Going for a Car Service and They Won't Use My Parts? They Used to Accept Them

The owner said he won't risk to change my oil(bought from Repco) to ruin his $20,000 insurance bill etc, but last year I was at his place and did a service using my parts, I just don't know what's going on now?
for the same oil he charges $120 and I can buy it for $60 at Repco.

Is this the new excuse they find during covid?

Is there any Tassie dealer around Hobart accept customer parts that is trustworthy?


  • +110 votes

    Maybe an excuse to use his parts, but also maybe he encountered an issue with another customer for this exact or similar issue, such that he no longer does it.

    I'd say he's in his right to refuse it, just like you're in your right not to use him anymore.

    • Yeah I bet because of his job he has access to more spare parts than OP could ever, and probably at a cheaper price. He may have so many of a certain spare part over the years that he has to throw them away. Every time a customer comes in with one of their own of that part it probably stings, when he could be charging them for one of his spares instead.

    • Cheap customers are more likely to make unfounded complaints

  • Just like restaurants that don't do BYO. Or charge you corkage for BYO.

  • Just find another…

  • +49 votes

    You're not enough profit for him and he doesn't want your business. He'd rather have customers he can charge labour and full markup on parts.

    Just do it yourself or go elsewhere. An oil change is easy to do.

  • It's an inconvenience for him. He no doubt already has a supply chain and oil disposal arranged and it's too much missing around to save you money.

  • Could just be a liability issue. For example you could buy a cheap ECU that could cause issues like a short and that would damage other components which might make the customer think the repairer damaged the other parts.

    • he said it was the same oil

      • Lets look from the mechanics perspective.

        I'm servicing your car. You bring your own oil for me to put in.
        What happens if you have any issues with the car after the service?
        You come back to me saying I (profanity) the car. I inspect and suspect the issue was due to the oil you provided and advise you of such.
        What do you say? "Nothing wrong with my oil, it's something you did."
        How does mechanic prove (to your satisfaction) that it wasn't their fault?

        Look at the same scenario, but mechanic uses their own parts/fluids - guess what? No way it couldn't be mechanic (for fault parts/fluids/workmanship).

        he said it was the same oil

        Was it? May be the same container, but is it the same oil? Is the oil clean and unused? Was the container clean? Has it been stored correctly?

        Too many questions for me to want to do it.

  • Worked in a Mechanics for many years and we were unable to use customer supplied parts due to Liability
    Our insurer specifically specified this clause.

    I suspect your mechanic has had their insurance updated as many insurers are removing cover for customer supplied parts as its a minefield when things go wrong, cheaper and easier for the insurer to simply not allow you to use your own parts.

    • But not so great if the mechanic uses sub quality parts or charges double what you can buy them for retail. I assume most mechanics would get some kind of trade discount when buying parts so charging the same price as the car parts shop (plus labour) should be what they are doing and not gouging because they can.

      • When we used to buy our mian parts our suppliers where the usual suspects (Repco/Bursons) the invoice shows the RRP and our Trade Price
        If we charged more than the RRP from our supplier then customers can easily find out.

        Specialty Parts which have to come from OEM or the like, trade price is usually only 10-15% less than RRP

      • Where I used to work we charged parts out at RRP, the margin was in buying it at trade. Putting more on top of the rrp is super scummy.

      • But not so great if the mechanic uses sub quality parts or charges double what you can buy them for retail.

        Why are you going to that mechanic?

        • You bought a service to install and replace a part. Not specifically a high quality part, but it is a part which does its job, for the minimum amount of time.
          It's too late by the time the job is done, and you must pay up.
          That's why people go to "that" mechanic, once and never again.

          • @Blitzfx: True. My point was more that if OP has an issue with the parts their mechanic uses or price they charge (hence supplying own parts) then why use that mechanic?

            If you believe your mechanic is skimping somewhere (quality of parts) or overcharging somewhere (price of parts) and you try to take that off them (supplying own parts) are they not just going to skimp/overcharge somewhere else?

  • I would put money on it being a liability issue. Insurance companies have tightened their rules alot, and it would be easy for them to use customer supplied parts as the cause of any issue to avoid paying out.

    Imagine if it was a water pump or something, it fails and cooks the engine. Who would be responsible?

    It's a fine line between looking after good customers and protecting yourself from the bastard customer. A good customer may only bring in a few hundred a year, but a crap customer could cost thousands.

