Why You Should Complete your Next Car Service at a Dealership!
June 18, 2020
Written by Edward Gray.
Nobody likes servicing their car, but in order to ensure your car is in top running shape, it’s essential to have a car service completed regularly. After all there’s no point spending all that money on a new car and then trying to skimp out on its maintenance! To walk you through the benefits of servicing at a factory certified dealer service centre, I spoke with Kyle Miller – the General Manager Fixed Operations for Zupps and here’s what he had to say…
Edward: What are the advantages and benefits of having your car service done through Zupps, or an AHG Queensland truck dealership?
Kyle: We are very fortunate that we have some long term employees that have great product knowledge across all the franchises that we represent.
We have factory trained technicians that have spent many hours, and many days with our manufacturers working on becoming specialists across all of our brands. Zupps and AHG are represented by some genuine staff members who pride themselves on customer service.
Edward: Many of the manufacturers and brands that are represented in Zupps Car Service Centres offer capped price servicing. What does that mean?
Kyle: Capped price servicing is a program that was introduced by manufacturers to be up front with their customers about the price of their services for the life of the vehicle.
What they want to do is when a customer purchases a car they want to make sure they’re aware of how much each car service is going to cost over the next four to five years, and that there are no hidden surprises when they arrive at a dealership to have that service done.
Edward: With a regular or a logbook car service, what are the components of that service?
Kyle: There are generally two different types of car services, both minor and major.
In the minor service the oil filter and the oil is changed on every service. As well as carrying out a full safety check of the vehicle to make sure that there’s no defects or problems that are going to cause the car to break down in the near future.
With a major car service we change the oil filter, and the oil. But we also service the air filter, the radiator coolant, the brake fluid, as well as doing a full safety check over the vehicle.
Edward: Why should a car or truck owner service their vehicle regularly per the recommended schedule?
Kyle: There are two reasons. One is to have peace of mind when driving their vehicle, to make sure that it’s not going to break down at any stage. You want to identify problems with the vehicle before they occur, rather than dealing with it once they occur. Because 9 times out of 10 if your car is going to let you down it’s going to be at a very unfortunate time.
Edward: In Australia we have a hot summer and great variation with a cold winter. What are the general maintenance tips during those seasons that you might recommend? And what are some do it yourself type tips that you provide to a truck or a car owner?
Kyle: One of the most important components of a vehicle is definitely the tyres. It’s important to check your tyres regularly and to maintain the correct tyre pressure in your vehicle.
The fact that we do have hot summers means it’s also important to make sure that your air conditioner is working correctly and free of defects. I would also suggest regularly checking the oil on the vehicle, as well as the radiator coolant. Because if either one of those two fail it will result in a major engine repair.
Edward: When you say that mechanics and staff are factory trained, what does that actually mean? And how does that benefit a car owner?
Kyle: It means that the manufacturers that build the cars we sell have training programs that are specifically designed for people that work on these cars every day of the year. Our technicians are sent away to the factory where they spend days with the specialists & engineers from the manufacturer identifying how each serviceable component works.
With that training our technicians learn the quickest and most economical way of repairing something when it fails in order to get the customer back on the road as quickly as they can. We also receive regular updates from our manufacturers. If there is a regular fault occurring in a particular vehicle, we are notified of what that fault is and the best way that we can fix it.
Edward: One of the advantages of buying a truck or car through Zupps or AHG are some of the after sales warranties and roadside assist programs. Can you explain more about those products and services?
Kyle: Every vehicle that is sold by Zupps / AHG comes with a free warranty. That warranty is designed to commence when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. What it does is it extends the warranty period of the vehicle.
The only thing the customer has to do is continue to service at their selling dealer. We will then do a regular car service on the vehicle and once it is out of warranty, identify any faults. If we do find there are any faults they will be repaired under warranty.
Edward: When a customer drops off their car and they might want a loan car, how does that work?
Kyle: All of our service centres offer loan vehicles due to the busy nature of people’s lives.
