Car service Darwin

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 18:34
ThreadID: 108653 Views:1932 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi All

I need to get my Patrol serviced while I am working in Darwin. I have tried the local dealer and they want $150 more than I have been paying and all day for a minor service . Any recommendations, or who to stay away from.

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Reply By: Phil D1 - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 21:51

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 at 21:51
Hi, I have used Off Road Autos in Toupin Road, Yarrawonga ( out Palmerston way) when I have been in Darwin, and my son who lived in Darwin used him as well.
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Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:04

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:04
He only wants it for a day, pretty good going by Darwin standards, thought it would be the week!
The reality is that MOST, but not all, Darwin businesses would close down within 6 months if operating down south.
I have heard of a reliable bloke up from the Toyota stealer in town. Same side of the road, guess it would be in the Gardens suburb. Sorry can't remember his name. Anyone know the details of the guy I'm talking about?


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Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:21

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:21
If her knows you are a blow in, you are lucky to get an appointment in those Top End places under two weeks.

I travelled through there a couple of years ago and found that any work I wanted done, would entail a wait of a week at least. Then the cost was double what I pay at home.

There is a bloke in Broome, who is supporting his extended family on what he charges and keeps the locals in bull meat, albeit he is doing a community service by putting the wounded animals out of their misery!

I get the CP manager to recommend someone and make sure they know that's how I got their name. Then the manager gets a report.

Bill B

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Reply By: steamfire01 - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:46

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 08:46
I have had six Patrols over the years and I have had them serviced all over the country but I would have to say that the service provided by the Darwin Nissan dealer is the worst I have ever experienced anywhere.
I had my near new Patrol serviced there last year during my latest lap.
I found that their "service advisors" have little or no technical expertise, they tried to grossly overcharge me and only started to lower the price when I complained.
One excuse they gave was "sorry, the mechanic used very expensive oil by mistake we'll drop the price for you".... pathetic !
Additionally, they kept me waiting at the dealership for more than two hours after the agreed time of pickup.
In my opinion this dealership has absolutely the worst service of any brand that I have ever encountered.
I asked to see the general manager of the dealership but this was denied.
I wrote a letter of complaint to Nissan Australia but did not receive an acknowledgement or a reply so I Guess they don't care
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 14:52

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 14:52
A series of postings maligning Darwin businesses (and elsewhere) without some understanding of the real world. While I have had shoddy dealings with a few places up here, over years of dealings with Southern ones we are most definitely not alone in poor or expensive service. Get over it people as your own places aren't exactly something to praise, it's just that you have more choices and in many cases you aren't in a booming area with a shortage of qualified trades people. Inability to get suitable staff, or any staff, affects the Darwin general businesses while qualified trades people are going to the mining/gas industries where they are paid more. Therefore other places have to also pay higher wages to attract staff and cover their expensive accommodation. In the end it's us that have to bear the cost and time delays when we want work done and join the queue of people wanting similar. It's not the repair places that are to blame for your urgent requirement for repair and servicing. The same all goes for other remote areas that are often also the subject of complaints like this across many Forum's.

My most recent interstate case was something ordered from Brisbane. Despite the Company missing the deadline that they agreed to for sending the items they then just lazily used their normal freight company and they trucked it to Sydney, then Adelaide then on a slow freight train to Darwin. I could have driven to Brisbane and personally picked it up and beaten the train back here.

In another case where a Darwin vehicle Dealer wasn't to blame for the delay a replacement oxygen sensor was required. Nationally there wasn't another in the country. The replacement had to come from Japan but the national office only ordered one but it was found to be faulty when it finally arrive up here weeks later. More weeks delay then happened. I suppose a whingeing holiday maker would be blaming the local Dealer for them being inconvenienced.

In the particular case of the Darwin Nissan Dealer I did have many dealings with them some years ago and they were having significant problems attracting staff, as were many other businesses. We have a very low unemployment rate up here and despite interstate advertising for vacancies many places just couldn't get enough applicants across a wide range of trades. The only way out was for recruitment from overseas to fill the gaps. It seems that welfare is just too easy as against moving to where the jobs are.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 20:49

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 20:49
I understand and accept the higher cost for services and goods in outback and remote areas, but I cannot understand and will not accept rip-offs.

A dealer for my brand in Charters Towers tried to charge me $90 for an out-of-schedule handbrake adjustment. "Sir, on that model we have to remove the hubs to access the parking brake adjustment." BS. You access the adjustment through a hole in the hub, and since they had the wheels off to inspect the brake pads it was no more than a 5 minute job. When challenged they took off the $90, they knew it was a rip.

I suspect the same with steamfire's very expensive oil - an attempted rip with their bluff called.

It's not confined to rural/regional/outback/remote service people. At pick-up time my own suburban dealer on the last service read off a list from the job sheet of what had been done. One was topping up the battery - you can't it's sealed. Another was an engine wash - it hadn't been done, there was still general dust and dirt and oil around the filter. Another was refilling the washer bottle. Not done. They did a wheel rotation and overtightened all the wheel nuts (presumably with a rattle gun) to such an extent I couldn't undo them, even by standing on the wheel wrench and bouncing. With my weight and the length of the wheel wrench I work that out to be in excess of 230Nm. Spec is 130.

Except for the wheel nuts, those are piddling items listed, I suppose, to impress me but they were lies. I wasn't impressed. I'm a regular there, I bought the vehicle from them. I asked the service manager, "If these weren't done, what else hasn't been done? The wheel nuts have been grossly over-torqued. How can I have confidence in your work? Why should I come back?" There weren't any answers other than an apology, but they did take $100 off the bill and re-torqued all wheel nuts by hand with a torque wrench - I watched them. They used to be good, but since their ace workshop foreman left, well, I dunno. I don't know if I'll go back, I have 10k to think about it.

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Reply By: steamfire01 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 00:14

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 00:14
116 hynes

Something I just thought of;
How old is your Nissan? If it's a recent model, Nissan have "Fixed Price Servicing"
Contact Nissan itself and get a copy of the cost price servicing schedule.
This, of course doesn't solve the problem of indifferent servicing provided by the Darwin Nissan dealer, but it will give you Nissan' prices.
Stay safe out there.
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