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Servicing. Worth the cost?


Mirror Mirror

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Mirror Mirror
Posted (edited)

If you buy a used car maybe 5 years old, 50k on the clock, costs a few thou, comes with main dealer FSH, is it worth keeping up the main dealer servicing, if you’re able to do it yourself?

Most things that will keep the car running sweetly are easy to do and don’t require any expensive special tools (oil & filter change, coolant change - both vital, new spark plugs, air filter, auxiliary belt now and then), and cost a fortune if you take the car in for its regular service.

Timing belt is a different matter, as there is usually a lot of work involved with not much space to do it in, and a special tool of two are often involved, but it’s not impossible.

Of course if you take this route, you’ll save money, but this will be offset by the lack of servicing evidence if snd when you come to sell the car, but there comes a point where to be car is so old as to make this negligible. Where is that point, and when is it reached?

A lot of manufacturers are now holding the service records on their on line systems (no book to stamp), thus almost forcing you to get the car serviced at the main dealer, so even more expensive than a local independent garage.

As @Myco recently pointed out, at the other extreme, you could do no servicing whatsoever and still possibly be in the black, as long as you’re prepared to accept a greater risk of breakdown.

 

Quote

Many also don't bother with servicing, I knew a friend (mechanic) that had a car come in with a seized engine, owner hadn't had an oil change since new (If I remember it was around 15 years old) 

Mechanic advised him that he should get it serviced every year to avoid that happening again. 

He told the mechanic that it was not worth it, as the money he saved not having it serviced more than made up for the loss as he was looking to get a new car soon anyway and would only have got scrap value for it.

 

 

Edited by Mirror Mirror
Tidying up
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Frank Hovis
1 hour ago, Mirror Mirror said:

A lot of manufacturers are now holding the service records on their on line systems (no book to stamp), thus almost forcing you to get the car serviced at the main dealer, so even more expensive than a local independent garage.

 

That's interesting.

My position has always been main dealer servicing whilst under warranty and once outside of warranty then independent servicing.

Once a car has become sub £1,000 then IMHO the value is in the number of months MoT remaining less a reduction for any unfixed advisories, faults or cosmetic damage and nobody will care about the service history.

My car is at that point now but I do have it serviced rather than doing it myself because, unlike my old Escort that I used to do a fair bit of work on (oil, alternator, water pump and fan belt) the working room is terrible even for replacing a bulb so I generally leave it to the garage who can take whole parts out easily.

In your example - 5 year old / 50k miles, though I expect that you will find that will cost considerably more than a few thousand at present, it's going to depend upon how long you intend to keep and what you expect back for it.  If you're selling it for £4k then a service, not dealer, history will be expected but at £1k it won't be.

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whitevanman
13 hours ago, MrPin said:

"Servicing" is usually an oil change, and a check for wobbly bits.

Indeed, during the warranty period servicing consists of an oil change at about 20k miles. That’s it. Brakes, fluids, suspension bits, spark plugs, clutch etc all come after the warranty period.

Main dealer servicing is expensive after the warranty period when actual work has to be done. Independent or diy makes much more sense.

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markyh
14 hours ago, MrPin said:

"Servicing" is usually an oil change, and a check for wobbly bits.

What's an oil change? The oil in my fixed ratio gearbox is sealed for life. 

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longtomsilver

I'm servicing the bike* and car myself now and putting the savings into a sink fund to cover bits that fail. Last independent minor service on my skoda citigo cost me almost double at nearly £200 and it comprises an oil and oil filter change and everything else is just an inspection which isn't exactly rocket science. I did a full service including all filters and fluids plus new brembo front discs and pads for less than £300 buying the bits myself and giving a mate £50 to open up the workshop on a Sunday and do a bit of overtime he works for VW it's out if warranty now but I'll likely do the same when my new car arrives and just make more frequent oil changes. From 10k down to 6k intervals and replace bits as they drop off. The only known issue re. that car is the clutch failing. 

