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Do you need to take a car to the dealer to be serviced?


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Dear Smart people,

Do you need to take your car to a dealer to be serviced? That is, if your car is a Ford as mine is do you need to take your car to A Ford Service station to be serviced? I had assumed that due to the electronic equipment in the car that one needed special proprietary equipment and computer programs to diagnose and fix specific models. As well specific models have different warranties and recalls so each car brand has a lot of information that needs to be tracked.

If you have a late model car, do you take your car to the dealer or a regular garage? 

Do you think taking the car to a dealer makes a difference?

i had my tires changed recently and the garage asked why I never had my car serviced. I say ‘I do. I take my car to the dealer’. The owner of the garage was really annoyed which I thought was strange.

What do you think? 

 

 

Edited by Sunday21
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Recalls and unusual fixes where we need special parts or something under warranty, we go to the dealer; otherwise it is a general shop that is owned and run by a family my husband grew up with.  He gets to catch up friends along with getting the car fixed.  And I like knowing the car isn't in the hands of strangers.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Recalls and unusual fixes where we need special parts or something under warranty, we go to the dealer; otherwise it is a general shop that is owned and run by a family my husband grew up with.  He gets to catch up friends along with getting the car fixed.  And I like knowing the car isn't in the hands of strangers.

Dear @Calm

I found in going to the dealer that there were many, Ford! , recalls and special fixes that I was unaware of. The 2013 Ford Focus has a clutch problem for example. I had no information from Ford on this.

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3 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Dear @Calm

I found in going to the dealer that there were many, Ford! , recalls and special fixes that I was unaware of. The 2013 Ford Focus has a clutch problem for example. I had no information from Ford on this.

My 1995 F250 has a recall I still haven't taken it in for. The original CPS ( a sensor) had a tendency to die - taking the engine with it. When this happened, Ford wanted over $200 just for the part. I got an aftermarket one for under $30 at NAPA, which lasted 10 years - I just replaced it again. Most dealers are overpriced, but there are also bad private repair shops who will rip you off. As for computerized systems, good private shops are able to read the codes and diagnose what is wrong. They can look them up in manuals. Unless you are getting a code though, regular maintenance should be sufficient. However, I have had more than one bad experience with at home mechanics. They often don't really have all the proper tools to really do a job right. There might be a good reason they aren't employed by the best repair shops and the dealers! If you have no one to trust, you might try relying on Google reviews, but sometimes it is prudent just to rely on the dealer, and pay a little more. Now I am waiting for your tie in/analogy to the gospel....;) 

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10 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Dear Smart people,

Do you need to take your car to a dealer to be serviced? That is, if your car is a Ford as mine is do you need to take your car to A Ford Service station to be serviced? I had assumed that due to the electronic equipment in the car that one needed special proprietary equipment and computer programs to diagnose and fix specific models. As well specific models have different warranties and recalls so each car brand has a lot of information that needs to be tracked.

If you have a late model car, do you take your car to the dealer or a regular garage? 

Do you think taking the car to a dealer makes a difference?

i had my tires changed recently and the garage asked why I never had my car serviced. I say ‘I do. I take my car to the dealer’. The owner of the garage was really annoyed which I thought was strange.

What do you think? 

If new and especially if it's still under warranty, I would take it to the dealer. As the car gets older and needs more repair, I would take it to the dealer for estimates and then a reputable shop for comparison (talk to friends along the way through the years so you're not running around last minute) and go with the less expensive option. Near the end of the life cycle, it has been best in my experience to settle on a trusted non-dealer shop. Maintaining good relationships, especially during the transition, is important because they can often tell when another dealer/shop has been working on your car.

Disclaimer: this does not serve as an analogy for membership in the Church!

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Modern vehicles don’t require much maintenance other than changing fluids, filters and wear items such as brakes and tires. Nevertheless, I still used an authorized dealer for these services. 

If unusual services are required, authorized dealers have the computers and technical training and handbooks to deal with this. 