All we ask is that a customer phones ahead and gives us a little bit of notice. Anyone that buys a car from us and chooses to have their service done with us will receive a loan car free of charge, while their vehicle is in our workshop having a car service done. Those loan cars are generally brand new cars from our showroom, of the same brand that we represent in that particular service centre.
Edward: What is the process when a customer drops off their vehicle at a service centre?
Kyle: There are 3 main steps to a customers service centre experience. The first is the drop off in the morning. The Service Advisor will do a walk around inspection of the vehicle with the owner, confirming what car service it’s in for and if there are any other problems with the vehicle that need to be looked at while it is in the workshop. The Service Advisor will do a quick inspection and offer any advice or recommendations. Then the car will go into our workshop for stage two.
Once the car is in the workshop and the process of being serviced has commenced, the Service Advisor will call the customer, advise how the car service is progressing, if there are any other problems and also confirm a time when their vehicle will be ready for pick up. The last step in the process is the collection of the vehicle in the afternoon, and an explanation of the invoice for the work that has been carried out that day.
Edward: Is WIFI available at service centres?
Kyle: Yes. All of our service centres come with free WIFI that can be utilised by the customers if they chose to wait in our waiting rooms.
Edward: What is the 100 point safety check-list?
Kyle: A vehicle is made up of many components and we like to carry out a thorough check on every component that is serviceable on the vehicle. This includes the exhaust system, the electrical system, the braking system, the lubrication system of the vehicle, the suspension, the wheel alignment, and many other aspects which need to be checked to make sure that you have a safe motoring in your vehicle.
Edward: What are some of the early bird drop off options or even night servicing that might be available?
Kyle: We understand that people have very busy lives so our standard opening hours are from 7 AM until 5:30 PM of an afternoon. We also offer Saturday mornings from 7:00 until midday at all our service centres.
If the customer can’t get in during business hours to drop their vehicle off, we have an early bird drop off security box at all of our sites. In which a customer can fill out one of the service envelopes with all of their details and drop their keys into the security box. When our staff arrive in the morning they then book the vehicle in and call the customer toconfirm that they have their keys and vehicle booked in for service.
Edward: What methods of payment do service centres accept?
Kyle: We accept cash and credit card as well as over the phone credit card payment.
Edward: What about a service like the local shuttle bus for customers?
Kyle: Sure. All of our service centres have a shuttle bus service. You will need to contact each service department to confirm times, but regularly they’ll leave on the hour, every hour. They can drop you at home, to the shopping centre or anywhere in the immediate area. They’ll also arrange a pick up time for you once that vehicle is finished.
Edward: How does a customer make a service booking?
Kyle: There are a few ways that a customer can book with us. Over the phone, through our website, via email, or most importantly, any regular customer with Zupps or AHG will receive a phone call from us advising when they are due for service, just to prompt them to make an appointment with us.
Edward: Once the booking is made what does the customer need to bring, or get ready?
Kyle: All the customer needs to do is arrive at the dealership with their log book, if it is a log book car service. Also a couple of notes on any extras they would like looked at or reviewed while they have their car in for its service. We’ll take care of everything else.
Edward: What tyre and battery products are available at service centres?
Kyle: Yes, sure. We aim to be a one stop shop for our customers and we stock a full range of tyres and batteries. We try to get our customers’ needs sorted all in one day, rather than them have to go out and do extra work on weekends or to take time off during the week to get other items (like tyres and batteries) replaced on their car.
Edward: What are the services and products available through the Parts Department?
Kyle: Our Parts Department stocks a full range of genuine parts, genuine accessories for vehicles and also a full range of merchandise representing all of our brands.
Edward: If a customer wants to contact the Parts Department, how do they do that?
Kyle: Once again they can contact either through our website, via email, or over the telephone.
Edward: There are some other products and services available for customers who are just looking for those extra services. What are those?
Kyle: Yes. It’s part of our one stop shop program. We offer wheel alignment checks, brake testing and machining, windscreen repairs, air conditioning servicing, paint and dent repairs, and as mentioned before also tyres and batteries.