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Thoughts for Thursday: Where to Get Your Car Fixed – Dealership or Mechanic?

April 8, 2010 · 3 comments

in Personal Finance, Thoughts For Thursday

I am going to initiate something new called Thoughts for Thursday.  It will  be posts about anything.  Generally just what is on my mind…

So, I was driving home from the store the other day when I heard this  absolutely horrible grinding noise coming from the back of my car.  It was actually kind of embarrassing, as other drivers were  looking over at me.   The grinding noise would come and go, but I knew it was a problem that would have to be addressed the following Monday.

When thinking about where to take my car, I had to make the decision:  The dealership or a brake shop.  My car is less  than 2 years old, but has 47,000 miles, so it is out of warranty.   Therefore, I knew the repair was going to be expensive.   I cannot stand taking my car to the dealership because I always feel like I am going to get ripped off.  However, I have also tried a local mechanic and I felt like I was getting taken advantage of there too.  I felt like there was no good answer.

Also, I always wonder if my husband was the one taking the car in instead of me, would the price be cheaper and would the repairs be done faster?  If I had a ton of time on my hands, and my husband did too, I would conduct an experiment.  I would take my car to one dealership and he would take the car to another, and then we could compare the results.  Is it just a myth that women get taken advantage of and that dealerships are overpriced?  I wish I knew.

In the end, I ended up taking my car to the dealership.  I am sure I probably paid more than I could have elsewhere, but I also had another issue that needed to be dealt with and I knew the dealership  would have the parts needed for the repair.  My advice to anyone reading this is, if you have a local mechanic you trust, treat him (or her!) well and spread the word on the great service.  Just about everyone could use a good, reliable mechanic.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mom To The Power Of Three April 11, 2010 at 7:37 am

I feel the same way that women can end up paying more for repairs than men. My husband always deals with the car repairs and we like to use a small local mechanic shop. I find the big dealerships and auto shops are more expensive and less personal.

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S April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

I highly recommend buying a Jeep from the dealership on Rochester Road and then use them for service. I never saw myself as a Jeep person, but it was a great deal, I still love driving it, and everyone is comfortable and enjoys riding in it. Better yet, and I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying this, I have had no grinding, lights bells or whistles going off, malfunctions, etc and my car is now over 1.5 years and has almost 30,000 miles on it. I take in regularly for oil changes and tire rotations to the dealership and never feel like they are ripping me off and I am much happier with the quality of their service and the clean environment and how they leave my car then I was using a mechanic in a dirty garage.

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Kris April 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

I do all my tire rotations at Discount Tire for free. I love them. However, I think you need to buy your tires there first. I will come over and put a nail in your tire, they can fix it, and then you can probably weasel free rotations out of them.

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