Most people have a mechanic that they’ve used for some time, and they trust with servicing their pride and joy. However, when you head off on the lap of Australia your mechanic is no longer a viable option, and you have to find a different way to get your vehicle serviced.
Having left our home town of Perth a few months ago, I’d been wondering who we’d get to do the servicing, and what the best options would be.
Some people have the skills to do their own servicing, and that’s awesome. However, unless you are a licensed mechanic, this can create issues with the log book, and getting any warranty work done.
I can do a lot of the servicing on our vehicle, but to be honest I really don’t like doing it, and trying to change the oil on the road is a bit of a pain, so I’d rather find a mechanic that can do it.
Despite the bad reputation that dealerships have often received over the years, there are good ones out there that do a solid job. Admittedly there are probably just as many that are a rort and total shambles.
One of the benefits of using the OEM dealerships though, is that they look more favourably on the service history and as a consumer you are going to have more luck pushing faults through to be covered under warranty.
OEM dealers are often all over the place as well, which means you don’t have to find a different mechanic each time; you just book your vehicle in for a service as required at the nearest dealer.
A mechanic with good reviews
The internet has done a pretty good job of weeding out the garbage, and if a mechanic in town has lots of good, genuine reviews you can be fairly confident that they are going to look after you. If you stick to the larger towns, you’ll have lots of options and should be able to find a good mechanic easily enough.
Referrals from locals, or friends of friends
One of the best ways to find a good mechanic is to speak to the locals, or friends of friends. We’ve had plenty of people recommended to us via discussions, and often the information is far more trustworthy than just picking a random mechanic off Google.
What have we been doing?
I dropped my Dmax off at Isuzu in Port Lincoln a few weeks back to get its 110,000km service (at 87,000km!). They were really helpful, and I didn’t have to go hunting for a good mechanic (who’d likely be tied up for weeks anyway).
As it turned out, they did a good job (as far as I can tell – clean, good quality oil, the filter was absolutely changed, they did the rear differential oil as requested and didn’t come back with anything major).
I did haggle with them over the pricing (after it was done), after they suggested to change the engine oil, filter and rear diff oil takes more than 2 hours labour, and got a bit of a reduction, and instead of the 1 – 1.5 hour turn around that was promised it was more like 6 hours (due to a mechanic calling in sick), but it worked out OK in the end.
How do you get your vehicle serviced on the road? What have you found works best?