    • Would they really take responsibility for a cooked engine if the water pump they installed failed? I can't see it happening.

  • Is this the new excuse they find during covid?

    No, it's because of 5G.

    • Damn Bill Gates and his 5G chips imbedded in vaccines.

      • All these sheeple need to wake up

      • Listen here, 5G was actually embedded in the coronavirus itself when it was created in a Chinese lab.
        It was then exported around the entire free world to bring it to its knees so that the Chinese diaspora could take over and the entire planet then controlled by the supreme leader in Beijing.
        That’s what all my Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, QQ, TikTok and Snapchat feeds are telling me. They can’t all be wrong.

        • You forgot to mention where Qanon fits into all this

          • @blibster: Don’t get me started on QAnon. That low-life cabal is largely made up of former members of elite FBI and CIA swat teams and former Fox executives and journalists who succumbed to the betrayal of their own country by the lure of billions of Yen and free Chinese call girls in return for causing chaos and distrust not only in Trump and his sincere efforts to drag the USA out of the swamp it now finds itself in, but also everything we love about the true American way of life that has now tragically gone down the gurgler due to crooked socialist Democrat political influence. QAnon’s mission is to ensure America becomes a country of continual chaos and is never great again. Not only that, that noxious cabal has now infiltrated Germany and other freedom-loving European countries. So yes, QAnon is another Chinese weapon in its march to overtake the world.

  • My local stealership tried that trick on me saying it would void my warranty if they used my supplied parts.

    When I pointed out that they had been servicing my cars for over 6 years with the oil and parts I'd supplied and that I'd always supplied OEM parts and the oil I supplied exceeded vehicle maker's specifications they backed off.

    It's just a rip off so they can charge $100 for oil they buy by the drumful for a couple of dollars a litre.

    • Its actually not anymore.
      As i stated above, Many Liability insurers are removing cover for Customer Supplied Parts due to the minefield when claims are made.
      Did the CSP cause issue etc… its just easier to remove the cover and all the main ones have started doing it.

      If you want to use you own parts in the long run you will have to do the work yourself or find a mechanic willing to ignore the conditions on his insurance policy.

    • good luck buying oil for couple of dollars a litre. The difference between cost and retail on oil is very small nowdays

  • Get a different mechanic.

    • I will get this one done by him and next time I’ll find someone else

      • Don’t buy oil before you get the work done. You might not find someone willing to use your parts - except backyard mechanic with no warranty on work.

        • Depending on what's being done, not sure a warranty really matters anyway. Why would I need a warranty on a filter and oil change?

          • @bmerigan: I don't think it's because they want to give warranty for the customer, but rather they need to if they do + insurers covering their arses through updating their clauses and cover for customer supplied parts (mentioned a few times in this thread by mechanics). Regardless, I personally think it would still be a good habit to call up beforehand to make sure they're okay with BYO - takes less than a minute and saves you the hassle if they don't.

  • +4 votes

    Since people are not encouraged to mingle (re: COVID, although no cases in TAS). It's your time to learn DIY oil change, save on labor too! It's the OzB way!

    If in doubt ask in forums, "how come the oil ain't coming out when I undo the bolt…"