Independent motorcycle dealers are also charging the earth for services which again is mainly oil/filter change and inspection of the chain.. £200 from an independent or a bit more from the the main dealer is steep so I bought the stuff from euro parts car for £50 and asked another mate to do that when he popped round to where it's being kept. He told me he took it out for a spin and I just know he's emptied the full tank of Esso supreme I put in about a month ago 😠 first ride out if the year tomorrow so i'll find out soon. The only other concern is valve clearances and I'll get that done properly.

*that's the royal me BTW.

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Joncrete Cungle

I stick the receipts / invoices for the parts and consumables I have purchased for DIY servicing in a plastic wallet every year. The plastic wallet lives with the log book and MOT certs.

I know what was done, when and how much things have gone up by. If I sell it is evidence I have bought the items and done the servicing myself.

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23rdian

Change the oil to avoid sludge build up.

Change the coolant to avoid corrosion of the engine block.

Change the discs and pads when low. They help you to stop. This is desirable.

Change the cambelt before it breaks. Or even better try and get something with a chain instead.

Keep the rest of the fluids topped up and the tyres inflated.

Sorted.

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Bornagain
5 hours ago, 23rdian said:

Change the oil to avoid sludge build up.

Change the coolant to avoid corrosion of the engine block.

Change the discs and pads when low. They help you to stop. This is desirable.

Change the cambelt before it breaks. Or even better try and get something with a chain instead.

Keep the rest of the fluids topped up and the tyres inflated.

Sorted.

Probably a good idea to do the brake fluid & air filter occasionally.

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stockton
On 09/05/2022 at 21:21, Joncrete Cungle said:

I stick the receipts / invoices for the parts and consumables I have purchased for DIY servicing in a plastic wallet every year. The plastic wallet lives with the log book and MOT certs.

I know what was done, when and how much things have gone up by. If I sell it is evidence I have bought the items and done the servicing myself.

Same here but I accept that the will be worth less when I cone to sell it (plan to do 200k before even thinking about selling).

I think proving the service has been done, the car looks to be in good condition when I cone to sell it will be enough given it will be 10+ years and high miles.

If I was looking for a new(used) car a low owners count is more important nowadays than the fsh.

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Frank Hovis
1 hour ago, stockton said:

Same here but I accept that the will be worth less when I cone to sell it (plan to do 200k before even thinking about selling).

I think proving the service has been done, the car looks to be in good condition when I cone to sell it will be enough given it will be 10+ years and high miles.

If I was looking for a new(used) car a low owners count is more important nowadays than the fsh.

 

200k+ miles and 10+ years is only going to fetch maybe £800 privately anyway, though more like £2,000 from a dealer as they provide a warranty and have to add 20% VAT.

If I was buying a car for £800 and it looked ok, ran ok, had a decent length of MoT remaining, and few or no advisories then it wouldn't bother me in the slightest that the owner had serviced it themself as long as there were receipts to back it up.

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Democorruptcy

I can't remember the last time I opened the bonnet, certainly not since it passed the MOT in March (didn't bother with a service again). I feel inspired though and will check the screenwash today, if I remember.

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markyh
8 hours ago, 23rdian said:

Change the oil to avoid sludge build up.

Change the coolant to avoid corrosion of the engine block.

Change the discs and pads when low. They help you to stop. This is desirable.

Change the cambelt before it breaks. Or even better try and get something with a chain instead.

Keep the rest of the fluids topped up and the tyres inflated.

Sorted.

pffft. Buy an EV , check the tyres occasionally, top up the washer fluid when needed, brakes wont need looking at until 80k+ miles, change the cabin filter every 2 years and wiper blades when they wear out.  Aint nothing else until something steering or suspension goes wrong. 

Job done. 

