Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Can any Garage Service my car and keep my Warranty valid?

One of the questions we get asked, as an independant garage, is "can you service my new vehicle" or "does it have to be serviced by a Manufacturers Approved Agent (also know as a Main Dealer)" to keep the Warranty valid.

The short answer to this question is No, it doesn't have to go to a main dealer. The reason for this is because of the "European Block Exemption Ruling," which stops Vehicle Manufacturers from stipulating that you must go to a main dealer. I'm going to try to explain the key elements without getting bogged down with jargon.

There are several things that you will need to consider before taking the plunge and moving outside of Main Dealer Garage Network.

Firstly, any garage can service your vehicle providing they follow the manufacturers service schedule correctly, use the correct oil and use parts that are original equipment matching quality approved (also called OE matching quality). Services also need to be recorded correctly.

1. Following the Correct Service Schedule
Good Quality Garages subscribe to technical data that ensures they have up to date vehicle information, including "Manufacturers Service Schedule" information. For example, at Oldfields Garage we subscribe to technical data from Autodata and Autovista. We also subscribe to Autowork for service schedule information. Other information sources are available, but we find that using these sources of technical gives us enough coverage for most vehicles.

2. Using the Correct Oil
To ensure we use the correct oil, we use Millers Oils who blend oils in the UK to meet various manufacturer specifications. Millers aren't the only company who blend the correct oils. In cases where Millers Oils don't have the correct blend we uses other suppliers. I've written a blog about using the correct oil here.

3. Matching Quality Parts
Original Equipment matching quality doesn't necessarily mean they have to be bought form the manufacturer. There are a number of aftermarket suppliers who have achieved OE Matching Quality status. We work carefully with our local suppliers to ensure we use high quality parts, which are of the required quality and readily available.

4. Recording Services Correctly
Once the service has been carried out using the correct schedule, oils and parts it must be recorded correctly. This is either in the service book that is provided with the car or with some manufacturers via the Online Electronic Service Record. The garage you use will normally need to subscribe to be able to update the Online Service History. We subscribe to most Online Service History systems to ensure service information is recorded correctly.

5. Is there Anything Else to Consider?
Some manufacturers offer an extended warranty and a goodwill system (although goodwill is becoming less seen in the industry). Some manufacturers only offer extended warranty to vehicles that have been serviced in there manufacturers.

About us: Oldfields Garage Services Ltd in Leominster carry out MOT testing, servicing and repairs for cars and light vans in Leominster, Herefordshire and the surrounding villages of Kingsland, Eardisland, Kimbolton, Bodenham, Luston, Stoke Prior, Yarpole, Docklow and more. 

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