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Corner Garage vs. Dealer Service Department

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited March 2015 in General
imageIt's a hassle, but you really do have to maintain your car properly if you want it to run well. But where should you take your car for service? There's always the dealership service department but you know it'll probably cost you an arm and a leg. There's also Joe's Garage — right down the street, but can you trust them to do the job right?

Corner Garage vs. Dealer Service Department

Corner Garage vs. Dealer Service Department article on Edmunds.com

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    lovelifelovelife Member Posts: 1
    Wow, this is a great article.

    Being a first time car owner myself, it is great to find articles -much like these- available online.

    Thank you
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    woodywagonwoodywagon Member Posts: 1
    It seems as if the person who wrote this article owns a small garage? I have found that those small garages don't have the parts I need, the dealers who don't care for them charge them more than I would have been charged at the dealership I go to. Or often times they use off brand parts that do not work. They never have the up to date technical information and believe me these cars are a lot more complicated than my computer. I have had a couple of occasions where the dealership had a recall or and update that was done at no charge, and I know of a friends who got an entire transmission outside of the warranty period. You would never know about these things at a small garage. They don't provide loaners or give me a ride to work. There is nobody to call when they do botch a job, no factory rep, just the BBB and they don't fix cars. I think your article is guiding us consumers way off target. I do believe you need to check out the dealer and ask others and ask a lot of questions been then when you feel good about you will save a lot more money and time than some Joe Smoes corner shop without half the tools and technical information to fix a car. Oil change are cheaper than the Jiffy places and often include free ones after so many. There liability insurance is better, so your article is misleading.
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    toyotarocks4x4toyotarocks4x4 Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2015
    I took my Benz to an oil change place that has been there 20+ years and the filter is on top of the engine. I got home and saw the old filter was still on it with wrench marks. Damn a $79 synthetic oil change wasn't such a great deal after all. I took it back and showed the guy and he starts nodding his head no saying we don't do stuff like that here. I had him come out and look and the mechanic comes walking out exclaiming it wasn't me it wasn't me. So they pull the car back in and attempt to remove the filter and gesture me over to "prove" that the filter was too tight and the wrench just slips so they will try to use the screwdriver method if I will agree to not hold them liable if the housing gets damaged. I just stand there shaking my head and tell them I'll take care of it. I left and went home and ordered a Benz oil wrench on Ebay for $25. It arrives, I put it on, tighten the bolt down on the side that grabs the filter and it comes right off w/o a struggle. I thought wow, a place that advertises they work on most foreign and domestic cars can't figure out how to unscrew an oil filter on an 89 300e LOL! I've seen some of their yelp reviews where they screwed up a computer and a brake job and other jobs that are pretty straight forward. I feel sorry for anyone that takes their vehicle in there to save money!
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    thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,753
    BTW one of the most amusing things we sometimes see is a dealership that attempts to run their service department as an aftermarket shop claiming that they can effectively work on other manufacturers products. If you are really paying attention to and understand the demands of the career then you would recognize their need to specialize limits their ability to generalize and so their people won't be going to training and they won't be buying the tooling and software subscriptions to deal with anything other than what they sell. Now do to movement of technicians inside the trade there could be someone with some product knowledge other than the name of the manufacturer on the marquis, but don't count on it.
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