When you take your car in for maintenance, choosing where you go is often a difficult question - should you go to the dealer for your maintenance, or go to an independent maintenance shop? There are benefits and drawbacks to both, and the ultimate answer is that it depends on what type of car repairs you are going to the shop for.
Resource for this article: Dealer Maintenance vs. Independent Maintenance By Car Deal Expert
When you need to go for dealer maintenance
Authorized mechanics or “official” dealership mechanics are often suggested whenever you purchase a new car. Your dealership is the best place to get “free” work such as warranty and recall work done. You should also visit the dealer maintenance shop if you have a difficult-to-diagnose automobile problem. Anything that is already involved as general support of your vehicle should be done at the dealer. Going to an independent shop is probably a better option for anything else.
Times when non-dealership mechanics are a good option
Getting your car worked on at a dealership can be very expensive. Scheduled maintenance, oil changes, or basic repair jobs are often a lot more expensive at dealership car repair shops because they have higher overhead. You should go to an independent car repair shop for much of this work. Usually, the work could be much less expensive. You can still have O.E.M. parts used in your car, even if you aren’t at a dealership. Read your vehicle warranty carefully, but the majority of the time, an independent shop will not void your vehicle warranty. Make sure to keep careful records of all the work that is done on your vehicle.
Making sure that your independent shop is good
Just because an independent maintenance shop is less costly doesn't mean you should always go with the lowest bidder. Ask each mechanic if they're ASE certified. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certifies vehicle mechanics for quality and knowledge.
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