How does car servicing work here?

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Hi,

 

I understand that there is a Tüv check (Hauptuntersuchung) at regular (usually yearly intervals)? My car isn't due until 2016 because it's a 2013 model.

 

However, how does regular servicing work here? In the UK I would take my car once a year for servicing (oil change etc...), probably just before MOT is due. I guess the same occurs here, but what is that "service" called in German? What do I have to ask for?

 

Do they have log books here where you get the service stamped, because I don't see one? A friend once mentioned that all that info is stored electronically?

 

I have had my car coming up 1 year now with 4k extra miles on it (12.5k total) and wondering whether I need to take it in for a service or not? It's my first ever car I bought from near new, so not quite sure how it works around here.

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HU (Hauptuntersüchung) can be done by Dekra or TÜV but yes, many call it TÜV and it's due every 2 years here.

 

Service is Inspektion and yes, it works much the same as in the UK; you take your car to a garage and they service it.

As it's a quite new car I'd recommend having it serviced with a main dealer so that the service book can be officially stamped which will help the value when you eventually come to sell it onwards.

 

This service book should be with the instruction manual(s), usually in a folder in the glove compartment. As you bought from new I'd expect it to be there, if not ask at the dealer where you bought the car. That service book will detail the correct service intervals in both km driven and time.

 

If you always use the same main dealer they will usually keep records on their system of what has been done and when, but this is no replacement for the actual service log (book).

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HU (Hauptuntersüchung) can be done by Dekra or TÜV but yes, many call it TÜV and it's due every 2 years here.

 

Service is Inspektion and yes, it works much the same as in the UK; you take your car to a garage and they service it.

As it's a quite new car I'd recommend having it serviced with a main dealer so that the service book can be officially stamped which will help the value when you eventually come to sell it onwards.

 

This service book should be with the instruction manual(s), usually in a folder in the glove compartment. As you bought from new I'd expect it to be there, if not ask at the dealer where you bought the car. That service book will detail the correct service intervals in both km driven and time.

 

If you always use the same main dealer they will usually keep records on their system of what has been done and when, but this is no replacement for the actual service log (book).

 

Thank you for the detailed response, exactly what I needed to know :) I plan to go back to the Ford garage I bought it from, they are always friendly there and put on a good breakfast spread if you get a service done in the morning (I specially planned getting my summer tyres done in the morning to have breakfast :D)

 

I'll have a look for the log book, but I really don't remember seeing one. My friend said:

 

 

Apparently Ford doesn't use a physical logbook anymore. It's all digital now and linked to the Vin number. I was very surprised when my dealer told me this last October when my ST got serviced for the first time.

 

But, seems strange to me given that you couldn't then visually see servicing if you came to sell privately! 

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Like you, I got my first ever brand-new car nearly 4 years ago now and have been careful, especially within the warranty period, to get the checks done at the right intervals. It's not a dealer's garage as I was very brave and bought it off t'Internet. When I take the car in to change the tyres for winter and summer the garage does a winter/summer service and always reminds me if a service is due, or for something important needs that needs changing after a long interval e.g. timing chain. When TÜV is due they take it in the day before for a preinspection and give me a car for the day for which I just pay for the fuel. (I did have a little oops! incident once when I topped up their Audi with the wrong fuel ...)

There isn't a service log as such, just instructions as MT said as to what should be done when and how often. I just keep all the bills, which in the best German tradition, are minutely itemised, in a folder, which forms a very complete service record.

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Note that most authorized garages can stamp the book regarding the service. We found the big car dealers to be quite unfriendly (showing up with our bought used 10+ year old Lupo) and got into a 'relationship' with a small local authorized VW workshop. (Relationship meaning we gave him a lot of money...). But he was friendly and willing to fix only what we specified.

 

If you follow the book (virtual or paper) then that is the recommended service plan. For example, it tells you when to change certain belts, time between oil changes, etc.

 

The Germans love the book with the stamps. Often advertisements will tell you it has been cared for 'by the book'. It is part of the documentation for our Lupo. Keeping receipts is also a good idea.

 

(I have also heard that VW wants to limit the number of authorized workshops and is buying them up to close them..., monopolies make more money, other brands probably plan similar).

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bit off topic but that is one huge difference between Europe (assuming all of Europe is the same) and Canada/US. typically an oil change would cost 25 bucks (probably more now been 15 years) and is done every 3000 miles/5000K. For the exact same car it's 15 - 30 thousand K between changes and costs in the range of 500€ or more!!!!

 

I should add that it usually includes a quick inspection

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You should check whether not having the prescribed service done in time will jeopardize your warranty. For my cars (Toyota and Kia) this would have been the case if the service intervals had been exceeded by more than 1 month or 1000 km.

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bit off topic but that is one huge difference between Europe (assuming all of Europe is the same) and Canada/US. typically an oil change would cost 25 bucks (probably more now been 15 years) and is done every 3000 miles/5000K. For the exact same car it's 15 - 30 thousand K between changes and costs in the range of 500€ or more!!!!

