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Major Service - Major Misconception

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by carver, May 24, 2011.

  1. the reason for this thread is there are so many that share the misconception.
    and when it comes up in conversation it takes a lot of patience not to unleash.

    Major Service - Major Misconception

    it really irks me when someone thinks/suggests, or has the expectation
    that a MAJOR SERVICE will fix (every) mechanical problem.
    the short (not so sweet) answer is, NO IT WILL NOT.

    the main difference between a Minor Service and a Major Service is
    the number of consumables that will be replaced and the associated labour/cost.
    consumables are parts/fluids that wear out under normal usage
    and are designed to be replaced at regular service intervals.

    as a contrast, tyres wear out,
    yet they would rarely be included in a Service Quotation,
    unless you specifically requested.

    if you have a problem that is not related to consumable parts/fluids,
    then a Major Service, by itself, is not likely going to fix the problem.

    a proper Major Service will include necessary adjustments (valves/carbies),
    as well as (the manufacturers) recommended safety inspections.
    however, even if the mechanic does notice a problem,
    you should expect be told, asked and charged additional to the Service cost/quote.
    (unless under warranty)

    regardless of the definition of a ‘Major Service’.
    mechanics still know many people are confused with the term,
    and will often take the opportunity to ask,
    "Are there any other problems that you know about?".
    ie; drumming up extra business in the nicest possible way,
    whilst avoiding potential disappointment for those that presume a Major Service (alone) will fix every problem.

    Some Light Reading:
    VTR250 major service cost breakdown
    (contains 'one of the best posts ever put up on NR.')

    What is included in a Minor and Major Service?

    Major service, what should get done?

    major service

    Thinking I need a major service...

    Major Service - CBRF3 - whats involved?
  2. I have never taken either of my bikes to a mechanic, one has 90,000km and the other has 84,000km, a major service usually takes me 2-3 days and includes a lot more checking, cleaning and preventative maintenance etc than any mechanics major service including things like repacking steering head and swingarm/shock linkage bearings, re oiling forks, cleaning throttle bodies, re-furbishing radiator and oil cooler and repaint.. The list goes on.
    I do not care how rich you are and how good your mechanic is you will never get the care and breadth of service you get by learning, buying the tools and doing it yourself. Of course some people are mechanically dangerous so know your limitations.
  3. I dropped a bike in for a major service once and assumed that major service meant the same major service to everybody. When the invoice was printed, it said "major service" and had a low cost... I was surprised. I queried what the valve clearances were like and I was told that they're not done in a major service unless requested :? When do you do them then???

    A major service isn't a defect hunting and fixing exercise, unless the defect leaps out at the mechanic and obviously requires repair... but it SHOULD mean the same service to all bike shops.
  4. I guess with some bikes, like certain Yamahas that have valves at 48,000k's it'd have a major service before then?
  5. I think people should be thankful if they even get a complete service...

    I started servicing my GS once the warranty ran out and it looked to me like many of the service items weren't even done once (greasing the bearings in the swingarm linkages for instance). Not surprising though, as when i was talking to the mechanic that did the logbook services for me he told me i shouldn't clean my chain with kerosene as it was abrasive and that I should just use a small amount of petrol :-s

    I first serviced my bike at 24,000 so they had plenty of opportunity to do so.

    I've always done my own vehicles because it always seemed to me there was no mechanic worth trusting that didn't charge like I was prepping for a race (and even then I have heard of people in the import community on the receiving end of bad workmanship).
  6. OK playing a bit of Cecil's advocate here, but every service manual I've seen doesn't just read, "do this" and "do that", but it reads "inspect this" and "inspect that".

    If if there is a problem you should find it (within reason).

    Also if it's under warranty I would expect it to be fixed as part of the cost of major service.

    Obviously if you're informed up front it's better, but you can't shirk all responsibility.

    Also if the problem is the bike is just running a bit rough, I'd expect that to be covered by a sync, air filter and plug changes. All of which I'd expect under a major service.