Sign in to follow this  
sassyndeej

Lexus Service Dept. Vs. Independent Mechanic

Recommended Posts

I'm wondering if anyone can give me a ballpark figure for the cost of a scheduled maintenance service at a Lexus dealership. This is my first Lexus and although I've got a very reliable mechanic, I'm a little hesitant to have them work on my hybrid. I haven't seen any hybrid customers at my mechanic.

Also, I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether there is an significant advantage on having Lexus perform the maintenance over a good independent mechanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always take a hybrid to a mechanic. You're taking a huge risk to save a few bucks. Is this your first service, because the 1st 5000 service is free at Lexus. Plus, you get free loaner cars which are invaluable to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second that. The cost of my 15000 mile service was $430; well worth the peace of mine that it was being done correctly and covered under warranty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if anyone can give me a ballpark figure for the cost of a scheduled maintenance service at a Lexus dealership. This is my first Lexus and although I've got a very reliable mechanic, I'm a little hesitant to have them work on my hybrid. I haven't seen any hybrid customers at my mechanic.

Also, I'd like to hear your thoughts on whether there is an significant advantage on having Lexus perform the maintenance over a good independent mechanic.

Lexus service is not too overpriced, but it is (20%-30%) higher than your non-factory service tech. However, there are perks like the loaner car and the nice lounge area with free goodies. Note the loaner is not always available and they tend to discurage it if you are just getting an oil change.

The other reason to stick with the Lexus service in the begining is they are there to handle any little issues that you may want to have looked at. If you want to run synthetic, bring in your own oil (5qts) on the second oil change. They do charge more than say PepBoys et.al.

I have a bead on a Lexus specialist, but I have not used him yet. My 15K is comming up, but I will likely go back to Lexus for more work on the rattle under the dash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found out that an oil change and tire rotation costs $130 at the dealership, so I changed my own oil. Cost of oil change: $20. The dealership tire rotation runs $22.00, so I may go that route until I get a decent air compressor in my garage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have to say tho, there are more perks that that for going to a dealership. If you get a good advisor, he will pluck a few bucks on a few things every visit. Everytime i go, i get a free air filter, and one time, no charge for new brake pads and resurfaced rotors...well they did hit my bumper, but thats another story.

Lexus categorizes its services as minor or major. Minor ones range from 200 something to 300 something, which is just the oil change and inspection of everything else, tires, etc. Major ones can hurt a little more, 400-500 dollars. Major services come every 15K or so, so its not that big of a deal. What really sucks is getting your tires changed at the 30K service (its bascially the tire life on these cars) and getting a major service (and for me, new brake pads). total cost? close to $2500

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well guys let's be honest here- what is few hundred bucks compare to what we've spend on a car- average 50k or over. To be realistic- don't expect to save money on things like maintenence or even fuel- because we've spent so much in the first place. Of course I do appreciate my totally free first 4 years of service at BMW- and I mean it- totall free- breake pads, rotors, wiper blades, synthetic oil, oil filters, air filters etc.-and of course loaner car.

Yes it is a fact Lexus service is nowhere near BMW but we all own Lexus and should service it there to avoid any future B.S. while trading the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*I* use the dealership because I enjoy the service and I don't want to mess with less convienient ways to have it done.

BUT, you don't have to not even for a Hyrbid. For routine things like oil changes etc, anybody can do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do appreciate my totally free first 4 years of service at BMW- and I mean it- totall free- breake pads, rotors, wiper blades, synthetic oil, oil filters, air filters etc.-and of course loaner car.

FYI, BMW recommends (and provides free of charge) oil changes every 15,000 miles - way too long for most vehicles, including those that run synthetic oil. My old coworker had his oil changed twice as often (at his own cost) as what was recommended by BMW, and for good reason. There is a rising sludge problem with German cars whose manufacturers specify such a long oil change interval.

And regarding loaners, my neighbor was regularly given a Toyota Camry as a loaner while his 328 was being serviced at the BMW dealership. I think many of us would be a bit perturbed if we were given an Altima while our Lexus was being serviced!

