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30k service at dealer or local mechanic for car under warranty?

I have a 2008 nissan sentra and it is under warranty.

It needs at 30K service. Do I need to take it to the dealer who charges around $500 or can I take it to another mechanic ?


I believe as long as the required service is performed and you have a record of that, you don’t void the warranty. We bought a new Toyota 4Runner in 2003 and I didn’t care for the dealer’s service department after a bad experience with the serpentine belt chirping. The dealer put on three belts. The second belt was put on improperly and it pulled out the crankshaft oil seal. After the third belt with the same problem, I told the dealer that they could buy the car back. I finally agreed to one more attempt and they discovered that the tensioner had a weak spring. After that experience, I didn’t want this dealer to touch the car. I went to another Toyota dealer for an oil change. Even though the manual recommends 5W-30 oil, this dealer put in 10W-30. From that point on, I went to my trusted independent shop and the 4Runner has never gone back to a dealer. We now have a new Toyota dealer in town and I bought a 2011 Sienna. I’ll give them a chance, but if things haven’t improved, my independent mechanic will take care of this car as well.

You do not need to take it to the dealer. But, should you have a warranty claim, you’ll need to be able to prove you had the service performed.

Have the local shop list what was performed, then keep your copy of the shop order.

  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

 [b] There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.[/b]   [i] During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.[/i] 

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.

Then there is the situation that I found myself in…routine in-warrantee problem (repaired) that was taken care of when it happened again well after the warrantee period expired … Toyota dealership in Brewer Maine.
Would never have happened had I used an independent…

The required 30k services are listed in the maintenance schedule that came with the car. The dealer usually includes services (generally “flushes” or “cleanings”) not listed in the Nissan maintenance schedule. This extra services are not harmful to the vehicle, only to your wallet.

The only maintenance beyond what is listed in the Nissan schedule I would consider would be a transmission fluid and filter drain and replace (not flush) and a brake fluid flush. The only services I did on my wife’s 06 Sienna at 30k was an oil/filter and an air filter change.