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View Poll Results: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
The authorized dealer where I purchased the car 28 19.18%
Another authorized dealer for the make of my car 18 12.33%
A national/state franchise shop, e.g. Sears, if so name it 14 9.59%
An independent local mechanic 41 28.08%
I do it myself 45 30.82%
Voters: 146. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 03:02 PM   #21
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

What maintenance? New cars since solid state ignitions and fuel injection don't really need anything except oil change and filters. Air and fuel filter every 30K. Plugs are all thatís needed for tune up at 30, 50 or 100K depending on year of new car. Coolant change every 3 yrs. or 5 yrs. or 100K with new cars.

Check the brakes every 30K or so. More often if you ride them or do a lot of city stop and go.

The other stuff the dealers try to sell you is mostly useless. Actually it's better for you and your car the less they touch it.

With my new car I have a local mechanic change the oil just to stay in touch with him. Don't use the "chain" oil change places, they hire jerks and sell you stuff you don't need. Get a good local mechanic. Ask around town and you'll get recommendations. Good mechanics are worth their weight in gold IMHO.

Warranty work has to be done by a dealer.

I do all the simple maintenance on my truck and motorcycles. On the motorcycles I do just about everything except adjust the valves.

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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 03:14 PM   #22
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Quote:
Good mechanics are worth their weight in gold
ditto
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 05:19 PM   #23
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

I pretty much do everything via a chain maintenance place (midas)--I think that these places vary WIDELY depending on the skills/ethics of the owner of the particular franchise. I stumbled onto one of the good ones about 3 years ago and have taken everything to him (or someone recommended by him for a few specialty things) ever since. Don't always get the cheapest price, but they talk to me like an intelligent human being, don't try to upsell me, and have met or exceeded every promise they've made to me. While I do want to take an auto repair class this summer or sometime when i have some time on my hands just for my own education, I have no interest in doing anything more involved than the occasional oil change. The time saved is worth the additional expense.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #24
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?


We visit the local / independent shop for any auto ailments and/or routine maintenance. The late owner (son took over shop when father died) was a client of my father-in-law's law firm. I think he helped him incorporate and start up his business.

I like the personal attention, and I think they are honest. I've never felt that they are trying to oversell a car repair.

We show up with a couple of boxes of donuts once a year when we are having the oil changed. It's the least we can do. As part of our LBYM philosophy, we buy our vehicles "pre-owned" and drive them for 10+ years.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 07:39 PM   #25
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

I use an independent to work on my Acura. He only works on Acuras and Hondas. Lets people use his loaner car with no charge. He's incredibly inexpensive and always does a good job. I ended up selling him my 10 year old Honda, which he fixed up really well and now it's his loaner car. He once fixed my old Honda's air conditioner for about $1.86 (it needed a fuse or something like that). The dealer wanted about $860 for a compressor and some other expensive part. The independent didn't even want me to give him the $1.86 but I did anyway (I thought it was the right thing to do). I would only have my car serviced at a dealership if I had to (recall or warranty situation). I wouldn't let a dealer even change the oil because in the past it always included a phone call telling me the car needed $300 in repairs.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 08:41 PM   #26
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
You betcha! If you've paid two times to have someone read a check engine light code, and found out you need to tighten your fuel cap, you've already paid as much as a basic ODBII costs.
My mom left her cap loose on purpose so it would come off easier so had to pay to have them tell her not to do that.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 09:17 PM   #27
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Hey Redduck... where do you live... I need to get one like that!!!

I take my Acura to the dealer for the oil changes while it is still in warranty.. I follow the on board computer which tells me when the oil is 'used'... it is about 6 to 7K miles between oil changes...

My OLD car is done by an independent... do preventative maintenance as I don't want to wait until something breaks and leaves me stranded..
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-25-2007, 10:08 PM   #28
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

dealer when under warrenty. But the dealer is more expensive and more difficult to get to - across town. So, since all of our cars are now old we use an independent who specializes in Japanese cars (we have a civic, odessy and miata). Exception are oil changes and tires. tires from chain and oil changes might be at the tire place when rotating (if we remember) or Wal-Mart. We stay away from oil change chains - they always push more unneeded stuff.

