The conventional wisdom that I've always heard is that taking your car
to the dealer for repair work will cost lots more than an independent
shop. My thoughts recently are, that because of the computerized
technology used in cars today, you may come off cheaper and get a better
repair job by taking it to the dealer. Am I right about this or am I
just setting myself up to pay lots more than necessary? Would
appreciate your thoughts on this as I"m getting ready to have my Tempo
towed into a shop .
90% of the time avoid the dealer. They are great if something special
comes up (computers, recalls, waranty stuff, expert on special cars like
diesels, rotaries, etc)
For everything else: oil changes, body work, radios,tires rotation, most
engine or trans work the other guys will do.
That is not necessarily the case today. Most large dealerships
have quick lub, tire mounting services etc. that can easily
compete with the independent shops in price and they have
better trained people doing the work.
I let the dealer do the diagnosis, and I'll give them the first shot at
an estimate on the repair. For any repair that makes my checkbook feel
pain (more than a couple hundred bucks), I put the repair out for bids.
I've found that usually they're not too much higher for labor than a
chain shop, but their parts are more expensive. Their parts are also
higher quality. Once the problem has been diagnosed, don't be afraid to
call around and get a line by line comparison.
I also let the dealer do all of the regular maint items. That way I
have someone with real training and/or experience checking in on my car
every 5k miles.
I would rather have a dealer technician do the work, but if having them
do the work isn't "value added", I'll let someone else do it. You have
to evaluate each job.
On Mon, 2 Feb 2004 11:35:47 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org
(Donnie Shortpants) wrote:
Here in Flint, MI, the best known indy repair shop get $100.00 per
hour for labor! Plus, they'd rather not work on Ford products (this
is a GM town). The local Ford dealer gets $74.00 per hour for labor.
In addition, they have the best service department I've ever been in.
When I still had my 93 T-Bird, they showed me sone front suspension
work that needed doing & told me I could do it myself a lot cheaper
than they could. Can't beat that with a stick.
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Professional Shop Rat: 14,267 days in a GM plant.
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1. Any shop, dealer or independent, can be good or bad, honest or dishonest.
Find one you trust
2. The dealership technicians work on Fords all day, every day. They have
access to a network of information from Ford Motor Company and other Ford
technicians. The independents work on whatever comes through the door. Who
is better equipped to work on your Ford?
3. When the really tough problems occur, where does everyone go? The dealer.
Now why is that?
Agree 100%. Develop a relationship and stick to it.
Odds are that they don't work on ten year old Fords all day,
Odds are that they have long forgotten what the typical problems
are on a Tempo because they haven't seen many since they went out
of warranty seven years ago.
Odds are that the technician working on the OPs vehicle was still
in grade school when the OPs vehicle was built and has recieved
little if any training on it.
Independents have access to the same thing.
Yup. Who would want a one trick pony?
The shop with the best equipment, which isn't always necessarily
the dealership. Typically, the dealership is only going to have
what the OEM rams down their throat which often excludes better,
more sophisticated test and diagnostic methods.
And many times the vehicle leaves un diagnosed and un fixed, as
evidenced by a phone call I had just 20 minutes ago from my
neighbors daughter-in-law regarding a problem with a 2003 Ranger
which has so far had 9 visits to two separate Ford dealerships
for a clicking noise in the front end and 14 visits to the
selling dealership for a leaking factory tonneau cover, The
selling dealership is no longer returning their phone calls when
queried about factory technical assistance on both problems and
since CSI will not matter one iota to the second dealership,
there is no incentive to resolve the problem.
Both dealership service departments are staffed 90% by pimple
faced ASSEP students who couldn't find their asses with a road
map -because- all the seasoned technicians long ago quit in
disgust over ridiculous warranty labor policys.
So, your above statement was made before you considered the
vehicle in question, but my point remains.
Look, just because you are not -familiar- with what is available
hardly means that it doesn't exist.
Since I don't have AllData, I'll reserve comment on their
product, but since I do have Mitchell On Demand, I will point out
that virtually all information as provided is re-printed
Ford-GM-Chrysler-Etc. service manual text, complete with
I'd also point out that service publications from the OEMs almost
always come from an outside vendor, so errors DO occur regardless
of which address it is shipped from.
Well, foolish as that might be, it's a free country.
Then again, your above statement merely proves that you are on
the consumer side of the discussion and are in no position to
refute the 33 years of trade experience that I have.
No, not really.
What an absurd statement, first of all, good or bad dealer, Ford
ships them all the same essential service equipment, second, Ford
doesn't "provide" a damn thing, Ford buys it from the same
company I and any other mechanic buy equipment from, they slap a
Rotunda sticker on it, jack the price up and sell it at a profit.
Hang on...... I'm laughing so hard, I gotta piss.
Well, that pretty much blows the assurances that the dealership
is the best place to go, doesn't it?
Really? Care to explain the fact that it was an "as ordered"
option when the neighbors daughter and son-in-law and myself sat
down and speced the vehicle at the sales droids desk, the fact
that it has a big Ford oval moulded in it, and the fact that it
was on the truck when it was rolled off the transporter at the
dealership. What, you think that transporter made a stop
somewhere to get a tonneau cover fitted?
Care however you like, it's a blow molded piece of shit from the
Neil, you and I have had different experiences, I've had 15 years of
experience in the field. The original poster asked for an opinion, and I
gave mine. If you want to give your yours, go right ahead. If you want a
pissing contest, go somewhere else.
I meant go debate with someone else, not go to another newsgroup. We could
debate the pros and cons of indys and dealers all day, and still not agree,
so what would be the point? Now why would you assume I intended the worst
thing? Do you really need the language? You seem very upset. Are you like
this every time some one disagrees with your opinion?
I've got to ask one question;
Back in July, in the newsgroup alt.hvac you made one claim that
you weren't a mechanic, then in another post in the same thread,
you claimed that you'd been a mechanic for ten years.
In the imortal words...
"Wus sup wid dat?"
Curious minds and bull-shit spotters want to know. 8^)
The 10 years was a typo, and I have left the industry (in 1998). I too, did
some research. You have offered a lot of good advice to people in the past,
but do seem a bit quick tempered, then again, I know a typed message can be
misinterpreted. If I offended you, I apologize, but I make a habit of not
arguing opinions. Hopefully, you have formed yours from valuable experience,
and I would not expect you to change it because it differs from mine.
As with everything, buyer beware. You can't generalize about an
Not Ford. When my Mercury Sable was having transmission problems, I
took it to the dealership where I bought the car. They couldn't
figure out what was wrong with it and I ended up blowing through four
transmissions in about 3 months. So much for their 'network of
information'. I finally told Ford what to go do with themselves, took
it to a local tranny shop. They jumped online, found out how to solve
the problem and fixed it right the first time at less than 1/2 of what
Ford was charging.
I don't. I've learned my lesson, the dealer isn't any better than the
indie guy and the indie guy charges less.
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