 

I should add that it usually includes a quick inspection

Check your numbers. For most modern European cars, oil changes are only done every 30.000Km. In some cases, 50-60.000Km. And I have never heard of someone being charged close to 500€!

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New business idea: motor oil at the duty free shop. It does cost a lot more to get an oil change here...

I'm sure all the airlines would love a few dozen (or more) passengers on each flight to be carrying 5 litres of oil.

 

 

bit off topic but that is one huge difference between Europe (assuming all of Europe is the same) and Canada/US. typically an oil change would cost 25 bucks (probably more now been 15 years) and is done every 3000 miles/5000K. For the exact same car it's 15 - 30 thousand K between changes and costs in the range of 500€ or more!!!!

 

I should add that it usually includes a quick inspection

I no longer do very much mileage (or kilometreage) in my private car but still ensure an oil and filter change are done at least once each year. As for the price; the oil alone costs just under €100 so with a bit of labour and the filter I'm looking at around €130.

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what kind of oil is that for 100 Euros? extra virgin olive oil?

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Check your numbers. For most modern European cars, oil changes are only done every 30.000Km. In some cases, 50-60.000Km. And I have never heard of someone being charged close to 500€!

 

Varies from car to car, my Mazda was every 15,000 while the Peugeot was every 30,000 and my C-Max is every 40,000 or once a year.

 

Check your numbers. For most modern European cars, oil changes are only done every 30.000Km. In some cases, 50-60.000Km. And I have never heard of someone being charged close to 500€!

 

You're right, numbers off slightly was only 489.07 was was quite a bit cheaper than my last service (Peugeot) was cost nearly 900€ (500 for service and 400 for some repairs. We traded the car in shortly after that!!!! About half was the inspection (2.3 hours @ 105€ per hour) and half for the oil change. If you have an older car you can go to a local garage and you have to specifically ask for an oil change ONLY if you say service you'll pay a lot more. The problem is with modern cars you often have to go to the dealer as they are the only ones with the tools to read the computer. I'm looking at getting trailer hitch and aftermarket installation doesn't include resetting the computer so do you take a chance and void the warranty or pay though the nose at the dealer.

 

 

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If you follow the book for service and go in for the oil change, you might find that it costs 400€ to change the timing belt, according to the plan. It might not be necessary, but if you want the book stamped, you do it. That is the reason the cost for a service is so high.

An oil change for our Lupo runs up to 85€ (oil, filters). If you go to the VW shop, they want to give you the full treatment. I do not like ATU or PitStop, but if it is just to change the oil and they are given explicit instructions to do only that, it costs less (but they then give you the run down as to what you should do at much greater cost). The liter of oil here costs four times more than the US (duty free oil, what a money maker!).

 

There was a great old show on the US public radio called Car Talk years ago. They said that the US recommendation to change the oil every 3 or 5000 miles was useless. The oil should be fine for 10,000 - 20,000 plus miles. I assume the Germans are pretty good about keeping their cars up, so their recommendations are more for the car and not so much for the oil producers.

 

New Mercedes I have heard, will email/sms the mechanic (dealer) when service is necessary or oil needs to be changed/topped up. No more dipstick.

 

(Malt Teaser, why not oil, is is no more flammable than say, Scotch...)

 

What I find really annoying is the oil recommendation in the manual for our Lupo is only the VW recommended type without the standard xW-yy (0w-30)  name, only the VW part number/name, making it difficult to find out what you should be using.

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what kind of oil is that for 100 Euros? extra virgin olive oil?

100% Synthetic, Mobil1 or similar, but then with a 3.0 litre V6 I want to protect it as much as possible.

 

Mako, I'd be interested to know what car costs only €400 for a timing belt change. It's about €1000 for mine and I'm always interested in saving money :-)

As for whisky and oil ... at least you can drink whisky if it breaks or leaks :-)

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If there is one in your area, an oil change from Mr. Wash costs at most 119€ including filter and labour (starts from €30). The one in Nuremberg also has the cheapest petrol in the area - I think they make money from washing cars and have the rest just to attract customers. 

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It probably cost more, I don't remember the price (~€700+). The best one was the Lenkradwinkelsensor (steering angle measurment sensor). A piece of plastic with a bit of copper used in the traction control. That cost a bomb to install (and 5€ to manufacture).

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Mako, I'd be interested to know what car costs only €400 for a timing belt change. It's about €1000 for mine and I'm always interested in saving money :-)

 

We had a 1999 Golf TDI and it was 450€ to change the timing belt (and water pump).  That was 2 years ago.  Actually we had the fan belt changed at the time and that was included in the €450.  

 

Oil change on our Golf 7 (Bj Nov 2014) is only after 24 months or 20,000 km, whichever comes first.  That is for the first change, after that it moves to 30,000km. Not there yet, so no idea what it will cost .  

 

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Some time ago ATU had a special for oil changes (including up to 4.2 liters of oil) for € 30.- .Given that this special is over it might be maybe € 40-50 now, but nowhere near € 500.- as suggested above.

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