Monday, July 22, 2024 Detailed Auto Topics
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I received an interesting question, asking for a recommendation of a new car dealership, from a service standpoint. I feel service should be a consideration when buying a new vehicle. I also have a different view point of how service might best be obtained.

New car dealerships are necessary for warranty work.  Beyond that, I feel an independent shop, is a much better choice for other service and maintenance.  A trusted independent shop can serve as a much more objective advisor.  This is quite valuable when warranty service is needed.

Many people do not realize that dealerships are discouraged from selling warranty work.  For example, a majority of dealership technicians are paid by commission.  That is a book sets the amount of time paid for the job.  The technician receives payment for the stated amount of time, regardless of how long the job actually takes.  For instance if the book says three hours and the job is done in two, they still get paid for three hours.

If the book time states two hours and it actually takes three, they are only paid for two.  I have long disagreed with this payment method and think it encourages shortcuts and poor workmanship.  Another twist is warranty work has a different time allotment.  Often warranty pays one half as much time as a customer would be charged for the same work.

I feel very few dealership technicians prefer to work for half wages.  This is one method used to discourage warranty work.  Unless you specifically ask for something to be addressed, you may never be told about common warranty failures by a dealership. 

A much better plan is to have an independent shop perform all maintenance.  A trained independent technician can look for common warranty issues and pattern failures.  They can also check technical service bulletins and advise you when something can be repaired under warranty.

A good independent shop can also check warranty work that has been performed.  They can advise you if things are done properly or if problems still exist.  The cost of warranty was included in the price of the vehicle, when you purchased it.  A great independent shop, like AGCO can help make sure you get what you paid for.

Advantages I feel an independent shop offers on a new vehicle:

  1. Once you find a trusted shop, they can maintain your vehicle(s), cradle to grave.
  2. Changing vehicles does not mean finding a new service shop.
  3. Independent shops have no bias for one brand of vehicle.
  4. A trusted shop can advise you on service histories of vehicles, before you buy.
  5. An independent shop can advise you on potential warranty issues.
  6. You have an unbiased advisor to assist with warranty problems.
  7. An independent shop can verify if warranty work has been properly performed.
  8. There is no incentive to try to sell another vehicle, when repair may be more logical.
  9. Proper maintenance, by an independent shop, will meet all warranty requirements.

For more on finding a great shop, please see our award winning article, finding a great shop.  For more reasons we feel AGCO is the best choice for maintenance, see Why AGCO Maintenance.

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