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I've been searching for an older Infiniti G35/G37 ('07-'09), and most of the time, besides mileage and owners, I ask if the car maintenance has been done in an authorized Infiniti dealer.

So I've been thinking, are there any objective differences to having a car serviced at the Infiniti dealership rather than by a good independent mechanic? Or is that something I shouldn't even bother asking?

Thanks.

  • I think you could rephrase your second paragraph to something like "are there any objective differences to having a car serviced at the dealership rather than by a good independent mechanic?" to move it out of the realm of opinion into something that might lead to some useful information. – dlu Aug 19 '16 at 22:15
  • Looks really good when you re-sell the vehicle. Dealer maintenance records increase trade in or resale values. – Moab Aug 26 '16 at 22:30
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The best you can do is ask for maintenance records. If they don't have that, then there's really no need to even ask. You'll have to ask them if the regular maintenance is done and take them at their word. Really, the only thing taking it to the dealer will get you is higher bills upon exit. As long as the vehicle is taken to a good shop for the maintenance, you don't gain anything by going to dealer (in most cases) ... especially not for routine maintenance. I mean, you can ask the seller, but realistically it doesn't mean much.

PS: Don't be surprised if this question gets closed as it is opinion bait.

  • Thanks for the reply. Doesn't the dealership check the overall condition car, maybe the miles? – rbhat Aug 19 '16 at 22:27
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    Any good mechanic will keep an eye on the overall condition of the car, independent mechanics may have more flexibility than an authorized mechanic when it comes to scheduling and the items serviced. – dlu Aug 19 '16 at 22:29
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    I think a useful question to ask would be if the owner is willing to tell you who their mechanic has been. Using the same mechanic over a long period would be a good sign in my mind. – dlu Aug 19 '16 at 22:30
  • The reason I ask them is to have some proof (in the loosest sense of the word) that nobody's turned back the odometer, it hasn't been in an accident that was later covered up, etc. – rbhat Aug 19 '16 at 22:30
  • For example, if they brought the car in on Feb. 2013 with 100k miles and then again brought for maintenance on March 2015 with 20k miles, I would assume that the Infiniti dealer with make a note of that. – rbhat Aug 19 '16 at 22:33
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The only benefit to having regular maintenance done at an authorized dealership is that some manufacturers sometimes have "secret recalls", where an issue has been discovered and rather than going through a public recall that will tarnish the manufacturer's image, manufacturers sometimes issue the recall internally and only to the dealership network, nobody outside knows about it, and the recall gets addressed on your vehicle the next time it comes in for an oil change.

  • They are not secret recalls, they are non public Technical Service Bulletins., – Moab Aug 26 '16 at 22:31
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I will add that the practical remedies for some issues can only be found at authorised dealerships because they will have access to OEM tools and instructions, especially for newer models where the aftermarket scene hasn't had the chance to catch up.

Examples of this include service light resets, airbag light resets and software to activate the ABS pump (useful for brake fluid flushing). Of course, the specific visit-the-dealer examples vary across makes and models.

This is not to say that non-dealership alternatives don't exist; necessity is the mother of invention after all. But there are instances where it doesn't make practical or economic sense to pursue endeavors sans dealer.

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