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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-26-2007, 03:17 PM   #29
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerdude
What maintenance? New cars since solid state ignitions and fuel injection don't really need anything except oil change and filters. Air and fuel filter every 30K. Plugs are all thatís needed for tune up at 30, 50 or 100K depending on year of new car. Coolant change every 3 yrs. or 5 yrs. or 100K with new cars.

Check the brakes every 30K or so. More often if you ride them or do a lot of city stop and go.

The other stuff the dealers try to sell you is mostly useless. Actually it's better for you and your car the less they touch it.
I'm not much of a car guy, but I try and do the basic stuff myself. Plugs, oil, air filter, fuel filter, coolant etc. I've noticed that a lot of the items in the 15k/30k/60k services either don't apply to my car or are pretty minor. For example, my Nissan dealership says that they change plugs at 30k, but my car takes platinum tipped plugs that shouldn't be replaced till 60k. At least half of the items are "check" items ("check air filter", "check windshield wiper fluid") which I can do myself. To make matters worse, they don't include things like a transmission flush or a coolant change in the standard 30k/60k services, you have to pay extra for those.

At my dealership, an oil change takes about 30 min (@ $25), 15k service takes 45 min ($70), 30k takes 90 min ($175) and 60k takes (120 min). It makes me wonder just how much they actual do for say a 15k service, if it only takes about 15 min longer than an oil change!
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-26-2007, 08:20 PM   #30
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Thanks everyone for the great replies! Looks like we have a lot of do-it-yourselfers on this board (imagine that!) and a bunch that prefer a trusted mechanic. In talking to my neighbor over the weekend, he recommended a mechanic right around the corner, so I'll give that a shot. Thanks again and happy motoring.

Dude
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-26-2007, 11:24 PM   #31
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

[quote=Texas Proud ]
Hey Redduck... where do you live... I need to get one like that!!!


Well, since you ask, Texas Proud, I live in the Hollywood Hills (Los Angeles). About every three-four months or so, I race down the hill on a Saturday and get my oil changed--takes about 15 minutes (which includes the battery, hoses and tires being checked). The big problem is that I've become dependent on this guy. I wanted my next car to be a Lexus, but it looks like it's going to be another Acura instead. I guess there are worse things in life.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-27-2007, 02:17 AM   #32
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

I use a franchise oil changer place for my oil changes. It's convenient because I don't need an appointment and they're usually done in 20 minutes. Everyone complains about how they try to sell unnecessary things and that is true, but it's easy to avoid. I've developed a little script for when I go there:

Please
Don't adjust the tire pressure [to the wrong levels you think my car needs]
Don't clean my windows [with your dirty rag]
Don't add any wiper fluid [I use RainX]
Don't bother pulling the engine air filter, I'm not going to replace it [I replace it myself on schedule]
Don't bother pulling the cabin air filter, I'm not going to replace it [and besides you always end up disconnecting my stereo system whenever you access it]

Once I've rattled all that off, nobody tries to sell me the $100 engine flush service.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-27-2007, 03:09 AM   #33
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

Had to take one of the cars in for service yesterday. I use the dealer. [I have not found a reliable independent mechanic]. The car had 100k miles... so it was a for a large sched maintenance trip plus, my battery went dead, needed tune up plugs, wires, brakes, rotors, etc...

$1,100 was the damage.

Oh well. I have had the car for 10 years. I am hoping to drive it for another 2 or 3 years.
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?
Old 03-27-2007, 07:47 AM   #34
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Re: Who does the scheduled maintenance services on your automobile?

I selected the authorized dealer where I bought the car, but --

The last time we took my Solara in for service (a couple of weeks ago), I told the DH as we left that the service was bad enough I wasn't sure I'd go back.

SOMEONE -- whether Toyota corporate, that dealership, or just that service manager -- places an inordinately high value on the customer dealing with the same person from making the appointment, getting the car in, and any contact after the car's in. It sounds good in theory, but in practice, what it has meant for me is a ten to fifteen minute wait for Service Guy I Talked To to get free, while there are other guys available to help me.

Honestly, I don't care whether or not I talk to the same person -- I place a higher value on getting the car in for service and then getting on with my life while they work on it.

The Infiniti dealer where DH has his car serviced, OTOH, has no such fixation. We get in and out very quickly there.
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