Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Maple Grove, MN
That's a tough question. I'm thinking that the costs someone in NYC would face are going to be very different than someone in say, rural Illinois. I generally prefer independent shops to dealerships, mostly because an independents survive based on the work they do, as opposed to dealerships who often employ guys fresh out of MMI. The other side of the coin is whether you want to have a relationship with a dealer who might go to bat for you with an OEM if you're a good customer and you have some sort of warranty problem. I'd suggest making some calls and being sure you get a quote in writing before you agree to any work. As the previous poster said, you can do the work yourself if you document it and save your receipts.
As an exercise, figuring out various shop costs at anywhere from $100 - $175 per hour and your first service as at least one hour plus parts, write down an amount you feel would be reasonable. Remember that the per hour cost not only reimburses the mechanic for the work they do, but helps pay for stuff like shop supplies, insurance, etc. Make some calls, see if what you think jibes, and then make a decision.