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trinacriabob

One mechanic for this and another for that...

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I just got a lube oil and filter this morning. With my coupon, it came to about $23, and I got Valvoline 10W-30. For this service, I have repeatedly gone to this nearby store from a national chain. They know me there and treat me fairly well. However, they price other stuff too highly, probably to cover their "loss leaders."

For stuff which I think is more powertrain-specific (tune-up, trans fluid, and even a coolant change), I wait for a good price deal to come from a GM dealership, or two, that I have often used and have gotten to know. I see no point in giving this business to one of the chains, when a GM dealership is charging the same...or even slightly less.

For brake and suspension stuff, I go to a major West Coast-only chain. (But, for tires, I go to Costco).

For everything else, I go to an independent mechanic. An independent put in my water pump and did a good job / priced it fairly. His wife also works in our office, so everybody goes there.

Question:

Do you have your mechanical work sort of layered by what "system" is affected...or...do you just go to one mechanic...or...do you not even plan when it comes to this issue?

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I fix and attempt to diagnose mechanical work myself, especially the simple things that you mentioned. However, if I know have a major problem and want it fixed, I'll usually take it to someone I know that won't charge a huge price.

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Alas, all the work gets done by me. Except mounting and balancing tires (but that may change). Oh, and pumping gas.

Collecting parts can be a crap shoot, however... usually its Autozone or Advanced Auto... but higher ticket items occasionally are bought online. Lots of stuff is Pick-a-Part for some cars, other cars get everything new. Stealership is rarely used.

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<---Capable of doing it himself

That said, both cars are covered for basic maintenance for a few more years, so I wont have to get dirty for a while.

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In Phoenix, I have an independent mechanic shop (been awarded the BBB best in the city several times) about a mile away that I go to for everything. Battery, radiator, patch tire, oil change, etc.

When I was in Denver, I had a Goodyear tire dealer across the street, went there for tires and shocks, went to Brakes Plus for brakes, went to buddy Ajith's shop for everything else.

When I was in Colorado Springs, I took my Jeep to the dealer for most service, since it was still new then and under warranty.

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I haven't been back to the dealer I bought the Cobalt from since I bought it, no hard feelings at all, just they're 30 miles away. First oil change and steering column replacement was done at my former employer. Second maintenance was done at a small town dealer my dad's side of the family has bought cars from for decades. When I am ready to replace the Cobalt, I hope to go back there to buy and then have them maintain my truck.
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What I can do myself I will.

What I feel I need help with I'll get help from friends on LHF

What I or they can't do I take to an independent mechanic my family has gone to for years.

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I used to do everything myself, but routine maintenance has gotten boring. So I let the dealership do almost all of that.

Restoration and Project cars are all me if I have the equiptment to get the job done, otherwise I do my research and pic someone.

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Yep.

Though otherwise I would generally have gone to my local GM dealer for everything, something about it makes me uncomfortable (and probably unnecessarily so, but still...just don't like the "look" of the techs when they see my G8 come in), and have only had 1 oil change and a tire mounted there. I've been impressed and know the people well at another collision/mechanics/etc. shop where my brother works and now get things like oil changes there--top notch, trust them above and beyond (did my GXP fascia paint & install) and they're cheaper.

Have had custom Pedders suspension work done both in Bethlehem, PA several times and then the last in Maryland, both specialty shops. Then, otherwise, for anything dealer/warranty related anymore my level of comfort/quality of the work is 120% at the dealer in New Jersey where I bought my G8...so, odd as it may be, I've now driven back 2 times for things and will be back up again this week. It's all about quality of work and comfort factor, for me.

The Jersey dealer, in particular, seems to read my mind with everything and returns the car happily after--I watched them do this once--wiping off fingerprints...perfect for me. I've even considered relocating closer to my Jersey dealer, permanently, so I can just have my car serviced more easily and get to enjoy the place :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by caddycruiser
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something about it makes me uncomfortable (and probably unnecessarily so, but still...

The Jersey dealer, in particular, seems to read my mind with everything

There's a lot to be said for trusting one's gut...not specifically about the NJ outfit versus your present location, but on a general level...*sigh*

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Absolutely!

I do much as I can myself. But when it comes to my camaros, I have neither the facilities nor knowledge to do EVERYTHING. Therefore, I have many shops and mechanics that I am on a first name basis with. Body man, mechanic, 'official' tire and wheel guy, exhaust guy, etc.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Depends...I'm doing what I can myself.

Other than that, I have a few friends who can help me out....

I use a local shop when I need too, and they did some work on my car when I was injured.....

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Absolutely. I had this default mechanic for the Passat. He's an award-winning Porsche and Audi-trained tech who opened his own shop, which I've only had good experiences with. Over time, however, he's gotten busier and busier, so much so you now need an appointment weeks in advance, and he's hired a service adviser to help out in the office, who I hear is somewhat disagreeable.

