Often the idea of taking our vehicles in for service makes most of us cringe, and we are familiar with myths like dealerships are the most expensive. However, if you do not choose to service your car at the dealership which you purchased, the warranty is void. This isn’t the exact truth, and those who have known a mechanic may already be aware of this. To keep certain parts of the warranty valid, some services do need to be completed at a dealership, but the benefit is that often these services are free.
Another reason individuals shy away from dealership service is that it may seem that it can often take an extended period of time to get a service completed. If you have ever had a vehicle with a significant problem or even taken yours in for service and received an unexpected call – you know any service department usually provides an approximate return time, but there is never a guarantee. Some of the most common myths that arise from dealership service can be debunked with a few facts.
Don’t get stuck waiting…
First- many dealerships offer either a shuttle service or the availability of loaner cars. If you need to drop your vehicle off for the day, let the dealership know in advance – often, they will be able to provide you a ride to work, so you don’t have to sit in the dealership all day. However, keep in mind that most dealerships are now equipped with WiFi and often have work stations and provide an endless supply of coffee. If you are bringing your car in for a service that may require the dealership to be in possession of your vehicle for more than 24 hours, the better option may be requesting a loaner vehicle. This can also be a great option if you are thinking about checking out a new car. Loaner vehicles are often the same brand as the dealership and maybe a few years older, but they may come in a model you’ve never driven.
When you decide to take your car to an independent service shop, you may have the option of unlimited caffeine, however, you may be stuck there for the entire day. Reasons that your service can often take longer than expected at an independent service provider include that they may not have the parts on hand as a dealership would.
Get the one trip fix
A dealership may be able to save you a second trip in or keeping the vehicle overnight because they have the specialty parts needed stocked regularly. At the same time, this can also be one of the reasons it’s thought that dealerships are more expensive. A dealership will carrier the Original Manufacturer’s Equipment, also known as OEM, which was created specifically for your car’s make and model. Many times independent service centers can provide parts that are similar but not identical. Parts may be rebuilt or refurbished, generic, or even used, which can cut costs, too.
Another way that independent service centers can cut costs is by cutting down labor costs by taking what could be considered shortcuts to complete the work that needs to be done. This doesn’t mean they are giving you a poor service. What it means is that at a dealership, the mechanics are required to complete each and every service to the exact specifications of the manufacturer to ensure everyone receives the same quality. Dealership mechanics are often experts in their area and can make suggestions based upon their prior experience with the same vehicle. Often you might hear individuals claim they feel as a dealership “upsold” them on unnecessary services. Your dealership mechanic knows what to anticipate from your car due to extensive brand training. Therefore if you are just coming in for an oil change and they happen to note the particular mileage on your car is close to another service or notice something out of character about your vehicle, they may suggest service.
Independent service centers may not realize items like this or may only be investigating the cause, which leads you to them. Keep in mind just because any service center makes a recommendation, it’s likely because they anticipate you will need this service shortly. If you choose to go to an independent service center and they do not perform a comprehensive vehicle check, as a dealership would have, you could end up spending more in the end. You may have thought your car was only due for one service – however, upon closer inspection and seeing within the next 3-6 months you might need these services does not mean your dealer is trying to take advantage of you, they are trying to help. By offering you the opportunity to handle these particular issues while your car is already in for service, they could be preventing a second – or even third- service trip.
Finally, I cannot stress enough individuals who work in the service area of a dealership are experts in their craft, and again, they know more about your vehicle than anyone. You may trust your mechanic to be honest with you because you have been using him since you were 16. However, he cannot anticipate the common problems or needs for your vehicle. In the end, service will always be a personal preference – some individuals like to see their mechanic face to face, while others don’t mind dealing with a service department in exchange for exceptional quality in their vehicle. Whichever you choose, do keep in mind that we are only seeking to provide you with the best in quality manufacturer’s products and exceptional service here at Three Rivers Volkswagen.
Plus- if you decide to stick around while your vehicle gets serviced, we provide attention from a very loving, playful, energetic pup! Not to mention you can schedule your service with us from the comfort of your home.
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