Last week, our friends at Drive Safe & Fast (DSF) published an interesting article which triggered us to think if we knew for certain what went on behind closed doors when we drop our cars off at the service center. Many car manufacturers today provide up to 5 years of warranty on their vehicles sold, with several brands offering free service and maintenance to their customers as well.
While is commonly interpreted as a sign on confidence from the manufacturer, DSF goes on to highlight the workshop conspiracy theory where workshops have been caught red handed, keeping these free service parts for themselves.
We reached out to our friends at NSS Service Center in Glenmarie for some comments, and they have confirmed our worst suspicions — there is really nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. However, as a customer, you should do your due diligence and to check your car upon collection. We’ve compiled some quick pointers for you:
1. For oil change, always request that the oil be ‘flushed’ as opposed to the ‘suck’ method — this helps to remove sediments and dirty oil correctly. The best way is to use a flushing additive and to drain the oil by hoisting the car up. While it may be impossible for you to check if the filter has been changed, you should check on the dipstick to ensure that the oil is now clean.
2. When replacing parts, it is good practice to request to view the old or faulty parts. There’s no guarantee that the workshop didn’t already have these old parts lying around, but if all their customers requested to take the old parts home for self-disposal, at some point, they’ll run out of junk eventually. The best workshops will give the old parts back to the customers, without having to request for it.
3. Some third party workshops lure customers with low and cheap prices; if it’s too cheap, it can be too good to be true. It is said that these workshops will entice customers to swap out the good parts with used/old ones — this includes interior panels!
4. When going to a third party workshop, it is best to do your research — ask your friends and friends of friends, check on FB and Google reviews for good ratings; this can serve as an indicator to the trustworthiness of a service center.
5. It is always a good idea to establish a rapport with your service center and/or service advisor. As DSF has articulated, it may be a good idea to take note of what is going on with your car and observe from the glass panel to determine what is going on, as opposed to just spending time in the lounge. If you have any questions, never hesitate to ask your service advisor.NSS Group and their outlets have been around since 1984 and are located in Glenmarie. They are a (more than) competent enough workshop for regular service and maintenance for most cars, including premium and luxury marques. They are open 6 days a week, from Mondays to Saturdays and from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.