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Claire G

Independant V Dealerships?

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Anyone know of any good independant garages in/near Bracknell?

Not sure whether to take my 1999 to a Lexus garage or independant garage to get them to check out/replace the wheel bearing - think it's well and truly knackered!

Is it worth keeping up the Lexus history (I'm planning to keep the car for a fair few years, until it disintegrates anyway!!!) or try to save some money by going with an independant?

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Hi Claire,

If you are going to keep the car a while and with my experience of Lexus Serive, I would get it done by an independent. OK you haven't got a Lexus history and you may get less for trade in but weigh that against the amount of money you will save on the servicing and it will balance out. Will probably even work out better in the long run.

I have used both Bracknell and Reading and have been extremely disappointed with the service at both centres. Air filter was not changed at one, Oil filter was left off at another, and pads were not changed when they were completely worn out. If these simple things have been missed, what else have they not done and what kind of detrimental effect will it have on my car in the future?

Not only that but in both centres, I was looked at as if I had no right being in their showroom.

Mark

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I've not had particularly brilliant experiences of Bracknell, which is the main reason I'm asking about independents! I am planning to keep to keep the car for as long as possible so am not particularly worried about future trade-in values.

Thanks, think I may try and get some recommendations for garages in the locality - is there anyone you use?

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I agree with the independent idea Claire.

Just had mine done at a local independent, and I've always been a great fan of Lexus dealerships. But the cost did it for me - I had a MAJOR service PLUS wheel alignment done for fifty quid LESS than the cost for Lexus dealer MINOR service.

With those kind of figures, as long as you trust your independent (I do) then any slight loss in resale value (as long as the car has still has full history) is easily compensated for.

Best I can do for a garage recommendation is to point you at

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/directories/go...odGarages01.htm

Anything on there is likely to be a good one.

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going independant is one thing but watch out for the cowboy garages. or better still (if your lucky) find a garage in your area thats specialises in japanese cars or toyota/lexus speiclaist. as for getting less when trading in, not so sure if it makes difference. as long as paper work & servicing records are provided.

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Claire,

I have used an independent garage set up by ex Lexus technicians and the service has been top notch. Ok, so it's a 120 mile round trip, but I've saved thousands on my car by using them. They don't mind if I bring all my own parts too (from the USA of course!).

IMHO, dealers stamps mean zilch if the owners have neglected to spend on preventative maintenance and just had the oil & filter done.

I know of smithys in Barking (specialises in Soarers), Powerhouse in Camberley (again specialise in Soarers), and Westfield Motors in Essex (which I use).

You could try Powerhouse, last time I checked they were charging £25 + VAT an hour! Start getting the bits from the US and save yourself even more cash.

You will usually find that these Lexus specialists are just as passionate as us about these cars....

Alternatively, you could find a Jag/Merc/Beemer specialist who may have done a Lexus or two in their time.

Finally, our cars are so sensitive to balancing issues that normal wheel balancing just doesn't help most of the time. I've been to three different garages and all of them put different weights after balancing, and still the vibration is there.

I've tracked down two garages in the South East that use the Hunter GSP9700 vibration control system (it's supposed to be :tsktsk: great!), which hopefully should cure my wheel vibration probs..See below..

http://209.176.154.132/pub/features/how.cfm

I'm going to get it done tonight. Will let you know how it goes.

Good Luck!

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I've heard of Powerhouse before and will definitely be using them in future. Just got back from the garage local to me though (didn't fancy a long drive) and they reckon the bearing is knackered and I shouldn't drive it.

Ordered the parts from Lexus (a whopping £131 quid) and am booking the car in with this independent chappy.

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