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Another servicing costs thread...

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My 2003 A4 3.0 cabriolet is due it's first service since I bought it and it's the biggy - the one including the cambelt change (it's done 80,000 miles - I've now been told by Audi that it should have been done at 75,000 miles, fingers crossed it will last another week!).

For this service I decided I would prefer to have it done at an Audi main dealer (in future I will probably go independent). I've read other threads on this subject and noted that Stafford Audi gets plenty of recommendations, but they are about 80 miles from where I live in Cheltenham, so I decided to try my local dealer first, Parklands Audi in Gloucester.

I asked for an estimate for a long life service including doing the cambelt. Simple enough request you would have thought, but he kept me waiting for a few minutes, I could hear much clicking of computer keys in the background and ultimately he announced....£1100! I said thank you and put the phone down.

Next I phoned Stafford Audi. I mentioned their ebay advert that quotes a price of £395 for a cambelt change on the V6 engine and asked how much for a cambelt change and longlife service, and the immediate reply was £395 plus £270 = £665. That's over £400 difference!

I then thought I would give Parklands the opportunity to reconsider their quote, but when I told them what Stafford had quoted they just said there was no way they could match it.

So I am booked into Stafford next week, and they are going to give me a courtesy car, even though I said I was doing an 80 mile trip to get to them. Now that's good service. I will report back later to confirm how it went.

One question I have, Stafford say that the price only includes changing the cambelt and tensioner - they inspect the other belts and water pump and recommend if they need replacing. Do you think I should insist that they are replaced? How much do you think that will add to the bill?

Thanks, Clive

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Hi,yes stafford audi excellent for servicing. I go there even though I'm in chester.

No idea about your belt question, but ask them for multiple quotes.... and if its worth it. +++

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Hey

I believe it would be a good idea to have the water pump replaced at the same as the cambelt. As it's a big job to to get access to the area, so while they are in the area your not talking that much to fit the extra part.

If it was to fail at a different time you are talking an expensive labour charge just to fit a small item.

But who's to say the pump will fail.

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In the current credit crunch climate I believe that if you push hard you can get the dealers to lower their price.

My car was due a 2nd variable service, I rung round all the indies and dealers. My local Audi refused to lower their price.

Then a week before it was due, I phoned Audi to cancel my booking in order to go with a cheaper indie. After a long discussion we agreed a great price. Which happened to be £5 cheaper then Stafford Audis quote. It was also cheaper than two of the local specialists.

I got the service done last week. Got a new A4 to have a run round in while the service was carried out too.

Nice one

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I had the same thing with my 2.5TDI, Cambelt needed doing so I had waterpump done at the same time. This was on a fixed price at Poole Audi who came close to match Stafford once I told hem what I was after. However, once in the costs rocketed and I had V Belts replaced at £70, Brake Vaccuum seals (as once evrythjings off it's easier to do those, breather pipe and filter etc changed, then found leak on the rocker cover, so new gasket and rocker covers (never told me why new rocker covers were needed) total Price £1,900 nearly fell off the chair. Much discussion and debate later, and me saying I'm not paying that, got it down to £1550 still way too much but I had no choice. Not saying you will have any problems, just highlighting what they can find once it's in !!! tried to charge me £200 for a new "AUDI" battery but I declined.

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Just wanted to report that I have had my service done by Stafford Audi and they were excellent, I cannot fault them.

I set off from Cheltenham at 6.30am on Tuesday for the 80 mile trip up the M5/M6 to Stafford and got there just before they opened at 8.00am. The lovely Becky was already at her desk and happy to book my car in. I was given an 08 reg A6 2.0 tdi avant as a loan car (more on that later) and was back in Cheltenham at my desk by 9.30.

On Wednesday afternoon Becky phoned me and discussed whether I wanted some additional 'advisory' work done. I decided to go ahead with having the second belt changed at a cost of £43 (the ebay price of £395 only includes the cambelt), a brake fluid change at £59, and an aircon regas, £59. I declined a few others, like replacing the wipers and split ARB bushes (I'm thinking I will do an upgrade to the RS4 ARB myself).

I returned to Stafford for 8.00am the next day and the car was ready and waiting, and the bill was exactly as expected, total just over £800 which I was happy with. Overall a very pleasant experience.

Except for one thing, that diesel engine in the loan car was pretty awful compared to my petrol V6 3.0! And the fuel saving was not that great. For the identical journey driving fairly gently along the motorway in both cars the DIS registered 36 mpg for the journey in my car and 44mpg for the diesel A6. Considering diesel is about 10% more expensive than petrol, and my car has 50bhp more (220 vs 170 I think) I know which engine I'd rather have!

Clive

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