If you have a vehicle, you need to perform regular maintenance on it in order to keep it healthy and prevent high repair costs in the long-term. However, car owners are faced with a tough choice when it comes to deciding where their vehicle should be serviced. Should you go to the dealership service department, or the potentially more affordable independent mechanic? We say you get what you pay for—and you should go for the dealer.
The best thing about going to the dealership for service is that they know your car. Independent mechanics aren’t trained to specialize in your make and model of car, and could make costly mistakes when working with parts they’re unfamiliar with. Dealership service technicians know the brand of your vehicle inside and out and will be more reliable in that regard.
Additionally, at a dealership service department you’re going to get factory-backed OEM parts. OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer,” which means your car is receiving replacements of the same parts it came with. Independent mechanics might use generic “aftermarket parts” that are cheaper, but often less effective.
What if you’ve already used an independent mechanic, and aren’t sure if your vehicle’s warranty still counts at the dealership service department? The good news is that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 made it so that, except in rare cases, dealers must still honor the warranty, so you are welcome to come back without judgment.