Whether it’s a flat tire, a faulty thermostat, or spark plug problems, sooner or later your vehicle will need to be serviced. When something serious happens, owners can either check in at the dealership or work with an independent mechanic. What is the right option for you?
Let’s review the pros and cons of each option and provide some guidance on choosing a mechanic or dealer.
Warranty and OEM parts
Having your vehicle serviced at a dealership is one of the best ways to ensure that your vehicle receives genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Whether it’s oil filters or brake pads, you’ll receive everything straight from the assembly line. In addition, factory trained mechanics will take care of your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Auto stores tend to get aftermarket parts, which will save you money as a result. But although they are more cost-effective, these ingredients often lack in quality. You are could Work with a mechanic in person and have them use OEM parts. This can save you money on the work, but not on the parts themselves.
There is another unbeatable argument for resorting to merchants. Your car always comes with a warranty that covers all types of repairs. Going to a third party could void your warranty. Unless you’re out of the warranty period, it doesn’t make sense to head to auto shops. Proxies have many other advantages as well, which we will discuss in more detail.
Limited time and location
Location always plays an important role in the choice of the customer. Living close to a dealer is especially beneficial, as replacing individual components doesn’t come without cost because of the warranty. It is especially useful when you find yourself stuck in your car on your way to work. If the standard location is uncomfortable, you can change it to a more convenient location, as this document provides options.
An independent mechanic may be your only option if you live very far away. Dealer service centers are usually in big cities, near the most populous areas. In such a situation, you can just try to find the best auto shop in your area.
But there is one more thing to consider. Time constraints are always a problem for car owners. Many use their cars to go to work, travel on vacation, or take road trips with family, so sometimes waiting isn’t an option. It’s where dealers outperform auto shops by far. Agents are full-service places, and because their services are so expensive, the demand is usually low. But they can produce jobs faster because they have all the necessary parts on hand. Even if they don’t, the waiting time will be minimal.
Rare problems and sell your car
A dealership will always be optimal when faced with a complex automotive issue. Dealers have every bit of expensive diagnostic equipment needed, and install brand-new software updates after they’ve serviced your vehicle. Close relationships with manufacturers have their benefits.
The same can’t be said about auto shops – at least not all of them. Some specialize in a particular brand of vehicle, and while they may have similar capabilities, they are fewer and farther.
Additionally, independence is not the best practice when you plan to sell the vehicle. Potential buyers will be suspicious of what is installed under the hood, so they may try to lower the price. To avoid this, you must have your vehicle serviced by an authorized dealership.
Choosing a dealer rather than independent mechanics or auto shops has its fair share of benefits. Repairs will be covered under warranty, and they can solve rare or complex problems quickly and easily.
If you decide to become independent, pay close attention to the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and Better Business Bureau certifications. These prove that auto shops have qualified personnel. Also try to compare prices and start with a secondary job, such as balancing tires, to assess the quality of service. You may also want to check out online forums to put your finger on the best auto shop.
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