I need a timing belt service done, and this time, with the economy the way it is, I'm willing to shop around. I posted on a popular VW forum and was bombarded by recommendations - including PMs from dealership techs looking for side jobs. Interesting...

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I take the Impala to the dealer fopr nearly everything what little it needs. Oil changes too that way if something does come up they cant ever say I didnt keep the oil changed. They also do some of the work on the 2 old ones but I have a mechanic that does most of the work on these including A/C work. I do simple things but I dont have the time or know-how to dig too deep. Need to find somebody to do the headliner in the Bonneville. I think there is somebody in Appleton that has been doing this for years.

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Alas, all the work gets done by me. Except mounting and balancing tires (but that may change). Oh, and pumping gas.

Collecting parts can be a crap shoot, however... usually its Autozone or Advanced Auto... but higher ticket items occasionally are bought online. Lots of stuff is Pick-a-Part for some cars, other cars get everything new. Stealership is rarely used.

+1 pretty much. I will farm major stuff out, but small stuff is just too much fun to do myself.

Manual tranny gear oil change is like $85-$125 at a dealer. Can do it myself for $15, why not save $70

And I hate chains of any sort with a purple passion. Costco isn't bad, but I hate Walmart and such. Plus I don't trust them. Had a room mate once take his car to walmart for four consecutive oil changes...for the 5th oil change, guy took the car back to his mechanic. Mechanic points out that it's the same filter mechanic installed 5 changes ago.

Chris

Chris

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Absolutely. I had this default mechanic for the Passat. He's an award-winning Porsche and Audi-trained tech who opened his own shop, which I've only had good experiences with. Over time, however, he's gotten busier and busier, so much so you now need an appointment weeks in advance, and he's hired a service adviser to help out in the office, who I hear is somewhat disagreeable.

I need a timing belt service done, and this time, with the economy the way it is, I'm willing to shop around. I posted on a popular VW forum and was bombarded by recommendations - including PMs from dealership techs looking for side jobs. Interesting...

Go to http://www.tdiclub.com and check around. See if you can find a local VW "guru" that can do a timing belt change.

Good luck!

Chris

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...and Caddycruiser...I am jealous. Wish that I could trust someone local like that.

But I distrust most of the local dealers, as most of the people I know have had bad experiences with them.

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I'm lucky to have a great relationship with the local Chevy place, everyone there knows me well from the owner on down - it's a priceless connection.

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I just got a lube oil and filter this morning. With my coupon, it came to about $23, and I got Valvoline 10W-30. For this service, I have repeatedly gone to this nearby store from a national chain. They know me there and treat me fairly well. However, they price other stuff too highly, probably to cover their "loss leaders."

For stuff which I think is more powertrain-specific (tune-up, trans fluid, and even a coolant change), I wait for a good price deal to come from a GM dealership, or two, that I have often used and have gotten to know. I see no point in giving this business to one of the chains, when a GM dealership is charging the same...or even slightly less.

For brake and suspension stuff, I go to a major West Coast-only chain. (But, for tires, I go to Costco).

For everything else, I go to an independent mechanic. An independent put in my water pump and did a good job / priced it fairly. His wife also works in our office, so everybody goes there.

Question:

Do you have your mechanical work sort of layered by what "system" is affected...or...do you just go to one mechanic...or...do you not even plan when it comes to this issue?

Just a question because I'm so big on supporting local business.... how come you don't use the local independent more often? I can understand the tires from Costco, but the local guy can probably handle most anything you throw at him.

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Just a question because I'm so big on supporting local business.... how come you don't use the local independent more often? I can understand the tires from Costco, but the local guy can probably handle most anything you throw at him.

A couple of things:

(1) there are a couple of GM dealerships, whether I've lived in PDX or Northern California, that are in smaller scenic areas, where the service advisors know me, they like to talk cars with me, they tell me when there's a special coming down the pike, and do great work...generally on those "menu priced" items. Plus, they have decent Saturday hours. The oil change place can work on my car whether on Saturday or Sunday morning.

(2) the independent is a little far, in a direction I don't usually travel, and in an industrial neighborhood. I am glad to use him for any non-menu item, R&R type stuff. He also keeps odd hours 6:30 to 3:30 because he is primarily a large truck mechanic, so he has to schedule passenger car work around that work. I usually have to bus back to work (*a little sketchy*) or, if the appointment hours coincide with this wife's driving in, I can get a ride from her.

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...and Caddycruiser...I am jealous. Wish that I could trust someone local like that.

But I distrust most of the local dealers, as most of the people I know have had bad experiences with them.

If only I didn't have to spread it around or my truly local dealer gave me the same confidence my 2 hour away one does...

...guess that was a blessing in disguise, finding the right G8 at a dealer I had never heard of before, and having it end up the best one I've ever dealt with in regards to sales and service. I'm fine with spreading it around, though it isn't exactly the most convenient.

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