When it comes to having your vehicle repaired you have lots of options. However what advantages and disadvantages are there when it comes to working with a local Maine auto repair shop vs dealerships?
Unfortunately, some consumers are unfamiliar with the differences between local auto repair shops and dealerships. More to the point, these consumers are confused by the many myths surrounding the differences between local shops and dealerships. Let’s start by looking at the myths and then look at the reality.
Myths About Local Mechanics
Sadly, there are misperceptions about your local mechanic. It’s no myth that getting your car serviced at a dealer generally costs more. However, dealerships will claim it’s worth it.
Dealerships argue they have specialists working there and they have access to the latest parts and technology. They also will say they have a staff that constantly receives training, and they are up to date on items such as factory recalls.
Myth: Local Mechanics Aren’t Specialists
One myth is that mechanics don’t have the same special training as technicians at dealerships. The reality is that your local mechanic may be a former dealership technician who opened their own shop. In fact, many local dealerships have the same level of training (or more) as dealerships.
Myth: Only Dealers Have Access to the Latest Parts and Equipment
This is another myth. Every situation is different, but the mechanics at your local Maine auto repair shop have access to the same factory parts. Even better, they have access to parts that are more affordable than dealer parts.
As for technology, mechanics keep up with the latest technology without having to buy unnecessary equipment that only increases overhead and results in higher prices for consumers. Your local Maine mechanic knows how to fix your vehicle and do so in a cost-effective manner.
Myth: Dealer Technicians Have Superior Training
Not only are local mechanics sometimes former dealer technicians, but they also have access to the same information as technicians from auto dealerships. They can also receive updates on factory recalls; providing clients with the most up-to-date information on their vehicles.
Can I Take My Vehicle to a Local Mechanic Without Voiding the Warranty?
Another myth is that you can’t take your vehicle to your local mechanic if it is under warranty. However, the Federal Trade Commission makes it clear that:
“You don’t have to use the dealer for repairs or maintenance to keep your warranty in effect. In fact, it’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs done by someone else. That said, the dealer or manufacturer can make you use select repair facilities if the work is done for free under the warranty.”
A related question is whether your local mechanic can use aftermarket or recycled parts.
“Using aftermarket or recycled parts won’t void your warranty. But the manufacturer or dealer can make you use certain parts if they’re free of charge under the warranty.”
Whether you visit a dealer or your local Maine auto repair shop, it’s prudent to maintain records of any service on your vehicle.
Your Local Maine Auto Repair Shop: Some Advantages
The Personalized Touch
Your local mechanic’s shop is also more likely to provide you with the extra attention you won’t get from a dealer. Chances are, your local Maine auto repair shop’s mechanic knows you and your vehicle. This relationship can lead to better communication and personalized service you won’t get elsewhere.
An Affordable Alternative
One of the greatest advantages of going to your local Maine auto repair shop is affordability. Generally speaking, dealers will charge more as they have higher overhead and often use more expensive parts.
If you find yourself in the Lewiston, Maine area, bring your vehicle to Berube’s Complete Auto Care for auto repair. We can answer all your questions about your auto repair needs and provide you with quality service from our highly-trained team of technicians.