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I dropped off my car this morning for her 20k mile full service. I was quoted around £345 and was told over the phone that it was expensive as the brake fluid needed changing.

When I dropped it off this morning the service chap said, "would you like the brake fluid changing as that is an extra £77?" I really did not know what to say, I mean, surly they should tell me?? He said it was optional and not critical and as pennies are important in these difficult times I said no, lets not change it, the car has only done 19k miles and its just come up to 2 years old.

He then asked me if I wanted the aircon drained and re-filled? Again I asked if it was critical or would effect my warranty, he said no, so I said no leave it then!

I have left the dealership wondering if I have done the right thing now, I am used to being told what must be done, not asked.

What do you think? Any opinions, advice are welcome....

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Before handing over your car, you should have got a breakdown of the £345- what work will be done for £345, this is what you need to know.

How much of the £345 is the cost of replacement parts and how much of the £345 is labour? You should fix a price before authorising any work. Is the figure of £345 an estimate/quote? Last thing you want is a final bill double than what you have been quoted.

If you have been quoted £345 for a 20k service then thats what you should be paying.

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Mate, I wish I had now!!! Totally confused....

I have never had this before, I drop off my car for a service, they do it and tell me how much, I pay and have a break down of what was done. I normally trust a dealer to do what is required for the service.

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Word of Advice: Never trust a mechanic / dealers / car salesman e.t.c.

I apologise to all the honest ones out there but unfortunately there are very few. Most mechanics I have encountered will try to take full advantage of your ignorance. End of the day they are out there to make money and they will try to make the most.

I always get quotes from 2 or 3 different sources that gives you an idea of what they should be roughly charging you. Like Kam said always try to get a complete breakdown of what work they will do and their charges. Never leave anything to trust.

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I would always get the safety critical bits done if in doubt - like the brakefluid. You don;t want a twitchy moment (shall we say) when you really (and I mean genuinely) need your brakes to bite just so.

I know some will say that they have never had the BFC done on their X many years old car etc. etc. and swear by it - thats fine for them. For me, with my wife and kids in my car and understanding how brakefluid works and protects the system - that extra cost is worth paying. Let me ask you this way: Would you be happy for them to say change the engine oil but not the filter? Or heck, not change the oil/filter for say 4 years?

Same goes for the BFC. It is (and this is MHO) an item that should be changed according to manufacture recommendations at the correct time.

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I would always get the safety critical bits done if in doubt - like the brakefluid. You don;t want a twitchy moment (shall we say) when you really (and I mean genuinely) need your brakes to bite just so.

I know some will say that they have never had the BFC done on their X many years old car etc. etc. and swear by it - thats fine for them. For me, with my wife and kids in my car and understanding how brakefluid works and protects the system - that extra cost is worth paying. Let me ask you this way: Would you be happy for them to say change the engine oil but not the filter? Or heck, not change the oil/filter for say 4 years?

Same goes for the BFC. It is (and this is MHO) an item that should be changed according to manufacture recommendations at the correct time.

I cannot understand where they get their figures from!!!

If you look at your service schedule, the service consists of replacing the pollen filter (approx £30) Labour, approx 60 seconds as it is behind the glove tray ( and can often be cleaned. See your manual), Oil and filter, approx £40 + Labour of 15 mins to change the filter and drain and refill the oil, as the front panel UNDER the engine has to be removed. OK say 30 Mins max for a slow mechanic + various other visual checks.

I agree that approx £70 to change brake fluid seems reasonable and should be done as scheduled.

I was brought up in a family garage business and a service of this type was dead easy and inexpensive.

Accordingly, I do these 20 k services myself (apart from changing brake fluid) every 5k miles and get a local mainstream garage to do the services at the required intervals PURELY for warranty purposes.

NOTE: Eu regulations say you do not HAVE to go to a main dealer for servicing as long as it is a bona fide good quality reputable garage.

Today's prices would have been be well under £100 for such a simple service which does not require changing plugs, points, greasing joints, changing gearbox oil, and changing brake shoes or pads.

I could understand the price charged if it included parts and labour for these items, but I don't believe it does!!!

Go on then, I guess someone will violently disagree, but I do not intend to say any more as I have rabbited enough on the subject

BR

Billy

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