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Old 06-06-2012   #1
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Servicing Panda @ reading

Hi forum,

My panda was due for servicing 5 months ago, but didn't service it then as it was due for MOT in June. Now I need to get it serviced and MOT'd. It's a 2004 model and has done 46K WLMG have quoted 230 and Mr. clutch 175.
Well this is the first time I am getting it serviced and know little about it, does the service charge include oil and filter or is it only labor charge?
Also are there any good independent garage in Reading as the car is already 8 yrs old and will not command a premium for getting the service stamp although so far all the last 7 were done at authorized service stations. Ideally I am looking for a Service & MOT at the best price.

Thanks for your suggestions.
San
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Last edited by Modette; 07-06-2012 at 10:33.
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Old 06-06-2012   #2
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

For the best price get on eBay for the parts, buy some beer, pizza and get some mates round to help with it. Then take a load of photo's and keep the reciepts as proof; writing home or self service in the box.

As you said she's an eight year old car so a full service history isn't as important when you sell the car on as before, you'll know it's been done properly and hopefully enjoy the experience of getting your hands dirty.
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Last edited by Liquid Knight; 06-06-2012 at 15:34. Reason: Speeling moistaches
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Old 06-06-2012   #3
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

Thanks for the suggestion, sounds good but I would be comfortable to go to a recommended garage rather than doing it myself and taking ages.

Any recommendations for an independent garage at Reading?
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Old 07-06-2012   #4
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

Firstly, do not go to Thames Fiat, they'll shaft you (This is from personal experience, I know you said independent, but I feel I should warn you anyway.)

Last time I used MOT City on the reading/Wokingham road in between the showcase roundabout and the cross roads by Sainsburys.

Seemed to do a good job, tell them not to do the washer bottle though, or they'll charge you silly money, even for a small amount of screen wash - last service cost 275 inc MOT and they didnt do the spark plugs, however they did top up all engine fluids, incl an engine flush, and put some fuel cleaner in.

So 100 more than you're best quote, but they do do a good job. Had the cambelt done there a little later, and again, no fuss at all.
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Old 08-06-2012   #5
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

If you do want to maintain the Main Dealer service history on the Panda then don't forget that Fiat do a set-price service system for cars over 3 years old. Details of pricing & what each service (Bronze, Silver & Gold) covers are on the following link:

http://www.fiat.co.uk/Content/?id=2182

You usually have to ask specifically for Bronze, Silver or Gold Care services to get the relevant prices, the dealers i've phone usually quote for a regular 12, 24, 36k mile service unless i ask.

As far as actual dealers are concerned, I don't hear much positive or negative about WLMG but they get an average 3 star rating on fiat.co.uk's dealer scoring system. Reading's Fiat franchise has changed a few times in the last few years & WLMG havn't had the franchise that long.

Alan Gibson Basingstoke get a 4 star score, but then Thames Fiat in Slough get the full 5 stars and there have been several unhappy experiences described on this forum recently about Thames, so it's hard to know for sure.

I've had excellent service from Pewsham Garages in Chippenham, Wiltshire, about 20 mins off the M4. Might be abit of a treck for you. It's over an hour each way for me but they're worth it i think, as they've been very good from my experience & live up to their 5 star rating. Their quote came out cheaper than my usual independant garage & when they attempted to re-charge the a/c on my car & discovered the condensor was worn out & the system wouldn't hold any gas, they didn't charge anything for the a/c work even though they spent time investigating. They've also washed my car on the 2 occasions i've used them, which is a small detail but a rare (and to me, welcome) touch.

The independant i use is also very good, so i tend to go to Pewsham for servicing & the independant for other work so that both get my business. The independant is Palmer & Philips, located near the BMW Mini Plant on the outskirts of Oxford. Again abit of a treck but might be worth a whirl if you get no joy closer to home. I'd always choose to travel to a decent outfit than support someone cr*p just because they're nearby.

Liam
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Old 08-06-2012   #6
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

Thank you for the advise, will give a call to Alan Gibson then decide either to go there are to Mr.Clutch at Reading. Have any one used Mr clutch? are they OK? feel might be better than an independent garage but you never know.

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Old 08-06-2012   #7
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

Ive read bad reviews about Mr Clutch - same as all national chains thh. Get it done and post how well they do it - if its good, I might well give them a call...
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Old 09-06-2012   #8
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Re: Servicing Panda @ reading

If Alan Gibson Fiat will do the Silver Care Service for 149 (which they should if they participate in the scheme) then i'd just get it done there. It looks like a reasonable service for 149 & anything cheaper from an independant or anywhere else is unlikely to amount to more than an oil & filter change. I don't like wasting money any more than the next person but unless it's a man working from home that you trust, once a service is cheaper than 150 i start to question if anything has actually been done & what quality the workmanship is.
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