Oil Changers – Still NZ’s Best Car Service

Canstar Blue’s 2020 Car Servicing award rates major New Zealand auto centres to discover the best service provider for your precious wheels.

How much time do you spend with your car? There are currently over 4.3 million cars on our roads. And for most of us, cars are an integral part of the family. Indeed, if you spend a couple of hours a day during the week gripping a steering wheel, you’re probably spending more intimate time with your four-wheeled friend than you do with your partner or kids! And how are you repaying your car for all its hard work? Cleaning it regularly? Treating it to the odd drink of premium unleaded and topping up its oil and water? Or, more importantly, giving it a car service on a regular basis?

Not only will regularly servicing your car help protect you, your passengers and other road users from a catastrophic mechanical failure, it can potentially save you big money over the long term. When it comes time to sell your beloved motor, a regular service history will help you attain a better price. And regular servicing can help detect problems in their infancy – when just a tiny squeak or rattle – before they become a huge problem with an even bigger repair bill!

But which experts and which servicing centres can you trust? This is where Canstar Blue can help. As part of our mission to inform consumers of the best NZ has to offer, each year we thoroughly research, compare and rate Car Servicing chains in New Zealand to discover which deliver on customer satisfaction.

For this year’s award, we canvassed the opinions of 525 New Zealanders who’d serviced their cars at a servicing chain in the past 24 months, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which car servicing chain offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Cost of Parts
  • Customer Service
  • Effectiveness of Repairs
  • Time Taken
  • Value of Money

Coming out on top is Oil Changers, the only car servicing company in this year’s ratings to earn a 5 Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. Founded in Christchurch in 2001, the Kiwi company scored impressive marks across all categories, with further 5 Star ratings for all-important Customer Service and Value for Money.

The award marks back-to-back wins for Oil Changers, which over the past decade has dominated our Most Satisfied Customers | Car Servicing award. Oil Changers’ seven wins made it one the most celebrated brands in Canstar Blue’s recent 10-year anniversary celebrations.

Time to service: assessing the options

In the long term, you can save money by having your car regularly serviced. Regular servicing keeps your car running efficiently and potentially reduces the chance of an expensive breakdown.

When it comes to working out when to go in for a service, you’ll need to assess what’s best for your car. Weigh up the requirements of its make, model and year, along with how often you use it (kilometres travelled) and for what type of driving (such as city or country driving). If in doubt, a rough rule of thumb is once a year or every 10,000km.

Also, don’t forget to consider how you can play your part in maintaining your car’s roadworthiness between services. As part of our latest research we asked Kiwi drivers what they regularly check on their cars, and discovered most of us are pretty good at doing the basics:

I regularly check my car’s: %
Oil 79%
Tyre pressure 76%
Water 74%
Tyre tread 61%
Wipers 56%

Of course, if you notice any issues in between services (such as warning lights coming on, or irregular noises) it’s important to get your car looked at ASAP.

Choosing a service centre

When choosing a service centre, it’s worthwhile shopping around. Find a business that you feel comfortable with, that is convenient for you, offers competitive pricing and caters to your needs.

Some factors to consider include:

  • Qualifications/experience – what sort of qualifications and experience do the mechanics hold? Do they have particular areas of expertise?
  • Word of mouth/reviews – does the service centre come via the recommendation of a friend or colleague, and what are the online reviews like? How did they score in Canstar’s ratings?
  • Scope of services – what different types of services are provided, and is servicing provided for your make and model of car? Do you require specialised servicing?
  • Appointment – is an appointment required, and can you book online? What are the waiting times generally like?
  • Pricing – how does the pricing compare to other service centres in the area?

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a range of options available, and if you’re looking for a new service provider, or thinking of switching providers, you should actively seek out a best deal.

How much does a service cost?

Oil Changers

Oil Changes Car Service

Oil Changers, the winner of this year’s Most Satisfied Customers | Car Servicing award, has 14 locations, and provides a variety of different services (in addition to the services outlined below) catering to different vehicle requirements. Note that it does not do repairs, only fluid servicing.

Service Package Details Prices from*
Oil and Filter Service Package Helping to prolong engine life, with fresh oil cooling, sealing, lubricating and cleaning the engine properly, helping quieten noisy engines, with regular filter changes keeping contaminants out. $84.95
Engine Flush Delivering better performance and fuel economy, reduced emissions and longer engine life. $39.95
Automatic Transmission Removes 99.9 per cent of the fluid in the transmission system, including the torque converter and transmission cooler, extends transmission life by providing resistance to oxidation, sludge formation and varnish, reduces risk of premature transmission failure, promotes smooth shifting, and reduces wear and scouring of clutch plates. $169.95
Manual Transmission Extends transmission life by providing resistance to oxidation and sludge formation, reduces risk of premature transmission failure, promotes smooth shifting and reduces wear. $49.95
Coolant Service Helps prolong engine life, prevents corrosion of cooling system, provides lubrication of water pump seals, and prevents freezing and overheating. $99.95

AA Car Service

AA Auto Centre

AA Auto Centre has 37 locations around the country, and offers four levels of service, for both petrol and diesel cars, using either standard or advanced oil.

Service Package Details Price*
AA Bronze Service A six-month, 20-point service designed for high-mileage users, or where the manufacturer recommends more frequent checks. Includes an engine oil change, oil filter replacement and fundamental item checks.