Now, my philosophy with DIY maintenance is that if I can do it fairly easily, I will do it. I don't pay for maid service because I can vacuum and dust without much problem. The same holds true for vehicle maintenance, including washing and waxing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input everyone. I do see the value of taking it to the dealer for routine maintenance, but I just feel silly paying $130 for something that my mechanic charges me $16 for (oil change and tire rotation). I've been going to this mechanic for almost 10 years for the basic stuff and they've been great.

Has anyone taken their hybrid to a non-Lexus dealer mechanic? That's really my main concern. I'm a little hesitant to trust them with a hybrid since I've never seen them working on a hybrid before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input everyone. I do see the value of taking it to the dealer for routine maintenance, but I just feel silly paying $130 for something that my mechanic charges me $16 for (oil change and tire rotation). I've been going to this mechanic for almost 10 years for the basic stuff and they've been great.

Has anyone taken their hybrid to a non-Lexus dealer mechanic? That's really my main concern. I'm a little hesitant to trust them with a hybrid since I've never seen them working on a hybrid before.

Then take it to him. We've had the oil changed on our Prius at somewhere other than the dealer, its not an issue.

Really, Let lexus do the first one free then let your guy handle it. It'll be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RX400h- I do totally agree wuith you on that- it's a question of a convenience-and enjoyment-I love to wax and detail my car-oil change not so much ;). As far as loaner goes- never got enything else but BMW for a loaner (BMW of Manhattan)- and oil- hmm- my fathers first BMW had almost 300k on it and was still running good- one thing I trust germans for their reliability and the way they built engines (who makes most powerfull engine for F1?). Also remember you don't have to breake in those cars- every BMW engine runs for few hours at maximum RPM befere it goes into a car.

Now one thing is very interesting- by not giving an onboard computer for their cars- lexus is basically loosing option to be the only one to service those cars- why?- Well when the oil change time shows up on a screen on BMW- dealer has to reset it - otherwise car will stop after certain ammount of miles over. No second hand mechanic has an access to it and it's not healthy to temper with it either. Of course there are those who can do it- but why since you get service for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RX400h- I do totally agree wuith you on that- it's a question of a convenience-and enjoyment-I love to wax and detail my car-oil change not so much ;). As far as loaner goes- never got enything else but BMW for a loaner (BMW of Manhattan)- and oil- hmm- my fathers first BMW had almost 300k on it and was still running good- one thing I trust germans for their reliability and the way they built engines (who makes most powerfull engine for F1?). Also remember you don't have to breake in those cars- every BMW engine runs for few hours at maximum RPM befere it goes into a car.

Now one thing is very interesting- by not giving an onboard computer for their cars- lexus is basically loosing option to be the only one to service those cars- why?- Well when the oil change time shows up on a screen on BMW- dealer has to reset it - otherwise car will stop after certain ammount of miles over. No second hand mechanic has an access to it and it's not healthy to temper with it either. Of course there are those who can do it- but why since you get service for free.

NY,

BMWs are arguably the most reliable German vehicles. Unfortunately, their reliability is average compared to all other vehicles sold here in the US. Mercedes and Volkswagen are near the bottom of the heap when it comes to reliability problems. I spoke to the service manager of a well-known German repair shop. He has seen far too many sludge-related engine failures in German vehicles and he attributes them to the free 15,000 mile oil changes. The oil change indicator is good if even at say, 5000 miles, the oil change service is free. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the case. If you want your BMW oil to be changed at anything less than 15,000 miles, it will cost you. At least, this is how it worked for my old coworker's 2001 530i.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a BMW Z4 in addition to our new RX400h. The BMW dealer will change the oil and filter at one year free, too, if you don't have 15,000 miles. They also replace my engine air filter, cabin air filter and windshield wiper blades each year. Had to prod them a little, but they did it free as part of the bumper to bumper 4 year 50,000 warranty. Lexus ought to do this, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own an auto repair shop and one of the reasons for purchasing a hybrid was to learn more about the tecnology. Since my shop specializes in Transmissions we will need to disable the hybrid battery before removing the transmission. So our work on these vehicles will be a bit more intense than just servicing it. I am also a Rep for Ease Diagnostics and this scan tool will show me anything the dealers scan tool will including being able to re flash the Lexus computer. So if you are going to a shop other than a Lexus dealer, just make sure they have the equipment and know how to do the job right. The shops that stay ahaid of the game are the ones that will survive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want your BMW oil to be changed at anything less than 15,000 miles, it will cost you. At least, this is how it worked for my old coworker's 2001 530i.

