Do I Need To Service My Car At The Dealer?

Do I Have To Service My Car At The Dealer

Have you ever thought, “do I need to service my car at the dealer”? Well, know that you’re not alone. 

The short answer is no. No law compels you to maintain your relationship with dealers, contrary to what many dealers will have you believe

However, to keep your warranty, you must observe certain guidelines. 

Regularly servicing your car is essential for it to run as long as it should. But where should you get this servicing and maintenance done? Does it need to be done at the dealer, or can you do it yourself?

There’s heaps of information available on this subject, and you’ve probably heard one thing from your dealer and another from old mate down the road. As such, it can get quite confusing.

If in doubt, book a service with Automotive Hospital – we are Sydney’s leading European car specialist, and we guarantee to provide the best services for your car that won’t void your warranty. We keep your car ticking.

What to consider before taking your car for a service

Your warranty is one thing to keep in mind regarding car maintenance. A warranty is an agreement between the manufacturer and the car owner. Essentially, it guarantees that certain car parts won’t break down within a specific time of purchase, and if any problems do arise, the manufacturer will cover the costs. A warranty typically covers:

  • Repairs 
  • Replacement of parts where there are defects 
  • Maintenance of quality within and without the vehicle

As manufacturers and dealers provide warranties, many believe the dealer must do the servicing and maintenance to keep the warranty. On top of this, many dealers and manufacturers will insinuate that you must perform your services at an authorised dealer. This is not true. 

What do I need to do to keep my car's warranty?

As a car owner, you have a variety of responsibilities. Some of them are:

  1. You must diligently adhere to the use of specific maintenance tools as suggested by the manufacturer. 
  2. You must not use third-party products incompatible with the car’s make and type. For example, use only these if your warranty covers certain brands or products. 
  3. You must keep records of the service history.
  4. You must not make alterations to your vehicle that could cause failure.

This is just a generic example. Your dealer will have specific guidelines in their warranty, including the amount of time and KMs driven before the warranty expires. Study them carefully and adhere to the instructions. 

Failure to follow these on your part can deprive you of the warranty if the car becomes faulty. 

Can I service my own car and keep the warranty?

Technically you can service your car and keep your warranty, but in most cases, that doesn’t mean you should. 

For instance, manufacturers set stipulations in the warranty against ‘inappropriate work’; certainly, if you use non-genuine parts, your warranty will be voided. 

However, if you’re a qualified mechanic or know your way around a car, and you’re willing to take the risk, then go for it – but don’t say you haven’t been warned!

What should I expect from a third-party auto-care provider to keep my warranty?

If you decide to use a third-party mechanic, you need some documents to prove that the warranty’s instructions were adhered to. These include:

  1. Receipts 
  2. Service records

In addition, you need to show proof that routine services were carried out when due. At Automotive Hospital, we provide the best quality services and ensure to work with you and your car to guarantee that the warranty is still valid. So if you’re looking for a service but don’t want to pay dealer rates, book a service with us today. 

Can I service my car anywhere under warranty?

You need to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether you can service your car anywhere under warranty. Now that you know you are not restricted to working with your dealer, you have a choice to make, and you should make an informed decision. As such, we’ve outlined some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.



  • Expert service, mechanics trained by the manufacturer
  • Guaranteed to keep warranty
  • Latest technology 
  • Loan cars often provided
  • Specific experience with your make and model


  • Distance to the dealership can be inconvenient 
  • Long waiting list due to high volume of customers 
  • Often there is no direct communication with the mechanic, just with a service advisor
  • Constant upselling for extras you don’t need
  • Usually more expensive 

Qualified mechanic


  • Lower service rates
  • Premium services, including roadside assistance 
  • A personal relationship with the mechanic
  • Wider breadth of car knowledge


  • Risk of encountering fraudsters and quack mechanics
  • Work is not guaranteed to meet warranty requirements (not the case at Automotive Hospital, check out our AutoCare Membership)

Weigh your options. To avoid being taken advantage of, you need to use the service of reputable companies. 

At Automotive Hospital, our reputation matters to us, and that’s why we provide high-end, thorough services. We are the best European car specialist in Sydney

Why should I work with Automotive Hospital?

At Automotive Hospital, we offer customers peace of mind by providing consistent and high-tech services with unparalleled workmanship. For 20+ years, Tim and his team have provided exceptional services to vehicle owners in Haberfield and the surrounding areas.

Tim is passionate about his business and the atmosphere where he serves his customers. As a European & Prestige service centre, Tim ensures you and your vehicle get the care you deserve from the moment you step into his shop.

Step inside our state-of-the-art facilities and immediately feel the difference in the service you receive.

If your car needs a service, contact us right away. 


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