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Is It A Good Idea To Service Your Own Car?

Educational  ·  March 12, 2021

Is It A Good Idea To Service Your Own Car?

It costs an average of $650 to service a car, according to Canstar Blue’s 2015 research. The quoted amount may go higher for newer car models. And if you choose to service your car twice a year? You do the math. I said all of that to establish that I understand why you might be considering servicing your own car yourself.

In this post, I provide an answer to a frequently asked question about self-service and warranty: Does servicing your car invalidate the warranty? I also highlight the pros and cons of going the DIY route on your car’s servicing. The goal is to help you make an informed decision, of course. Now, let’s jump in. 

Does Servicing Your Car Void the Warranty?

For many of us, self-servicing our cars becomes much less desirable if it causes the manufacturer’s warranty to be invalidated. To determine the accurate response to this query, we’ll listen to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). 

As per the ACCC’s guideline, the key factor that determines your warranty's validity is whether the servicing is done according to the manufacturer's requirements, whatever those are. Usually, these requirements include that the servicing be done: 

As long as these basic requirements are met, your warranty remains valid.

It’s common to find car dealers offering extended warranties on new vehicles sold. The warranty period typically kicks in after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. It goes without saying that a different set of rules guide warranties offered by dealers. Dealers usually require that they service the vehicles under this warranty by themselves. In other words, servicing the vehicle with an independent mechanic will void your warranty.

Understanding the above conditions and guidelines provided by the ACCC will save you from needless quarrels with your warranty officer. But the real bottom line is that it’s in your best interest to study your warranty terms thoroughly. 

Be sure you understand the warranty type covering your car, as servicing your vehicle yourself could invalidate the warranty, especially if it is the dealer's extended warranty type, even if you're a qualified mechanic. 

What Are the Pros of Servicing Your Car?

Servicing your car certainly has its pros, particularly if you are a qualified mechanic yourself. Some do their car servicing themselves because they are very interested in how their vehicle works and want to know more. And the fact that the labour is cost-effective makes the exercise all the more enthralling. The pros to consider include:

1. Inexpensive

If you ask the average car owner who carries out his car services why he does it, you’re likely to hear that he simply chose the cheaper route. Nothing more personal than that. The cost of parts needed for servicing is the minority percentage of the bill you pay for a service. The expert knowledge and service are where the bulk of the car service bill goes. 

Speaking of buying parts, how about I recommend a quick and easy way to source car parts that you may need for your repairs? Using CarPartAU’s part finder tool, you can get the parts for your car brand and model at the most competitive prices on the market. And we’re just a click away. 

2. Time-saving

The time needed to drive to and from the mechanic's workshop can sometimes be a significant part of the equation. Going through congested traffic to reach the repairer can be a pain. You save all that time if you do your service yourself, assuming you're proficient at carrying out the service. 

You could also have an emergency. For instance, imagine being in a situation where waiting for your mechanic may not be the favourite option. Say your car broke down on a highway at 2:00 am. You could do some improvisation and get yourself out of that fix quickly if you knew your way around your car. 

What Are the Cons of Servicing Your Car?

1. You May Not Be an Expert 

You may not have the answers to all the problems as an expert does. It takes years of experience and study before one can become a qualified mechanic. As much as you want to save money, you should also consider your safety and that of other road users. And safety gets compromised when a poorly-serviced or road-unworthy car is put on the road. 

So ask yourself, “Will the repair be better if done by a professional?” If the answer to that question is yes and it is true by a wide margin, you should probably have a reputable professional take a look at your car.

2. You Risk Invalidating Your Warranty

It is imperative to clearly understand your car’s warranty before you pop open the bonnet. As I have established, some warranties excuse you if, as a qualified mechanic, you work on your car. Other warranties become void if you work on your car, regardless of the depth of your expertise as a mechanic.

3. It Could Affect Your Cars Resale Value

If you’re a qualified mechanic and do your car servicing yourself, it shouldn't affect the resale value as you are eligible to take a look at a car and make the appropriate repair in the best way possible. But if you’re not a qualified mechanic, it may affect the resale value because the potential buyer may be worried that the car may have been under-maintained over the years. Plus, there’s a real possibility that you damage key car components while doing the servicing.

Find More Resources for Maintaining Your Car Here!

With the information shared so far, you should be able to determine who and where to do your car servicing. If you need replacements parts for the servicing and repairs, CarPartAU’s got something for you. Our parts marketplace and parts request feature makes it incredibly easy to purchase car parts, including the hard-to-find ones. What’s more, we connect you directly to our 500-plus sellers across Australia, so you can get the most competitive quotes. So what are you waiting for? Make your requests here.

By Damilare Olasinde

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