Everything You Need to Know About Car Logbook Servicing

We all know that logbook servicing is something we need to seek out for our vehicles – however, despite how necessary they are, we often don’t understand the details about logbook servicing. To take the confusion out of it for you, we’ve created this guide to explain everything you need to know about logbook servicing.

First thing’s first: what is a vehicle logbook? A vehicle logbook is provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer, guiding you as to the vehicle’s appropriate service requirements. This informs your mechanic on what needs to be done at what service interval, thereby preserving your car’s resale value, extending its life and maintaining your warranty.

Because of this, getting logbook servicing is a necessary part of taking care of your car, and something you definitely shouldn’t neglect.

One reason people may not seek out logbook servicing when they should be because of the perceived difficulty of getting serviced. There is a misunderstanding that in order to get logbook servicing, you must go back to your car dealership, with Choice finding that just under 50% of Australians were unsure on this matter. Additionally, Choice also found that 90% of their survey respondents got their car serviced at the dealership, meaning that they were potentially missing out on bargains elsewhere.

Of course, the reality is that under Australian law, any qualified mechanic or service centre can carry out logbook servicing. This means you can easily visit your local service centre and get logbook servicing done without a hassle. The ACCC has also confirmed that an independent repairer can even stamp boxes that say they must be stamped by an “authorised dealer.”

Another thing that often comes as a surprise to many people is that logbook servicing can even be financially advantageous to you. This is because your car’s resale value will likely be boosted if there is evidence that you have adequately serviced your car is it should’ve been. This means that taking your car for logbook servicing at the recommended intervals is not only good for the general upkeep of your car, but also important if you’re keeping your car’s long-term value in mind.

When it comes to choosing a team to handle your logbook service, always go for qualified local mechanics. This will save you travel time and hassle, reducing your travel time and time that you may have to take off from work, as they will be in your local area. Additionally, there is also a chance that you could save money by choosing a local mechanic over your car dealership. As explained by the ACCC, getting logbook servicing at a non-dealer workshop will not void your warranty, contrary to common misconceptions. In fact, Choice has found that 30% of car dealer’s profits are from car and logbook servicing, meaning you may not always be getting the best deal there. Additionally, Choice has found evidence of misleading terminology that pressures the car-owner into thinking they must have their car serviced from the dealer, which is clearly an unethical and false practice. Depending on your situation, a local mechanic could really be the best option for your logbook servicing.

So how can you really know that your local mechanic won’t void your warranty? In order to protect your warranty, independent workshops take various steps and follow strict guidelines to properly service your car. This includes only using quality spare parts, lubricants and fluids that meet the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. For added peace of mind, you can ask for an itemised account of the parts installed, meaning if there’s an issue down the track, you can hold the repairer or part manufacturer accountable.

The independent workshop must also conduct their service according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fill in your logbook appropriately. As the car owner, the onus is on you to service your car according to the schedule specified in the owner’s manual or warranty logbook.
However, bear in mind that different rules apply to extended warranties, meaning you should research whether going to an independent workshop could affect your extended warranty. To determine the quality of an independent workshop, check to see if they are a member of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, or whichever body is relevant in your state or territory.

Logbook servicing at the recommended intervals is essential for keeping your vehicle performing as it should, maintaining its warranty and boosting its resale value. When it comes to choosing where to service your car, don’t assume the car dealership is the only option: browse the local mechanics available to you as well, which will often be more convenient and affordable.

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Melissa Hamler