Imagine your warranty has just run out. You now have to decide; do you keep going to the dealership you’ve been going to for years? You might not think you should change. Your dealer uses original manufacturer’s parts, and their mechanics are trained by the factory. However, if you ask your friends, you’re sure to find recommendations for independent mechanics to get your car repaired. Your friend with the independent mechanic will surely promise you’ll save money too. So, which do you pick?
Dealerships work on hundreds of cars every month. No one will remember you when you bring your car back. When you go into the service department, you’ll meet with a service advisor, and probably never even see the mechanic working on your car.
In an independent garage, however, you’ll meet with the mechanics who are in charge of fixing your car. As time goes on they’ll generate relationships with you, and remember your vehicle. Just make sure you’re going through an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified garage.
In 2014, Consumer Reports did a survey and found that, except for Tesla, every single dealership rated lower on customer satisfaction than independent mechanics. You’ll find this because it’s easier to build a relationship when you speak directly to the person fixing your car. Additionally, independents only answer to you. At a dealership, they must report to the manufacturer. On top of that, service managers usually earn commissions for their work, so you have to worry if those repairs are really necessary
Dealerships have years of free service they use to foster goodwill. They don’t have to work to build relationships with you, because you’re going to keep going there as long as it’s free. Once your warranty runs out, they expect you’ll just keep going there, because you’ve always gone there. On the other hand, your independent mechanics have to work from the start to prove themselves. If you’ve done your due diligence to find a good mechanic, you’ll find better, more personalized care.
One argument you’ll hear often is that mechanics at dealerships are factory-trained. However, the fact is, many garages are started and staffed by former dealership techs, that have that same factory training.
This may sound like a good thing, but you won’t always benefit from it. While dealerships always use original manufacturer parts, your independent mechanics have the option of using aftermarket parts, or even rebuilt parts, as needed. This way, you can save money on parts when you need, often at the same or even better quality.
If you’re looking for the right mechanic in Los Angeles, West Coast Tire & Service is here for you. At West Coast Tire & Service, you’ll find a multi-generational family-owned business, dedicated to customer satisfaction, and doing the job right. If you’ve already used West Coast Tire & Service, please share your experience on the Facebook page.
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