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better to buy where you intend to get it serviced?



  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    LOL! Sorry, Zues. We were typing at the same time. (I type slow.)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    couldn't service (warranty) a vehicle they hadn't sold. Most manufacturers audit service records for fraud and in the old days, crooked service managers would take VINs off cars in the mall parking lot and run claims against them. That's the first place auditors look - VINs of vehicles not sold by that dealer.

    The other concept is one of business survival. A dealer friend of mine in Lake Jackson, TX refuses to let his service department work on vehicles that were bought at mega-dealers in Houston. He figures if you won't even give him a shot at the business and you go to Houston to save a couple hundred bucks, you can get your car fixed in Houston. And he has the right to refuse the service.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I bet that goes over well with the manufacturer.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    it's a franchisee's right to protect themselves.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Odd concept of self protection for a businessman - to turn away business and alienate a potential future customer. I guess it makes sense to a certain sort of mind, however.

    Brady, my experience has been the new dealer was happy to have a new service customer and was better about warranty work than the dealer from whom I bought.
    My thought is still to check with someone who uses the dealer you plan/hope to use for service and maybe even check with the service writer he/she uses.
    I guess it is possible that a dealer might turn away business, as nonsensical as that sounds.
  • masspectormasspector Posts: 509
    Tell these auditors to get with the 20th century, much less the 21st.

    "That's the first place auditors look - VINs of vehicles not sold by that dealer."

    I cannot quote any stats on this and I do not know how it works in more rural areas, but I would think that in major metro areas lots of people buy from dealers that are not their closest dealer. Especially from the makes that have a lot of stores, like Ford, Chevy, Chrysler.

    As for your friend in Lake Jackson, I have to go with river on that one. If I bought my car in Houston (for whatever reason) then brought it in for service in Lake Jackson and the dealer refused me service because I did not buy there, guess where I will never be buying a car or getting service in the future? (I'll give you a hint, the answer is not Houston).

    I would love to see one of those conversations with the service writer. The manufacturer may not have any authority in that decision by the dealer, but there is a consumer expectation that their make can be serviced by any dealer of that make.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    the customer to the owner, who tells 'em how it is - you don't even want to give me a crack at business, but you want me to take a tech off of one of MY customer's jobs to handle yours? More warranty work? No thanks - take it to Houston where you bought it.

    That's his attitude and his right - none of us are in a place to argue with him.

    Each technician does a certain amount of low-paying warranty work in exchange for some better-paying customer pay work. If the tech is swamped with warranty work, especially nitnoid dash rattle stuff, you'll have a tech who'll go somewhere else - major problem. You have to keep techs happy to keep them, and if turning away extra warranty work is what you have to do, then you do it.

    Bear in mind there's the issue of dealing with the type of person who would drive to Houston to save $50 - that's not the type of person you WANT in your service drive - overly picky, grinding for time and place in line, etc.

    massspector - 20th v're not telling the auditors anything. They make IRS folks look like wimps.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I know for a fact that's not the story at all dealers. I can't say it couldn't happen, though.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I was giving an example of ONE dealer I know personally. Many larger dealers don't care at all - this dealer only has 5-6 technicians, but gets a flood of requests from local buyers who bought in Houston.

    When you have 40 techs, and you're handling 200 jobs a day, 5-6 extra (non-dealership) customers a day make no real difference. With 5-6 techs, you're only handling 25-30 jobs a day - 5-6 extra customers make a huge difference.

    The San Antonio area is unique, too that there are 4 major Air Force bases and 2 Army bases in twon. Lots of military folks (military guys HAVE to have those new cars) with newer cars, coming in from all over the nation. Maybe the "you didn't buy it here" issue isn't an issue there.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Good thing there's hope for Brady!
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    Maybe it's pie in the sky and I'm no businessman but if the Lake Jackson dealer is swamped, why not hire more techs. The more cars he fixes, the more customers he exposes to his store, the more likely they will come back the next time they need a new ride.

    I personally have never needed warranty work, but I really like the service department at my local Honda dealer. I take my two Accords and even my 02 Miata there for oil changes, etc. If their service department were a bunch of jerks or they turned my away b/c I bought a Miata instead of an s2000, I would be far less likely to buy a car from them.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    How much of a savings are we talking about??? What is the service reputation of the dealer you intend to service your new car? What kind of grief do you have to go through to save some $$$ at the other dealers to buy the car?? How long do you plan on keeping your car?

    Please let us know these things to better answer your questions.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    they've got a nice facility, but only 6 (very modern) bays - the new hires wouldn't have a place to work.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    that's too bad. If he had the ability to expand, does my idea sound reasonable? Like I said, I'm no businessman.
  • dglozmandglozman Posts: 178
    I bought my CR-V from not the closest dealer to me. Reason? They simply didn't have it in stock, and I would have to wait, as they said, 4 to 6 week (at least) if they order. So I called all Honda dealers in my area (New York city) and finally was able to locate my car at the dealership 40+ min. away from my house (in Queens) and I'm in Brooklyn. It's not very convenient to me to service my car at that dealership. usually even a simple oil change requires an appointment in advance and you have to leave there your car for a least 4+ Hrs. (again its New York city). so if I would go to that dealership basically I forced to wait there those 4+ hrs. until the service is done. The closest dealer is 10 min walking distance from my house, so I can do something else with my time then just sitting at the waiting area.
    So yes I'm servicing my car at the closest dealer and not the one I bought my car from. Am I treated good there? you bet! Should I consider myself inconsiderate? hell no!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    but not possible - he's been this way for 20 years, ever since Landmark Chevrolet (nation's #1 selling Chevy dealer) built their megastore on North Houston.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I was telling the story from ONE dealer's perspective.