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On 5/26/2019 at 3:07 AM, Sunday21 said:

Dear Smart people,

Do you need to take your car to a dealer to be serviced? That is, if your car is a Ford as mine is do you need to take your car to A Ford Service station to be serviced? I had assumed that due to the electronic equipment in the car that one needed special proprietary equipment and computer programs to diagnose and fix specific models. As well specific models have different warranties and recalls so each car brand has a lot of information that needs to be tracked.

If you have a late model car, do you take your car to the dealer or a regular garage? 

Do you think taking the car to a dealer makes a difference?

i had my tires changed recently and the garage asked why I never had my car serviced. I say ‘I do. I take my car to the dealer’. The owner of the garage was really annoyed which I thought was strange.

What do you think? 

 

 

No.  Find a good independent mechanic and save some money.  If it needs something from the dealership (parts or proprietary software use) they'll let you know.

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12 minutes ago, cinepro said:

No.  Find a good independent mechanic and save some money.  If it needs something from the dealership (parts or proprietary software use) they'll let you know.

I agree with this but sometimes it's hard to find a good independent mechanic. Make sure they are certified in your type of vehicle. Word of mouth is good if he has a good reputation it will be on the internet reviews. If you have a warranty you may be required to take it to the dealer or one certified by your warranty company. I had 2 BMW dealers misdiagnose a problem 4 times and my independent BMW guy found it the first try.

Edited by rodheadlee
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From the title, for a moment, I thought this OP was going to be using the principle of ¨You don´t go to Chevy to learn about Fords,¨ but with a recent thread about if the LDS Church did not exist any more what religion you would consider, to make for an interesting discussion. But no, it´s actually just car maintenance...

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Excellent question!

First, never buy a Ford.

Only buy Hondas but not the newer models.

The repair ratio, MPG, safety, reliability are better than Ford's.

I'd also suggest buying older models with fewer electronics, as that also leads to fewer repairs.

Now if you really want to save money, buy a Honda that qualifies for historic license plates.

Lower car insurance, better mileage, fewer repairs, and the drivers of newer models let you into the lane you want during traffic since they dont want your historic car to nudge their newer car

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If you are paying for it (not recall or warranty work), work should be done by:

1. You  -- For the price of watching You Tube videos, some tools, and maybe a repair manual - you can do LOTS of things yourself.  Give it a try!   To tools you buy you get to keep forever!  You can borrow the rest from Autozone.   Fluids, filters, struts, shocks, ball joints, control arms, blower motors, radiators, motor mounts, thermostats, hoses, belts, alternators, starters, gaskets, O2 sensors, ignition coils, spark systems, power steering systems, tie rod ends, brakes,  etc...   I have done thousands of dollars or work to my families cars for probably 10% of what it would have cost at a car shop.  It pays off.  It's funner if you have a friend to work with.

2. Independent Mechanics  --  Look for shops that have been around for a long time that have long tenured mechanics.  They know cars and you know who is working on your vehicle.  Even an expensive one is OK if you can trust them.

3. Dealers  --  There are good dealerships out there who are genuinely concerned about the people who entrust them to diagnose and repair their cars.  My daughter drove back West to college last month and was suddenly dragging part of the plastic undercarriage on the road.   They went to a dealer in nowhere Nebraska where a nice young man put the car up on the lift, put in a new bolt, and got her back on her way for free.  I was exceptionally grateful that they took care of her that way.  However, far too many dealer service centers are an extension of the Sales and Finance departments in that they will do most anything to increase profits.  They traditionally have very  young mechanics, have the most expensive part prices, highest labor charges, pay their mechanics peanuts in comparison to the labor charges, fight you on most any warranty repair, and if you have a bad experience with them they really don't care.

 

Regular maintenance, changing ALL fluids on time, and even some proactive replacement parts will take you a LONG way.

 

 

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On 5/26/2019 at 7:31 AM, Sunday21 said:

Dear @Calm

I found in going to the dealer that there were many, Ford! , recalls and special fixes that I was unaware of. The 2013 Ford Focus has a clutch problem for example. I had no information from Ford on this.

Hi, Sunday.

Any time you buy a car, you should always look up the make and model at the manufacturer's website for recalls.  But be careful.  They will often use the recalls as a loss leader.  They will try to sell you other stuff that you don't need.  I'd be very leery of anything they try to tell you that you need if it will cost money.

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