Warranty maintenance – Dealership or Garage?

1 Apr

Sponsored – We have really been enjoying our new van that we leased last year for my business until… the dreaded light came on. Time for Service B. Considering with our road trips that we put just over 26 000km’s on the van this year and we’ve only changed the oil once, we’ve probably done okay. I just had a feeling that Service B was going to be a little pricier.

So I called my local dealership and asked them what a Service B was and what it would cost. They quickly rattled off a couple things which included changing the oil and filter, rotating the tires and checking something else. Then the dreaded question: “So how much is this going to cost me?” $191!! Ouch!

I was definitely in no mood to be handing over that kind of cash right now so I asked the woman on the phone if I could have it serviced elsewhere. She came back on the line with a wishy washy “We really don’t recommend that” kind of answer. I decided to phone my local garage and talk to them. Couldn’t hurt right?

I phoned my local garage, Tony and Joe’s on Pembina, and Joe told me that they in fact do maintenance work on vehicles under warranty and that there is more than likely nothing in my contract that states my van must be serviced at the dealership. He quoted me $70 to do the exact same work!

My husband at this point was having a heart attack because “What if the dealership says we lose our warranty because we had work done elsewhere?” I decided to pull out my lease agreement to make sure. The only thing stated in the lease was that only genuine Honda/Acura parts have to be used and that warranty maintenance must be done throughout at the appropriate times. That was great news! So I printed off a list of what Service B included from the internet and headed down to the garage.

So Joe ordered in Honda oil (which was his only option since a lot of new cars take their own special kind of oil and the other oil companies take time to make these oils available), a Honda filter and it turns out I was in desperate need of an air filter. He let me know right away that because of these changes in would cost a little more than the $70 quoted on the phone. (Fine by me since it was still way under the dealership price!) He made sure that I had a detailed receipt of the work done and part numbers for all the Honda parts used. He also pointed out that the CAA check list they follow routinely included all the things that I needed to have checked for my warranty. My total bill came to $155 (because of the air filter and the synthetic and brand name oil) which would have probably been about $250 at Honda. The service was great and Joe took the time to answer all my questions.

I asked Joe after what he recommends to keep your car in tip top shape (under warranty or not) and he recommended 3 times a year to come in for the seasonal inspection which includes an oil change for $70. Money well spent I’m sure. He also pointed out that when they are using NAPA parts you get a warranty which includes road side assistance and everything. Extra perk for sure! Now to figure out what to do with that extra $100 I saved. 😉

Anyone else have any tips for saving money on car/vehicle maintenance?

4 Replies to “Warranty maintenance – Dealership or Garage?

  1. I should add that if your vehicle needs work done covered under warranty you do need to go to the Dealership for that. I had a few people message me about the location of Tony and Joe’s. It’s on Pembina behind where the old Office Depot was, just North of Bishop Grandin. I dealt with Joe and he said his brother owns the other garages in town under the name of Tony’s Academy Auto.

  2. my husband is an aircraft mechanic so mechanically able, and does all our routine vehicle mtce on our new vehicle and even most of the heavier stuff on our older vehicles. He firmly believes in preventative mtce, does oil changes every 3-4 months himself.
    For anyone who travels to the states, he has found oil and filters and more at Mills Fleet Farm in Fargo for much less than he can buy here (he uses amsoil) so he buys cases of it when we go to the states.

    Keep all your receipts and warranty records (there is a mtce log in your vehicle’s manual) and you shouldn’t have a problem with warranty if you can prove the mtce has been done.
    For anyone who is mechanically inclined, you can order the actual shop manuals for your vehicle online, he’s done this for every vehicle we’ve owned. They have the diagrams and instructions for all repairs, these are the same manuals the dealers and mechanics use. If you don’t have the tools you need, you can rent tools daily – I think Canadian Tire used to rent certain tools for free, you pay a refundable deposit, not sure if they still do this. He has saved literally thousands, and has a 14 year old pickup truck in awesome shape other than the rust it’s starting to get.

    And if you need a good mechanic shop for things you can’t do yourself, word of mouth referrals are the best – like Tony & Joe’s, and my husband loves PW Auto 431 Berry St, he’s gone there for years for anything off warranty that he couldn’t do himself.

    we also always buy extended warranty, people think it’s a waste of money but for us it has been worth it on every new vehicle we’ve bought there has been something big that went wrong right after the intitial warranty period ended an we were saved by the extended warranty.

    • Awesome advice! Word of mouth is totally the way to go, especially with mechanics. Apparently some new vehicles don’t have logs or ledgers in them, I was surprised that Melanie’s car doesn’t.

  3. I work at a dealership and while I agree it’s OK to do you regular maintenace at other places it is very important that you keep the detailed receipts and you follow the factory maintence schedules. If you do have something go wrong that is a factory warranty or ESP covered item and you can’t produce proof that you have done the regularly scheduled maintenance you can have your claim denied. I’ve seen it happen more than once. This even applies to letting your oil changes routinely go 1000 kms or more past the recommended change times.

    If your vehicle’s manual doesn’t have a maintenace log in it there are some nice ones to download for Excel that you can either print and keep in your manual (recommended) or update on your computer.

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