of warranty, I'll typically do all the work myself.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:29 AM   #10
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When my car is "in warranty", It goes to the dealer, once a month for a check-up, but that hasn't happened since 1973. Otherwise, I do it myself. Getting harder to move around under the car anymore, so I may have to look for a local shop for oil changes in the next year or two.
Since we don't drive as much, our 96 Cadillac and 98 Lincoln, don't require too much in servicing. Neither one has been to an garage in the past 3 years. Since the book value for each car is about $2000, the few annoyances that come from age... we just live with. The last major fix I did myself... four wheel brake job... new discs, fiber pads, total cost $215.

Both cars have ride level suspension systems that don't work right, so the onboard computer shuts them down. No bother... the default ride is a little bit harder, but with a repair from the dealer the cost is between $4K and 5K.

Also, on the Caddy, the onboard diagnostics light up the check engine warning about once every three months, but that's common with that car (Map sensor triggers after long idle). Just a few button pushes to turn off the light. My guess... The Check Engine light is profit magnet for dealers, especially in states that require emissions checks. The average owner is at the mercy of the dealer.

The other problem that really bothered me, was that the slow automatic trunk pull-down stopped working and I had to disconnect it. $600 to fix... no way. I liked that classy feature.The cars still look great,white with blue convertible tops and no nicks or dents. We'll probably never get another car.

About 5 years ago, I had a very noisy squeak in the steering, and, worried about a steering loss, brought it to the local Lincoln Dealership. Received a call... Cost to repair would be $5,000. No Way!... Used a printer ink syringe and some motor oil to squirt into the rubber boot of the linkage. Total cost... $0. Never problem since that day.
Oh... BTW... when I went to pick up the car after getting the call about the estimate... the damned head mechanic said he wouldn't give me the car back unless I signed a release. I was bigger than him, and at the time pretty strong and uh... aggressive. That little experience cost him, as I posted the scam on our community bulletin board. 350 car owners out of the Lincoln dealership loop in our town. Older folk are at risk for these guys.
And so... dealer trust?... No!

Both cars have excellent mechanic websites that cover every imaginable problem. If I were to ever give advice on car repair, I'd suggest finding the very best mechanic website in advance. My experience is that whenever I sense a problem, a visit to the website either gives a simple fix, or at the very least, will suggest a reasonable cost for any repair at a shop. I don't trust the dealerships.
Here's the best site for Cadillacs as a example. It's a huge site with 130 thousand members, and user friendly.
You may have to dig a little to find one of these specialty sites for your car make, but it will be worth the trouble.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/

+1 on the busy local mechanic/shop.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:00 AM   #11
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BIL is a gas station mechanic, so he does the ordinary stuff. If something bigger is required, we go to whoever he suggests (usually a busy independent). He has never suggested the dealer. He says the guy at the dealer who writes the ticket gets a hefty percent of what you pay, so is incented to sell more than you need.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:52 AM   #12
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I stick to the manufacture recommended service schedule and I usually ask for the specific item listed. In the past (i.e. fresh out of college) I went to the dealer but quickly realized that their service packages were mostly fluff and that they try to oversell services.

We found an independent mechanic that specializes in our make (honda) and they have been fantastic for service and repairs.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:05 AM   #13
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I use a nearby old sleazy-looking garage that ironically has 2 good low priced mechanics who also own the place. I try to never go to the dealer since they are almost always way overpriced and love to suggest unnecessary and expensive work. Example: they wanted $50 to replace in-cabin air filter on my gf's car. I youtubed it to find out how to do it, and replaced it myself in 5 minutes, for $0 labor, and $10 for the new filter.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
Find a busy local mechanic and treat him (or her) right.
The Magliozzi brothers recommend bringing your mechanic(s) a batch of brownies several times a year. Here's an analysis of that advice and how to do it correctly:

As Read: Proper Brownie-to-Mechanic Ratio | Car Talk
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:20 AM   #15
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Wow. Lots of folks going to the dealer. I hate to pay even an independent garage much less the dealer rates. I typically have older cars that I drive into the ground. I try to do all of the work myself. It seems like this strategy would have a significant LBYM potential over time. I do live in traditional car country however.

Our friends will tease us and such for driving the older cars, but eventually it becomes a point of pride. I also don't worry about driving these cars into questionable areas of town.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:39 AM   #16
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DW won't let me touch her scoob so she takes it in for oil changes


I DIY on my other two vehicles - I do, however, have my golf cart professionally serviced
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:57 AM   #17
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My car's a hybrid and the batteries are still w/in the lifetime (10 year) warranty. So I take it to the stealership for regular maintenance... that way I get the recall stuff handled, keep my warranty intact, etc.

They are too expensive for other stuff - new (non-hybrid) battery - they wanted $150, I got it elsewhere for $85. Torn boot - stealership wanted $850, was going to do one side only. Took it to pep boys - both boots, new axle, $600.

My husband's 95 Dodge PU gets worked on by pep boys mostly. FWIW, our closest pep boys has a great service department... Not so much at the other one about 5 miles further away.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:02 PM   #18
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$600 for a new axle? holy carp - I've done them myself on my scoob for less than $100
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:11 PM   #19
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It was universal joints, boots, and axle. I think... I'm **** NOT **** a car person. I barely figured out the boot was that piece of rubber around the joint at the end of the axle.

This is a toyota highlander fwd, and this was the front axle. Not sure if it was weirder than normal because of the variable speed nature of the hybrid.... Like I said - I'm ***NOT*** a car person so my husband had to explain all this to me.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:13 PM   #20
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some FWDs may be more of a PITA to work on - I've found that it's much easier to just replace the entire axle when a CV boot goes - don't get me wrong, sometimes I have this done for me but an axle job is about 1 hour of shop time
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