Having your car serviced on schedule means that it will run more safely for a longer period of time. There are several levels of car servicing, and each one comes with a different purpose and price tag. These include minor or safety services, major services, premium services and ultimate services. Whether you are looking for a minor service or a major service will depend on the age of your car, the kilometers it has driven and your financial situation. The type of service you require could impact the type of mechanic you choose to hire.
If you bought your car from a dealership, you might have been told that only a registered dealership is eligible to make repairs or to service your vehicle without voiding the warranty. This is not technically true. The dealer is not legally allowed to stipulate that you must have your car serviced with them. However, there are other ways to void your warranty. A detailed record of regular servicing must be maintained in order to claim your warranty later. While a dealership will automatically keep these records, smaller businesses may not. Having your car repaired with non-genuine parts, as many people do to save money, may also invalidate the warranty. If you are having a full service or repairs done on a new car, then it might be worth going through your dealership to save yourself from hassle down the road.
Several large chains now offer budget servicing alternatives to dealerships. These may be fine choices for car owners on a budget. However, there are some drawbacks. While a chain auto repair center might be hip pocket friendly, they may be less equipped to deal with customers who require premium or ultimate servicing. The parts used in a budget auto service are not always up to scratch. Chain repair centers may also have a high turnover rate which makes it less likely that you will be able to see the same mechanic each time. This might be an issue if you prefer to build a rapport with the people you trust to work on your vehicle.
Your local mechanic
Whether or not your local mechanic is a good choice will probably come down to who your local mechanic is. It might be worth shopping around and expanding your definition of 'local' if necessary. A good independent mechanic will be cheaper than your dealer but may be more expensive than a budget chain. Look for a mechanic who is happy to answer any questions you might have about your service such as: what needs replacing and why? Try brushing up on some basic service knowledge before you shop around. This will help you make an educated decision about whether or not your local mechanic is being upfront with you about your service requirements. Your local mechanic should be able to handle most types of services.
Self taught servicing
Some people elect to teach themselves the basics of car servicing in order to save money in the long run. If you have an extensive knowledge of cars, then this might be an option for you to consider. Smaller jobs such as oil changes and replacing filters can be learned relatively easily, even for people without much of an interest in vehicle maintenance. With guidance from reliable websites or knowledgeable friends, it might be possible to learn how to complete minor services yourself. However, for inexperienced car owners, this could be a daunting prospect, and they may prefer to pay for convenience sake. Cars that are still under warranty should probably not be serviced at home as this could make claiming the warranty more difficult.