  • Mechanic here.
    We no longer will use customer supllied parts. This is after advice from our industry bodies and insurance providers.
    The ACCC has said that any parts we use are deemed by us to be acceptable and that we must cover them with warranty. There are no exceptions and we cannot shift the onus onto the customer with a waiver or similar form. So not only do he have to warrant them, but in the event of a problem we are liable as well. It doesnt matter where you have bought them from, they become our responsibility. By using our own suppliers we can be certain that they are genuine, fit for purpiose and covered by warranty and liability should something go wrong.
    There is also the argument that if you go to a restaurant that you dont take your own steak in and ask them to cook it. This is exactly the same thing. I cant guarantee proper fitment and quality if I am asked to use parts supplied. Just the oils alone are a huge issue. There are so many different grades of oils, and in each one there are oils for cars with dpfs , without, low viscosity, added zinc, synthetic etc etc. The days of having one oil to do everything are gone. The wrong oil can cause damage, and I would never trust any customer to suplly the correct oil.
    Part of my work is to source and supply the correct parts for the vehicle, as well as fit them correctly, I have a hard enough time getting correct parts from dealers and suplliers without having customers provide god knows what. Take the nissan navara. There are some made in spain and some in thailand. They look the same but are different woth parts not interchangeable. Then there are variations from year to year and model to model. It takes a professional to have access to the correct data and catalogues to get it right.
    In short Im a professional. I make money for my expertise and skill. I make profit on my parts and labour, as I have overheads to cover. If you take away one, I need to charge more for the other. Simple business. I stand behind my work and the parts I use, and have the backup of my suplliers and insurance behind me. If you want to suplly your own parts thinkiung that you are saving money, then do the work youself. Its an insult to ask a professional to just use your parts and expose the business to potienially unlimited claims and costs.
    As for voiding the warranty using supplied parts, yes thats absolutley true. The ACCC has guidlines on what can be used, and the parts used have to be OEM certified and equivalent, and the work must be done by a qualified mechanic. If these arent done then the warranty can be voided. This means that not only must an invoice be provoded, but there needs to be proof that the parts and oils used meet the same specifications. Good luck trying to say that what you used is better without prrof, not only of purchase, but also certifed.

    • guess it's a recent thing mate, thanks for the info.

    • The days of having one oil to do everything are gone. The wrong oil can cause damage, and I would never trust any customer to suplly the correct oil.

      Personally this is the exact reason why I would be hesitant to trust a mechanic to supply and use the right oil.

      I am fussy about what oils I use and usually supply them on the odd occasion that I get a service done at a mechanic (I do most servicing myself). I don't expect them to take off the cost of the oil plus their margin though….

      It takes a professional to have access to the correct data and catalogues to get it right.

      You certainly don't have to be a trained mechanic to get parts selection right. You just need to be technically minded.

      There's usually plenty of information out there on the internet, including copies of the manufacturer's workshop manuals. Catalogues and data libraries are not always right either.

      For my vehicle they recommend the wrong coolant and an air con belt that is too long.

      No listing told me that and doubt most mechanics would actually know either. Only researching it on the internet told me.

      • So you bring your own oil and let them charge you for theirs?

        • No, I would generallyexpect that they should be deducting the cost price of the oil (ie. if they charge $70 for oil as a part of their service cost but it costs them only $40 to buy that oil, I would expect $40 deducted).

          • @stewy: That’s a very reasonable approach, I like it.

          • @stewy: I am not sure about the logic here as it implies that you don't agree with the mechanic making a profit on the oil.

            Where do you stop with this logic? Do you expect Supercheap Auto to charge cost price? Or only people who provides services and goods at the same time?

            Even if the mechanic charge you cost price, would you then complain if he charges more for his labour?

            • @aussie bargain: You need to re-read what I wrote. At no point did I say I had a problem with a mechanic charging a margin on the products they supply. I am aware that if every customer didn't allow them to charge a margin, they would simply increase their hourly rate.

    • I get what you're saying about parts, but your argument about oil doesn't wash. How many drums of oil do you have in your workshop?

      • Yeah, this puzzles me as well. Pretty much all local mechanics I've been to have a few drums of oil. Do they really carry all the different oil standards in different viscosities. What happens if someone rocks up with a car that requires some oddball spec, can't order a few litres for one car.

        I suspect it's a case of 3-4 drums fulfilling 90% off their work and the other 10% get the "close enough is good enough treatment".

        I know from experience in my own European cars that those oil selector catalogues sometimes get it wrong, not completely wrong, they may say use A3/B3 5W30 when that particular year it changed to A5/B5 0W30. Both will work but one was more suitable then the other.

        TBH, I supply most things and my mechanic understands his customers come in with genuine, OE, OEM and aftermarket parts. Everyone wants something different and he will happily work with whatever part the customer wants. I'm fussy and I want a specific part for my requirements. But this isn't your local mechanic for all makes and models, it's the complete opposite.

        On the flip side I could see the inexperienced just getting whatever parts and fluids from Repco/SCA on sale and trying to save a buck. More likely getting it wrong and wasting everyone's time. Minefields are impossible to navigate so it's best to avoid them to begin with.

        Best to find a mechanic that will work with you, but best to enquire before rocking up with a boot full of parts to avoid embarassment.