Approx time:  1h 15m

Standard Oil – AA member: $169; non-member: $179

Advanced Oil – AA member: $249; non-member: $259

AA Silver Service A 30-point annual service, including an engine oil and oil filter change and a road test. Drive belts, fuel filter and spark plug condition also checked.

Approx time:  1h 45m

Standard Oil – AA member: $189; non-member: $209

Advanced Oil – AA member: $269; non-member: $289

AA Gold Service A 40-point annual service, covering the same components as the Silver Service, plus extra checks on engine management system, air filter, seatbelts, electrics, headlights, and more.

Approx time:  2h 15m

Standard Oil – AA member: $209; non-member: $239

Advanced Oil – AA member: $289; non-member: $319

AA Platinum Service A 24-month, 50-point major vehicle service, covering the same 40 checks and adjustments as the Gold Service, plus checks on steering components, aircon, wheels-off brake inspection and tyre rotating.

Approx time:  3h

Standard Oil – AA member: $259; non-member: $289

Advanced Oil – AA member: $339; non-member: $369

Pit Stop Car Service

Pit Stop

Pit Stop has over 45 stores around the country, providing a range of products and services, specialising in general vehicle repairs, brakes, suspension and vehicle servicing, and offering a number of different service packages.

Service Package Details Prices from*
Express An oil and filter change and a 15-point check, with a top-up of washer fluids and coolant. $159
Extensive An oil and filter change, computer and systems health check, 25-point check and essential fluid top-ups, with top-up of washer, coolant, brakes, power steering and clutch fluids, lubrication of door hinges, tyre treatment, and road test and report. $199
Elite An oil and filter change, computer and systems health check, 30-point check, essential fluid top-ups, brake fluid change, brake component clean and component adjustments, with top-up of washer, coolant, brakes, power steering and clutch fluids, replace brake fluid (flush), clean (dedust) brake components, brake adjustment (as necessary), lubrication of door hinges, rotate tyres (if required), tyre treatment, vacuum footwells, and road test and report. $299
Eurocar An oil and filter change, computer and systems health check, 25-point check, essential fluid top-ups, with top-up of washer, coolant, brakes, power steering and clutch fluids, lubrication of door hinges, tyre treatment, and road test and report. $239
4x4s, utes & vans An oil and filter change, computer and systems health check, 25-point check, essential fluid top-ups, with top-up of washer, coolant, brakes, power steering and clutch fluids, lubrication of door hinges, tyre treatment, and road test and report. $269
Hybrid An oil and filter change, computer and systems health check, 25-point check, essential fluid top-ups, with top-up of washer, coolant, brakes, power steering and clutch fluids, lubrication of door hinges, tyre treatment, and road test and report. $295
EVs A 22-point check, computer and systems health check, essential fluid top-ups, with top-up of washer, coolant and brakes fluids, lubrication of door hinges, tyre treatment, and road test and report. $189

Midas Car Service

Midas

Midas runs over 20 stores around the country, and provides customers a variety of service options for different vehicles. Its range of service packages are designed to focus on key vehicle maintenance areas.

Service Package Details Prices from*
Basic Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), replace engine oil filter up to $20, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L standard oil and reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability). $159
Smart Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), replace engine oil filter up to $20, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L standard oil and reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability), along with a Midas Peace of Mind Inspection, a 33-point visual inspection, checking fluids, under bonnet, under vehicle, brakes and tyres. $199.95
Premium Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), oil flush or fuel additive, perform engine management system scan (subject to tooling/data availability), replace engine oil filter up to $20, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L standard oil, reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability) and rotate tyres, along with a Midas Peace of Mind Inspection. $299.95
Diesel Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, check diesel fuel filter and drain water from fuel separator (when equipped), lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), replace engine oil filter up to $30, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L standard oil and reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability), along with a Midas Peace of Mind Inspection. $289.95
Euro Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), perform engine management system scan (subject to tooling/data availability), replace engine oil filter up to $30, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L synthetic oil, reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability) and rotate tyres, along with a Midas Peace of Mind Inspection. $319.95
Log Book Service Check and set tyre pressures, check and top-up under-bonnet fluids, checks and inspections of vehicle as per the vehicle logbook, lubricate doors and chassis (where applicable), perform engine management system scan (subject to tooling/data availability), replace engine oil filter up to $30, replace engine oil up to 4.5 L synthetic oil (using oil specified by vehicle manufacturer), reset service/maintenance light (subject to tooling/data availability) and rotate tyres, along with a Midas Peace of Mind Inspection. $299.95

VTNZ

VTNZ runs 82 branches, providing a range of services, including Warrant of Fitness (WoF), Certificate of Fitness (CoF) and vehicle condition assessments, along with regular basic servicing.

Service Package Details Price*
Basic Service Looks at 14 major features that aren’t part of a WoF, across the engine, drive belts, radiator, oil, engine coolant and clutch fluids, battery, tyres, emergency kit, wiper blades and windscreen. $49
Safety Assessment Checks the key safety elements of a usual WoF assessment, including windscreen washers and wipers, engine oil level and condition, lights, steering, tyre condition, brake operation, steering and suspension, glazing, the interior vehicle condition, airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, speedometer, safety belts, structural condition, exhaust, the exterior vehicle condition and fuel system. $57

*Prices correct as of December 4, 2020. Further information on pricing can be found at service centre websites. This should be used as a starter guide and not considered an actual quote.


If you care about your car, and want the best car service available, you can read more about why Oil Changers are New Zealand’s No.1 choice by hitting on the big red button below.

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