Your motor vehicle is, in most cases, your second greatest asset. Your home is obviously your first and assuming you’re not the single owner of a Lady Moura your car is more than likely your second. Therefore it is astounding that many consumers choose maintenance schedules for such an expensive asset, based on price.
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If anything you should be looking for a premium service provider for the maintenance of your car but many consumers are opting for the dealership offered capped price service solely because of the monetary savings. Unfortunately for many consumers, they are blissfully unaware that this product, normally offered with the sale of the vehicle, is doing more harm than good to both your vehicle and your wallet.
There are two reasons that this actually costs you more in the long run.
Firstly, the additional repairs. That’s right, whilst you blissfully believed capped price meant the cost of your vehicle maintenance was in fact capped at the price specified you have been fooled. Capped price serving only covers items that are considered “serviceable” by the manufacturer. This means that things such as brakes, tyres, worn suspension, and mechanical failures are not covered under capped price servicing and nor should they be. You were led to believe they were covered and a car salesman let you take that belief and run with it. The joke is on you. This is all in the fine print of the sale of the vehicle but we all know how many people read that. After purchasing the vehicle, the emotional high you are on means you sign almost any document without reading it. It’s all there in writing. Capped price servicing only covers serviceable items
So after you have wasted half your morning dropping your vehicle off, caught public transport into work and finally gotten the day underway you get the call. You need brakes and tyres at dealerships inflated pricing. You know you could get this for one-quarter of the price with your local independent repairer, not void your warranty and help the little guy out at the same time. But that means you have to go through that frustrating morning process all over again with your independent repairer. You have a credit card, and you can’t be bothered.
“Just put it on the credit card” and just like that you feel cheated and robbed and it’s mostly your own fault for not reading the documentation.
The second reason is capped price does not give you adequate maintenance of a vehicle. As mentioned with point number one the capped price service covers things only considered serviceable items. In most cases, this means the technician is following a checklist of what the manufacturer says is due at any given service. Comprehensive inspections are not carried out on the complete vehicle and items that should be covered under routine maintenance are not reported on, advised for replacement or in many cases not even inspected. Transmission oils, Steering fluids, and pollen filters are rarely replaced let alone inspected. Brake fluid should be replaced every two years regardless of kilometres, coolant needs replacing too, yes some manufacturers state the coolant lasts a decade, except in extreme conditions. (almost all of Australia is classed as extreme conditions). Most coolants should be replaced every two years. These items are overlooked as the dealership knows how much money they can make out of you already because you are locked into a capped price service. Its in and out a quick as possible for a profit making scheme based of quantity over quality.
The end result is after your capped price service time has expired is the following. Yes, you may have saved yourself a couple of grand in service costs over the past few years but your transmission is blown as the oil in it was never replaced, your brake pedal goes to the floor because your brake fluid has deteriorated over the past four years, any vehicle with repackable wheel bearings needs a complete set of bearings and seals as they have never been looked at, anything with valve adjustments has been skipped, your coolant is the consistency of mud causing leaks and overheating which in turn causes head gasket issues, your steering system is shot because the same oil is running in it (unless you have electric steering) and your air conditioning system is full of mud, leaves, human matter, and bacteria. The end result, your second most valuable asset is now as financially valuable as a peanut butter sandwich.
Our advice, throw capped price servicing in the bin. Spend a few hundred dollars more each year and stick with the independent repairers. Find someone you trust and go with the maintenance they advise. He or she will have your best interests in mind when they advise a maintenance schedule that will keep this expensive asset of yours in premium condition. It will maximize your investment, yes it’s depreciating but a well-maintained vehicle is far more valuable than a vehicle that has had capped price servicing.
If you were getting major brain surgery done for a life-threatening illness and for some reason you had to pay for the operation. Would you choose a surgeon charging rates 50% cheaper than the market average? Only a great fool would do this. Why then would you choose to do this with your motor vehicle?
Do you still think your vehicle is best looked after at a dealership? you may want to read this.