  • We'd do this all the time when i worked at a bike shop, people would by parts from overseas then come to us and pay us to fit it. (after labour it more often than not was more expensive than buying it through us). Generally these people were the bane of my existence as they would never spend a cent in store and waste time asking for information. Don't get me started if the part failed and they would try to chase damages/warranty through us.

    I can understand the oil though if it's not the same spec and quality as his in house oil, after all he's trying to protect his business and reputation.

    If you're not happy with it then go elsewhere. No doubt the $120 includes labour, which, for $60 is about 30 minutes of time which i'd think is fair

    • Further to my comment yesterday, yes the consumer has a responsibility to step in the shoes of the service provider, especially if they're a small service provider. It's a simple two way relationship - respect the service provider, and respect the customer.

      I almost always supply my own engine oil to my local mechanic, because he may not have the exact type I'm happy with in the drums he needs to maintain, but also it may not be the quality I prefer (full synthetic). I think he understands that he more than welcomes it - if anything, he normally gives me a $20 credit in return from the standard service cost (which is sometimes way under $200), which I think is generous. So when it comes to oil filters and the like, I prefer to have him make the job worthwhile for him by supplying it, because I don't think standard filter/s to the Ryco or OEM I would otherwise self-supply, will make much difference to the quality of the servicing from a technical perspective.

      I just wish sometimes customers would treat small service providers with a bit more respect for the risks they take in setting up and maintaining a huge business, in the same way they expect service providers to respect their choices. It's really not that hard, this customer-supplier relationship thing …

  • Our MB authorised service centre will fit owner supplied parts, provided they are the genuine MB product

    • Some MB stealerships have done so until last Xmas when I last had mine serviced. Saved $200 for an oil change A service and more for B by supplying oil (Mobil 1) and genuine parts.

      But this year I might just let them supply parts and oil because shipping cost from Europe is expensive due to covid.

  • Is that $120 for full service or just for oil? The place I serviced last time only charged $80 for the service including oil.

  • My mechanic gave me the rundown on the whole oil thing. It has to do with insurance.

    As long as parts are invoiced go his company, he can use it so he doesn't mine buying on my behalf from anywhere and doesn't charge me any extra for it. (He does make a little through CC points but it's peanuts.)

    As long as it is a reputable retailer, ie one he can pursue legally, his insurer is happy.

  • thesilverstarman is 100 % correct, and this action not a new policy. It has been around for a few years now, and filtering down thru to smaller workshops as well.

    On the markup and pricing argument, to all thinking it is all about profit, go do some real fact finding and number crunching.
    Just to open the doors for a 2 person 2 bay workshop is in the thousands today, and pending where the shop is.
    The costs involved (and many are compulsory) are staggering.

    Most workshops will charge at least RRP while some multi nationals I worked for charged a higher % because they could. They had better buying power but also were quite greedy. K*** gone now, were a terrible offender of higher margins and lesser service from the day they bought out the fair charging/markup Auto**** and they made a squillion do so. Now are gone, yaa!

    I personally charge usually less than but only up to RRP, quite fair as I now work for the love of cars and my customers, and not for the money. I will use supplied parts, but only 2nd hand with a strictly worded waiver. Besides custom work is not quite standard service stuff.
    But I am not a huge shop now, semi retired is wonderful.

    You are also paying for convenience - that trained eye to check underneath while on a $9000 hoist is worth it.

    You do not whinge when you pay 20-50%+ more at servos and convenience stores compared to supermarkets. Same deal, you pay for convenience.

    So, as also stated, many folk with many models can learn to do some of their own servicing, as long as you remember to be safe, actually learn to do each procedure, and be environmentally law abiding, and most of all, know your limits.

    So, like any purchase or service - to be happy - shop around. That is your responsibility and your right, exercise it.

    • You do not whinge when you pay 20-50%+ more at servos and convenience stores compared to supermarkets.

      Well, I don't know about that.. I don't buy from them for that reason, but if I did you wouldn't stop hearing me whinge about it for days.. :D

  • We don't let customers supply their own parts, because 9 out of 10 times, they are wrong. Wrong grade of oil, wrong filters, wrong pads, wrong everything.

    "But it's a 2012…"
    No, it's a 2011MY.
    "But the compliance plate says…"
    Dont care. VIN tells me otherwise…
    "Well, my friend/husband/dad/brother/cousin told me…"
    Then get them to fit it…

  • OP
    Do there service yourself

    Simple as mate