Updated: Mar 26
As of 11 December, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has announced the recent lift of some car warranty regulations that will be effective beginning next year 2018.
This means that new and existing car owners will now be able to enjoy the choice of servicing their vehicles outside of the car dealer's authorised workshops while keeping the 5 to 10 years warranty of their car intact.
This definitely equates to much cheaper servicing costs compared to the authorised dealers which will save the pockets of some drivers. As well as allowing car owners to source for workshops that they find more suitable to cater to their needs.
However, the hybrid vehicle specialist team at hevshop would still like to share some advice on what you should still look out for when sourcing for alternatives out there.
Because CHEAPER does not always equal to BETTER when it comes to car servicing.
3 Important points you should definitely take note of before looking for an alternate service centre
1. Manufacturer Diagnostic Software Capability
above: Specialist using Manufacturer's Diagnostic Software original from Lexus to scan a Lexus RX400h Hybrid
While looking for an alternative service centre to take care of your vehicle, ALWAYS ensure that they provide the original diagnostic software by manufacturer to scan and diagnose your vehicle. This is especially important for parallel imported cars from Japan (JDM - Japan Domestic models) such as Honda Vezel Hybrid.
Now, although some may argue that the Competition Commission had already stated that independent workshops are able to use 3rd party/ OEM software to conduct sufficient regular diagnostics, it may not be so simple with regards to the manufacturer's vehicle software updating.
For example, 14,000 Vezel Hybrids recently required a Vehicle Stability Assist Software update to correct a braking issue in the vehicle, this software update could not be done by independent workshops that did not have the manufacturer's diagnostic system.
photo: Honda Vezel Service campaign to update software that affected 14,000 vezel hybrids link: http://www.honda.co.jp/recall/auto/campaign/160930.html
Vehicle software updates initiated by the manufacturer are actually more common than we know of and are not thoroughly carried out by many independent workshops that do not have original diagnostic software from manufacturer.
This is something that car owners will miss out on if they do not choose their service centre properly.
Hevshop is one of the rare specialist service centres that are equipped with the manufacturer's diagnostic software for Lexus, Honda, Nissan and Toyota that will correctly and accurately service your vehicle.
2. Qualified and Competent Personnel
The next point the specialist team would like to bring up is that your chosen workshop should have qualified and trained personnel to tend to your vehicle.
Now, "qualified" does not necessarily mean with many years of experience such as workshops that have been around for 20 to 30 years, but workshops that have been through the correct training and competency requirements to stay relevant and up to date in servicing the sophisticated cars of the present and future.
For example, newer models come equipped with anti-collision equipment such as millimeter wave radar and camera detection sensors ( Toyota Safety Sense P, Honda Sensing, etc). These also require programming and training to handle, diagnose and fix so that they work properly in the event they have malfunctioned or from an accident.
Furthermore, newer types of vehicles such as Hybrid and electric vehicles come with totally different car components, Hybrid battery pack, Inverter, Cooling systems etc. that require competent professional handling too!
These newer systems do require the original factory/manufacturer diagnostic systems to program, diagnose and calibrate so that they can function properly. As of yet, third party software are unable to handle such specialised tasks that the manufacturer's software is capable of.
This is one of the reasons our team at hevshop undergoes special training from relevant associations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers to stay competent in servicing our hybrid and electric vehicles.
Certificate from the Society of Automotive Engineers(SAE) recognising our senior specialist supervisor's competence in (HEV) Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Diagnostics http://standards.sae.org/automotive/
3. Are you driving a Niche/Specialist type of vehicle? (e.g Electric, Hybrid vehicles)
hevshop Sin Ming: Main Specialist Service Centre for Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in Singapore
Lastly, if you are one of the many that have bought a hybrid vehicle recently ( Lexus, Toyota , Honda, Nissan) this point is dedicated to you!
Hybrid and electric vehicles require the technical expertise and know-how to ensure that they are running to their best potential. ( e.g getting optimum fuel economy, and hybrid battery functionality). As their systems are more sophisticated, this would mean that they still require the original diagnostic manufacturer software to properly diagnose and maintain its complex hybrid system. As such, look for a specialist service centre that can provide you with the original diagnostic software to best tend to the vehicle,
Things the manufacturer's diagnostic software can do that the 3rd party software can't: (not exhaustive)
1. Manufacturer's Software update during service campaign
2. Re-calibration of advanced safety systems if vehicle gets into accident (Toyota Safety Sense, Honda Sensing)
3. Advanced hybrid system diagnostic and detection of affected hybrid system components during a malfunction
4. Full diagnostic capability on the Hybrid Battery Pack
In light of recent lift in warranty restrictions by the Competition Commission of Singapore, Hybrid car owners can now source for better alternatives to properly maintain and service their hybrid vehicle while keeping the current hybrid battery warranty of 5-8 years intact with their car dealer's authorised workshop. After all, if you paid a premium to opt for a hybrid, it makes sense to give it better maintenance to get back more fuel savings.
As such Hybrid Car owners are specially invited to try out our new specialist care programme: The Hybrid Battery Protect Membership
Hybrid Battery Protect Membership Programme
Hevshop is launching a dedicated hybrid battery protection program that is open to all hybrid owners out there who wish to have proper maintenance and care on their hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid owners will be equipped with expert information on how to take care of their hybrid, detailed information on the condition of their hybrid battery and how to better take care of their vehicle to reduce their unnecessary repair costs while still keeping their authorised workshop warranty intact!
5 Instant Member Benefits from the program:
1) Complimentary Hybrid Vehicle Health Check ( Worth $180 )
2) Lifetime on car Hybrid Vehicle Diagnostic Support ( Worth $120 each scan)
3) Lifetime on car Complimentary Factory Software Updates 4) Special Priority and Rebates for Hybrid Battery Replacement Services
5) Extended Warranty Terms for Hybrid Battery Replacement Services!
Limited time offer:
Receive your 1st servicing free of charge* (worth $150) on top of the 5 other member benefits when you sign up for our Hybrid Battery Membership Programme between 14th Dec to 5th Jan 2018! Limited Slots available.
*Limited to engine oil & filter
UPDATE: 1st Free servicing benefit extended till 5th Jan 2018
How do I become a member?
It is easy to become a battery protect member, all you need to do is book online for an appointment uder our Hybrid Battery Protect Membership service at this link below:
drop by our Sin Ming Branch to sign up and get your complimentary diagnostic scan with full printout report on your hybrid vehicle!
Hevshop Sin Ming: 6352 9268
Mon- Fri: 9AM - 6 PM
Saturday: 9AM - 1 PM
Directions to go the Hybrid Specialist Centre:
1. Enter from the STA inspection entrance of 600 Sin Ming Ave, CityCab Building 575 733 and immediately turn right
2. Continue to drive all the way straight till you see the green hevshop signs
3. Turn left and take the vehicle lift to level 3
4. And you will have reached Singapore's first dedicated Hybrid Specialist Service Centre!