OT - Car dealers or private garages for your repairs | The Boneyard

OT - Car dealers or private garages for your repairs

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DaddyChoc

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which do you prefer? Does it depend on the year of your car? Type of repair? Authentic parts...

Who cuts corners etc?
 

meyers7

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I have a mechanic I trust I pretty much use for everything.
 

pinotbear

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Depends on warrantee - with warrantee, dealer every time. Off warrantee, I have always tried to find a trustworthy local garage.
I would just add, if I still have part of the car loan outstanding on a dealer purchase, I tend to use the dealer service - if there's any service/mechanical problem that affects the value of the car while I'm still paying, I want to be able to say to the dealer "you sold it to me, you've maintained it, you fix it: nobody else has come between you and this car". Once I own it, free n' clear, then I can gamble a bit with servicing.
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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I'm going to use the Suburu dealer for now on the new Forester. I own the car, but I do have a warranty and also a contract with them; you can see any authorized repair place, but who knows the cars better than them? And at what the vehicle cost . . .

OTH, I have always used an independent mechanic in the past. The Shell station I used the last few years in NJ was beyond excellent. The repair shop I used before them was good, but when stumped by a problem in a Mazda, they didn't admit they couldn't read the code until it was too late and I toasted a transmission. I stopped using them at that point.

Out here in AZ, there is less of the independents and more of the national chains. I go to a local (Phoenix / Tucson) chain with the 11 year old Ranger truck, they have a good rep. What I do think is that they will find as much wrong as they can and I don't think they are cheap. They also have a range of skill sets in their mechanics; I had to wait 2 weeks for the head guy to return from vacation to find out that my Altima had a blown head gasket and needed to be replaced. Still, I'm not dissatisfied, the Ranger purrs along.

Hope this info helps.
 
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In the past I used private garages. I now use the dealer because the one I have has been honest with me, if they can"t find the cause of a problem they tell me, as opposed to fixing something that ain't broke. Other pluses I like is the dealer mechanics are specifically trained on the brand and I get authentic parts.
 

DaddyChoc

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I would just add, if I still have part of the car loan outstanding on a dealer purchase, I tend to use the dealer service - if there's any service/mechanical problem that affects the value of the car while I'm still paying, I want to be able to say to the dealer "you sold it to me, you've maintained it, you fix it: nobody else has come between you and this car". Once I own it, free n' clear, then I can gamble a bit with servicing.
so you're a dealer type of guy
 

pinotbear

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yeah, basically, DC. I've had a few poor experiences with independent mechanics, where they didn't know as much as they'd led me to believe - and, I paid for their learning curve. As other posters have mentioned, at least the dealership is extremely experienced with your particular kind of vehicle, and has the correct diagnostic tools, training, and parts. I'm also a firm believer in regular maintenance - greatly reduces the chance of an unexpected and highly inconvenient breakdown, other than tires. Having said that, I've also had a dealership or two try to waste my money - it still all comes down to the integrity of the folks running the show.
 

sTu

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35 years same garage. Unless, it is a warranty item, I can find no reason to go someplace where I cannot fact to face with the mechanic. Too frustrating, too much time lost, too much of a financial rip off along with the dishonesty and too disrespectful.
 

UcMiami

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Will say that when I had my Rx7 with 'zero cylinders' in its little rotary Wankel engine I definitely used the dealership for everything as most mechanics had no clue what they were looking at. That is until I found a local guy that had spent years racing Rx7s and could rebuild the thing blindfolded!
 
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Unfortunately today you a pretty much limited to going to the dealer due to the complex diagnostic tools(only found at dealers) needed to make an accurate diagnosis. These machines are limited to only one make of car and are ridiculously expensive so it is impossible for the private garage to cover all makes.
 
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I'm a BMW guy. Let me know if any of you need some help 50% off from dealer's quote for all Boneyarders.
 

DaddyChoc

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I hear dealer mechanics use the shops as a stepping stone to open up their own garages... additional traiing and something to put on their resume
 
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