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Sasquatch
1 hour ago, markyh said:

pffft. Buy an EV , check the tyres occasionally, top up the washer fluid when needed, brakes wont need looking at until 80k+ miles, change the cabin filter every 2 years and wiper blades when they wear out.  Aint nothing else until something steering or suspension goes wrong. 

Job done. 

But most people can't afford an EV. 

For example can an EV be bought for £4,900 (same price as our recently bought Skoda Yeti).

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Bear Hug
4 minutes ago, Sasquatch said:

But most people can't afford an EV. 

For example can an EV be bought for £4,900 (same price as our recently bought Skoda Yeti).

You could buy tesla's self driving package for £6,800. Just need a Tesla to go with it. 

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markyh
5 minutes ago, Sasquatch said:

But most people can't afford an EV. 

For example can an EV be bought for £4,900 (same price as our recently bought Skoda Yeti).

No, not yet, maybe 2029, but for those that can buy a car high 5 figures, an EV vs a new ICE is a no brainer on future servicing costs. Mind you the Legacy makers still want their annual service loot, just slightly less unreasonable. 

3 minutes ago, Bear Hug said:

You could buy tesla's self driving package for £6,800. Just need a Tesla to go with it. 

Time share one between 10 families maybe? 

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Bear Hug
16 minutes ago, markyh said:

 

Time share one between 10 families maybe? 

£680 each? Still need a car to go with it. 

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23rdian
2 hours ago, markyh said:

pffft. Buy an EV , check the tyres occasionally, top up the washer fluid when needed, brakes wont need looking at until 80k+ miles, change the cabin filter every 2 years and wiper blades when they wear out.  Aint nothing else until something steering or suspension goes wrong. 

Job done. 

I don't see how brakes are any better on EVs. If anything they are more complicated. You have more weight due to all the batteries. The cars are generally heavier. Plus you will have all sorts of extra sensors on the top end ones.

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markyh
12 minutes ago, 23rdian said:

I don't see how brakes are any better on EVs. If anything they are more complicated. You have more weight due to all the batteries. The cars are generally heavier. Plus you will have all sorts of extra sensors on the top end ones.

No they are pretty much identical to ICE cars, they wear way less as the electric motors do 80% of the slowing via regeneration braking (doesn't use the friction brakes). Tesla's can stop from speed to zero without using the friction brakes once. I have personal experience, factory rear pads and discs changed a 80k miles, fronts at 118k miles. 

Only heavy braking brings in the friction brakes. 

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23rdian
6 hours ago, Bornagain said:

Probably a good idea to do the brake fluid & air filter occasionally.

Brake fluid changes are overrated. The stuff is pretty good. Same as power steering. Air filter when it's filthy enough. Spark plugs and leads when they fail.

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28 minutes ago, 23rdian said:

Brake fluid changes are overrated. The stuff is pretty good. Same as power steering. Air filter when it's filthy enough. Spark plugs and leads when they fail.

I disagree. One day my pedal went straight to the floor and I didn't stop. New brake fluid cured this problem.

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Bornagain
36 minutes ago, 23rdian said:

Brake fluid changes are overrated. The stuff is pretty good. Same as power steering. Air filter when it's filthy enough. Spark plugs and leads when they fail.

You might get away with that brake fluid  strategy for years - until on a hot day going down a long steep hill the fluid boils and suddenly you are in the shit.

 

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23rdian
5 minutes ago, Bornagain said:

You might get away with that brake fluid  strategy for years - until on a hot day going down a long steep hill the fluid boils and suddenly you are in the shit.

 

I've never had it in 30 years of driving. I don't expect for it to happen. Modern brake fluid is only a little hydroscopic as far as I know.

16 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I disagree. One day my pedal went straight to the floor and I didn't stop. New brake fluid cured this problem.

It was probally low. Rather than old.

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nirvana
1 hour ago, MrPin said:

I disagree. One day my pedal went straight to the floor and I didn't stop. New brake fluid cured this problem.

was that your Model T Ford?

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