    BTW - this discussion, from my perspective, has NOTHING to do with maintenance - I'm talking about warranty work.
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I did the same thing when I got my Miata. The local dealers didn't have the one I wanted so I went out of town. Then again, one of the local dealers are a bunch of frickin' idiots so I get my maintainence work done at the Honda dealer.
  • pat84pat84 Posts: 817
    I bought a Honda Odyssey at a different dealer than I used for service. It wasn't about price, they all went at MSRP. It was about I could get one 2 months earlier at the dealer I bought at.
    I went to my closest Honda Dealer for service. All maintenance and 2-3 recalls. The washed my vehicle every time I had it in, even if just for an oil change. They always had it ready at the promised time an at the quoted price. I gave them top marks on everything they did.
      I traded in the Odyssey on a Toyota 4 Runner. I have had one oil change at the Toyota dealer where I bought it. It took 2 hours because they don't schedule oil changes. It's first come first serve. They didn't even put paper floor mats and plastic seat protectors in my new truck. Honda always did that. No wash either. I told them the Toyota service manager that I was not happy with my service and wanted a form to fill out. I said they slopped up the inside of my truck, and an oil change took 2 hours and I want the dealer to know I see some areas for improvement.
     He said they have no such service rating forms. I found out it was true. Honda had a bulletin board full of rating forms with all outstanding ratings. some were mine.
      I am going to see if the Honda dealer will do my service on my Toyota. It may make an interesting advertisement for Honda service. .
  • dglozmandglozman Posts: 178
    My CR-V was washed inside and outside as well. All the mats were protected too. and I got satisfactory form in the mail in 2 or 3 days. Gave them highest marks. And again I didn't buy my car there...
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    In my area there is not a service department that has so much business that they can afford to turn away business from people that didn't buy there. However, where it will make a difference is in the extraordinary circumstances that require the service manager to make a judgement call. For instance, Ford allows a dealer to only do so many dollars worth of after-warranty adjustments each month. So if your car has 61,000 km and needs warranty work, the first thing that they check is where the car was bought. If we sold it, then we will be happy to use our AWA budget to get it fixed. If you bought it elsewhere, then you may have to go elsewhere to try and get the warranty work done.
  • masspectormasspector Posts: 509
    After rereading some of these posts, I think some of the confusion may be coming from different definitions of "service". I think you are refering to warranty work that the customer does not pay for. I think others, myself included, are refering to all service work, including routine maint., etc that the customer does pay for.
  • peeetepeeete Posts: 136
    I think this thread is hugely important, as most people are concerned about their ability to get good service at dealers other than where they purchased.

    My overriding question is that I always understood that warranty work was very profiable, and in fact most dealers maker far more money in the repair bays than the selling floor. If this is true, I would think it would be in a dealers self-interest to accept as much warranty work as they can. Some edealers actually advertise that they will serivce your car even if you did not buy it there, so there must be profit in it.

    I can understand that a dealer will give priority in appointments to people who bought there, but there is no reason why other epople should be treated poorly. Obviously there could be many reaons why the car was not bought there; sometimes due to price/availability, and sometimes because they just moved 1000 miles. The buyer should not be penalized for this.

    Obviously manufactures have different policies that the dealers follow. For example, I own an Infiniti (never again), and they give loaners to anyone who is in warranty. I have a friend would bought a used Caddy Deville, and goes to another dealer for service and he loves them..loaner and all.

    Ive been thinking about buying a new Ford, and there is a dealer who is quite close to me, and another one 10 miles away. THe latter dealer has the car I want, and I will probalbe get a better price from them, as this particular car has sat on their lot since last Im hoping they will want to dump it. But since its a Ford, I know I will have to bring it in for service a lot (ive owned two fords already), so the closer dealer works for me. I am trying to figure out how to get the best servoce from them, even thinking of going to the owner (who I know), and seeing if can get me the car cheap (which I doubt). I may buy an ESP warranty maybe that will help!
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    warranty work for the dealership is barely profitable...The profitable part of parts and service is customer pay service work.

  • abtsellerabtseller Posts: 291
    is usually a loser, in the end. The techs don't get paid as well on warranty work, either, so they're less motivated.

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    and depending on the manufacturer (DCC, for instance), it's a guaranteed loser.

    mass - you're right - I was never talking about oil changes and a vacuum - I'm talking about warranty work only.
  • peeetepeeete Posts: 136
    I am totally surprised that it is not a money maker. See, you learn something new every day! If its true, I would guess that dealerships of American cars would be less profitable, as the cars usually require more repairs than Toyota, Honda, etc.

    Some dealers, including carmax i believe, advertise that they will do work on any car. Why bother to promote it?
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Remember, the topic of discussion is warranty work. There is plenty of work to do on a car that is not covered by a warranty.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    "working" on a car, anyone can do. Doing warranty work, and getting reimbursed by the manufacturer, only authorized dealers can do.

    Carmax doesn't do warranty work, except for their own in-house warranties.
This discussion has been closed.