My daughter (single as a Pringle and living in Sydney) bought a new Holden 11 mths ago. The time is approaching for the first service.
Question - what are the rules for this in Oz - does the car have to be serviced by a Holden dealership, or is a service at an independant garage valid to maintain the warranty (the rules changed in the UK some time ago).
AFAIK, you don't have to take it to Holden to maintain the warranty, but I'm unsure as to what the mechanic requires to be acceptable to maintain the warranty. They are overly expensive too, I'd give them a wide berth.
As I am led to beleive, consumer law precludes car manufacturer insisting on service exclusively at dealer to maintain warranty. So can have it serviced any where that undertakes to do a handbook service.
John PS KMart Auto seem to be relatively inexpensive, and are a big national chain.
I believe your warranty is not rendered void if you do not service the car at a Holden dealer. However, I recall that Holden offered a cap of just under A$200 for a service if you had it carried out at one of their dealers whilst the car was still under warranty (this, again if I remember correctly, was for a "minor" service).
Any qualified mechanic that is recognised by Holdens as capable of carrying out servicing to the log book requirements is acceptable. Note that "qualified", means the mechanic has to have formal trade or engineering qualifications, and be capable of producing them when asked.
Why would you want to take your daughter's new Holden to someone other than a Holden dealer?
Pricing is reasonable! They have the right diagnostic equipment! Their staff are trained on the car! And just about every town has one!
Sure you can get a "log book service" at dozens of places like K-Mart, Ultra-Tune etc. Warranty only requires genuine parts to be used, and even then warranty is only voided if it was a non-genuine part that caused the subsequent failure.
I had a Holden model (about 5 years old, & out of warranty) with a brake master cylinder problem (obviously advised by Holden). The dealer rang me up, dropped me a loaner car and fixed the issue... cost me 2 hours labour, plus had the car washed, vacuumed and dropped back to me
hiwaytohell...I've had nothing but trouble from my local Holden Dealer & a friend of mine picked up a brand spanking new Colorado last week, only to have the engine shut down the following day! When he called the service Manager, the response was; "Whaddya want me to do about it?"
Of course, we each have different experiences which shape our opinion so no two dealers are the same.
Especially if it's a new model, you pay for it but they have the expertise, equipment and parts. Also a full service history from a main dealer adds value when the time comes to sell or trade in.
Once the car enters middle age, the value of a dealer service history is less, warranty is finished and the knowledge of how to maintain it has spread downwards. I would go to an independent specialist and save money. Main dealers have top standards which are very expensive when applied to an older car. Nothing wrong with good quality pattern or salvaged parts which an authorised dealer may be unwilling to use.
I bought a used car and took it to an Ultratune for servicing simply because they had done the previous service. I knew more about the car than the mechanic working on it.
Next service was at a main dealer who checked if a recall mod on the seatbelts had been done and informed me that I was using the wrong size tyres. I kept going back to him.
Remember, there can be a huge difference in performance between individual dealers. My local Holden dealer is well down the list, after having got feedback from a young girl who worked for them, moving vehicles around.
She left her job, because of constant sexual harrassment, mechanics watching porn regularly on computers, and regular episodes of dope-smoking. Complaints to management fell on deaf ears, so she walked.
You'll find feedback on the attitude of many dealers on places such as the car news sites, and Product Review. Some dealers are worth their salt, others are out to scam customers every way they can. Typical is service items being ticked off on paperwork without the item being touched. Smart owners put marks or tell-tales on items such as filler caps, wheel nuts, etc, to see if they have been removed. Fastener checking is an important part of a first service, but many dealers don't even put a wrench on the items listed for torque-checking.