There’s no escaping it. At some point, you will have to bring your car to a professional for some type of service, whether a minor maintenance issues or a major repair. And with that, you’ll have to make the decision: do I take the car to the dealership, or do I use the independent shop down the road? In some cases, such as when there is a recall on the car, there is no question that you should go to a dealer. But what about for other repairs? While you always have a choice, and can usually expect comparable quality from both types of repair shops, there are some good reasons you should stick to dealer service.
When you have your car serviced at the dealership, the technicians who are working on your car are generally experts with that type of car. Most dealer service centers, like those in the Herb Connolly family of dealerships, require mechanics to undergo extensive training and testing before they can work on the cars, and they understand the intricacies and quirks of your particular vehicle. This is especially important when you have a rare or luxury car, which often has complicated technical components that the average mechanic is not qualified to work on. In addition, most dealerships have more advanced equipment and tools, making the repair more efficient than other shops.
When you consistently take your vehicle to the dealership for servicing, all of your maintenance records are kept on hand – a definite plus when it comes time to sell or trade in the car. The dealership also keeps records of the major services you’ve had done, and will remind you when it’s time to come in for important repairs and maintenance.
When you take your car to the local mom-and-pop repair shop, you’re often on your own to find alternate transportation while the car is being worked on. That’s not the case when you take the car to the dealership. In most cases, the dealership will offer free shuttle transportation for repair customers. If the repair is under warranty or you bought the car at that dealership, you might get a loaner car for the day. If you choose to stick around and wait, most dealer waiting areas are stocked with snacks, televisions and other diversions.
Manufacturers require dealer repair centers to use only original manufacturer parts on repairs. When you take your car in, you know you will be getting the exact part made for your vehicle. Other shops might use generic parts, which may be of good quality, but are devoid of the manufacturer warranty. There’s no denying that, on average, dealer service centers cost more than independent shops. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs, especially when you look at the long term gains. So don’t immediately dismiss the dealership service center – it might just be your best bet. This guest post was written by Jerry Lasley. Jerry is an automotive specialist and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the automotive industry.