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I just bought my new Mazda CX-3 and have a question about maintenance. Do you have to go to the dealership for maintenance? I've gotten conflicting answers. I have a local mechanic that I've used for years and trust him and would like to use him, but I don't want to screw up my warranty. The dealer told me if I use them I will get free oil changes for life. Is that worth it?? Never had a brand new car before!
 

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Some dealers offer free oil changes as part of the sales pitch. That's actually a good deal when you see that some places are charging upwards of $75 for an oil change using full synthetic oil. However, when they bundle that "free" oil change in with other scheduled service, you're still likely to be looking at a $200+ bill every time you take it to them.

Of all the cars I've owned I've only bought three new from a dealer. On those vehicles I continued to go to the dealer for scheduled service, like you I wanted to be sure the warranty remained valid. I do not believe this is actually necessary as most licensed garages are certified to perform this type of service. Just be sure to keep all receipts.

I prefer to do my own oil changes, as well as some of the other regular maintenance work and have never returned to my dealer for service once the warranty expires.

Enjoy your new CX-3
 

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Long story short, no -but have some form of service record ideally from a reputable source if you have any concern of using it as proof of service in future if you ever have a warranty claim of a related issue in the future.

Imo there are 2 things in play the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and proof of service records. The legal side basically provides protection in warranties and the most mentioned part youll see in car forums etc is in defense of car mods. Like if you install a new radio, and your sway bars fall out because bolts were not torqued correctly. The dealer has no claim to deny the warranty because of the radio because it would not have directly or substantially indirectly effected the failed component etc. Subsequently, having service done elsewhere is not going to void warranty of a part either BUT if there is a direct issue related to the service then the real battle begins. For example, you take your car to some random jiffy lube place down the street for a transmission fluid change, they use some generic atf fluid and your transmission starts failing a month later. Mazda dealer is definitly going to investigate this especially since noone wants to pay for this job or have a record of failing transmissions from factory and will see the different fluid and deny powertrain replacement. This is where liability would presumably shift to the place you took it but it begins a legal fight that might be more costly to pursue than win. The other side of this is if say you take it to a legit place that puts correct fluid and does it all by the book etc, but then you have a transmission issue near the end of the warranty period. They will want to see records you kept up with the maintance and could potentially use the lack of maintenance record at specified interval in the owners manual as grounds for dismissal of the claim if you do not have the records. Taking it to a reputable place gives you that added protection of legitimacy. Its a bit harder to show you did it yourself and did not 'mess anything up' although quite a few people do their own fluid changes by hand.

Also personally I would avoid the dealer unless absolutely necessary warranty needed work. The free oil change thing is also a gimmick to get you to keep going there to get pestered with 'oh you need X service done'.

Note; Im not a lawyer and this isnt legal advice or anything just hypotheticals but you get the idea.
 
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