This is the case, BMW will only pay every 15k. So, makes it good for a lease but if its a car you're going to keep I'd have it done myself every 5k.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input everyone. I do see the value of taking it to the dealer for routine maintenance, but I just feel silly paying $130 for something that my mechanic charges me $16 for (oil change and tire rotation). I've been going to this mechanic for almost 10 years for the basic stuff and they've been great.

Has anyone taken their hybrid to a non-Lexus dealer mechanic? That's really my main concern. I'm a little hesitant to trust them with a hybrid since I've never seen them working on a hybrid before.

There was a thread not too long ago about someone who changed their own oil on the Hybrid. It sounded like the oil or filter were less conveniently located. If you trust your current mechanic to be careful while accessing these parts (i.e., trust them not to damage other parts), then I can't see why a hybrid system would make any difference. Tire rotation and oil change have nothing to do with the hybrid system.

Keep your records for resale or trade-in.

Also, the point of "resetting" a computer has come up. The 400h's (and probably other newer Lexus models?) have a really annoying "warning" about oil changes every 5k. I'm good about getting my vehicles in every 5k, but I sometimes go over by 100 miles or so. So this warning message on the instrument panel really pi**ed me off! My dealer asked if there was anything that I needed them to take a look at. I told them to disable that message permanently. They couldn't, but they showed me the trick to reset it myself. Make sure at your first 5k you get your dealer to show you how to do that. It is some combinatino of pressing the odometer button (while the total mileage odometer display is showing) while turning the key, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They couldn't, but they showed me the trick to reset it myself. Make sure at your first 5k you get your dealer to show you how to do that. It is some combinatino of pressing the odometer button (while the total mileage odometer display is showing) while turning the key, I think.

This procedure is in your owner's manual. I did it after changing the oil, myself and yes, getting at the filter is a bit of a pain. Fortunately, my replacement K&N filter has a welded-on nut at its top. This'll make it much easier to unscrew, the next time I change the oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, if we all can afford the 400h, pay the price to get it serviced by a Lexus dealership. It will save you more in the long run :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This procedure is in your owner's manual. I did it after changing the oil, myself and yes, getting at the filter is a bit of a pain. Fortunately, my replacement K&N filter has a welded-on nut at its top. This'll make it much easier to unscrew, the next time I change the oil.

What's an owner's manual? ;)

I'm a bit of a DIY guy on a lot of stuff. So, it is easy to say, "If you can afford..." But, taking that argument far enough would lead to us doing nothing for ourselves unless we couldn't afford it. To me, there's satisfaction in a job well done, in addition to the $$ savings. I detail my car myself. I could afford to pay a good detailer who would arguably do a better job and take less time (it usually takes me an entire weekend). But, I save the money and know that the job is done reasonably well -- and I enjoy it. So, go for it! When someone uses their own mechanic or changes the oil themselves, we all benefit indirectly -- Lexus has to keep their price somewhat competitive, lest we all go the non-Lexus route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This procedure is in your owner's manual. I did it after changing the oil, myself and yes, getting at the filter is a bit of a pain. Fortunately, my replacement K&N filter has a welded-on nut at its top. This'll make it much easier to unscrew, the next time I change the oil.

What's an owner's manual? ;)

I'm a bit of a DIY guy on a lot of stuff. So, it is easy to say, "If you can afford..." But, taking that argument far enough would lead to us doing nothing for ourselves unless we couldn't afford it. To me, there's satisfaction in a job well done, in addition to the $$ savings. I detail my car myself. I could afford to pay a good detailer who would arguably do a better job and take less time (it usually takes me an entire weekend). But, I save the money and know that the job is done reasonably well -- and I enjoy it. So, go for it! When someone uses their own mechanic or changes the oil themselves, we all benefit indirectly -- Lexus has to keep their price somewhat competitive, lest we all go the non-Lexus route.

I learn something new everytime I change the oil in any of my vehicles. This, and "getting the job well done" as you mentioned, are very satisfying. :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this