Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dealership Service Department versus an Independent Shop

Many car owners dread the moment when they have to admit that it is time to take their car in to the shop. Suddenly they are forced to think about repair costs, how long they will have go without a car, whether or not they can trust the mechanic to do a good job, and it often leads to the question: should I take my car to be fixed at the dealer or into an independent shop? Here we will be talking about the benefits of taking your car to the dealer, and you see why from now on it will be an easy decision.

First off, lets talk about who will be working on your car. At a dealership Service Department, you will be putting your car into the hands of a highly qualified and trained technician who typically only works on your make of vehicle. This means that if you own a 2008 Ford F-150, it will be one of many 2008 Ford F-150s that your technician will look at this season. He or she will be familiar with its parts, how it runs, and the best ways to go about fixing a problem. At an independent shop, your 2008 Ford F-150 could be one of only a few 2008 Ford F-150s the shop sees this season and they will be basing their techniques off a general procedure rather than a specific one.

It is also common for the manufacturer to require that each dealership to stay up to date with the latest equipment, technology, and skills needed to make your experience and investment worthwhile. They do this by having regular programs where technicians refresh their skills and learn everything they need to in order to satisfy the customer, whereas, at an independent shop the technician may have less access to the latest trainings on the many technology changes and updates in today’s vehicles. 

Now, lets look at the equipment. Obviously, one of the most important parts about getting your car fixed is being certain that you will not run into the same problems again. One huge benefit of taking your car into a dealership service department is that the dealership will have access to all of the original equipment. Once again, your 2008 Ford F-150 will be taken care of and have all of its broken parts, replaced with original parts. Also, the parts are certified by Ford and match the original parts from the assembly line.  On the other hand, a competitive brand is designed to fit and work properly, but not certified and tested by the manufacturer.  An independent shop does not have this access to equipment and are forced to use aftermarket substitutes. You can request original equipment at an independent shop but you may have to wait for them to become available.

            Last, we should talk about the facilities. Dealerships definitely have the upper hand in this part of the experience. They have larger facilities with more service bays available, meaning there is less of a wait to make an appointment and a more efficient return time. They are often more organized and dealerships always have directly communication with manufacturers on equipment, recalls, and service tools. Overall, the experience is much more enjoyable at a dealership than at an independent shop.                                                                                                                                                               
            When you read about all of the benefits of having your car taken care of at a dealership service department, you can see why we recommend this decision to visit Apple Auto Group at Overall, you will be in better hands, be fixed with better parts, and be ready to drive sooner. So now when you have the dreadful moment of realizing its time to bring your car in, you will have a lot less to worry about with Apple Auto Group!

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