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Recommended maintenance - manual vs dealer

This is my first time on this site so thanks in advance for being here. I purchased a new 2010 Volvo XC60 in May and it now has 10,500 kms on it. I read the manual which suggested maintenance every 12,000kms. However when I took the vehicle into the dealership this week to have winter tires put on, I mentioned that I hadn’t had a service yet and he was surprised and told me the dealership recommends every 6,000kms. My first thought was they just want to increase their revenue. Before this car, I had a 1998 Toyota 4 runner for 12 years, with over 350,000kms and took it in faithfully for the factory recommnended maintenance every 6,000 kms. I’m hoping to keep my Volvo for at least ten years, maybe longer. I’m confused - 6,000 or 12,000kms intervals for maintenance? My gut feeling is to go with the Volvo manual recommendation on this. Hopefully someone in this car community can help me out.

Generally speaking you can’t go wrong by following the manufacturer maintenance schedule i.e. owner’s manual. Just keep in mind that some stuff needs to be done on the basis of time too, not just miles accumulated.

I, personally, agree with the theory that the dealer just wants to make twice as much money, follow the owner’s manual.

Dealers are after the easy money. Even if everything they try to sell you is a good idea, you can have it done cheaper by a local independent mechanic.

  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.  

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.  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 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.

If all your dealer wants to do is change the oil every 6 instead of 12, and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, I’d say yeah, go with that.

By “maintenance” do you mean other than an oil change? I would be surprised if the Volvo manual advises 12,000 miles between oil & filter changes - but I don’t know.

Does the 12,000 mile interval include oil changes?

Kilometers, not miles. 12,000 km roughly equals 7200 miles, which could be a believable interval for oil changes.

Kilometers, not miles. 12,000 km roughly equals 7200 miles, which could be a believable interval for oil changes.

Thank you. I don’t know how I missed that - “km” was only included in the post about 7 times. :slight_smile:

I would generally follow the owners manual however, dealers see problems and also get updates on maintenance after the manual is written. I’d like to hear their explanation on more severe maintenance but I’m not a dealer hater.

If I spend the money on a car, I really like to have factory trained people working on it, with OEM parts, depending on what it is. I have been very satisfied with the dealers I deal with. Last week I noticed a ticking sound coming from the idler pulley on our Acura. At only 30K they replaced the idler and the timing belt, plus provided a new loaner for overnight use. They did over $600 worth of work plus a $50 rental and our cost was zero. They didn’t whine and complain but just did what needed to be done. When we discussed service intervals for plugs, trans fluid and so on, they were very up front and I believe them. Rollie down the street I’m not so sure about.

Wow - thanks so much to all of you for the prompt feedback! I will check the manual again to see what specifically is recommended - oil change or other.
Yup - we’re in kms up here in Vancouver BC :slight_smile:

Was a maintenance plan included in the purchase price of the car? This is common on BMW. Usually people wanted to fit an oil change (that was not paid for by the factory maintence plan that came with the car) in between the 15K reccommendation.

So you are saying “I am not going to change my oil on any schedule other than what the manufacture says”. It is OK to change more frequently, it is not OK to change less frequently.

I am with you on dealer work, though what you described sounded like warranty work which is normally done at dealer, of course.

When I am in the States, I live in McAllen, and there seems to be a cultural problem there. McAllen has several good mechanics, but they are so busy they want you to leave the car several days, and we have no backup. Dealer, shuttle to my house, same day as promised repairs, no fuss, no muss. And, having very few repairs, the difference in costs has not added up much.

Of course, that will depend upon what the problem is. I have a real good glass place for windshields, and tires. If I start needing lots of repairs, I may have to look again, but at only 171,000 miles, it doesn’t need much yet.

I do oil and transmission fluid work myself. I couldn’t even get anyone to do that well in McAllen on previous car. And, when I took the Sienna to the dealer, they put in Pennzoil, though their sign promises genuine Toyota parts.

In the last 12 months, oil changes; transmission fluid drain and refill; bad battery replaced with LTH here in Mexico; replaced fuel protector after damaged on a rock; and a screw fell out of rear ‘wing’ windows, bought parts for the last two and my son-in-law and I put them on. Oh, yeah, had coolant flushed and replaced at the dealer when I had safety inspection done.

Also, I want original, new Toyota parts, and the dealer never questions that preference. Not that I’ve had many…

If I knew a good independent in McAllen who could work on my car within my time needs, and could get new parts, I would be willing to go for it. Back in the Snow Zone, we had a great Master Mechanic. But, to find one here, I’d have to kiss some frogs, and I get by fine with the dealer without warts on my lips.

As I have gotten older, my view has changed. Cheap + stress + frustration is not as good as a bit more money and peace, even if the job is done right.

If the motor goes or transmission, in that case, I’d go to an independent place, the difference in price is very large.