Monday, March 03, 2008

Car Dealership for Repairs

So today we decided to drop off our Ford Focus at the dealership to have the water pump repaired and the timing belt replaced. This is first time we've gone to a dealership for any major work.

We decided to do so because the difference between a dealership and a mechanic was minimal. I used the cartalk website to find 5 other mechanics. I called each one up last week and was quoted between $650 and $900 for the repairs. The dealership quoted me $700. I couldn't believe the rate was actually competitive.

I think the reason is due to the fact that there are so many dealerships around. This causes the dealership to actually try and compete for business. After people who are going to come in repairs are already Ford owners, and customer satisfaction probably plays a role.

But anyway because of the rush of cars dropped off this morning and the length of the repair, the Focus won't be ready until tomorrow. I hope nothing else is found to be wrong with the POS. We really need this car to last a few more years trouble free. This doesn't mean we wouldn't kick it to the curb if it started breaking down and costing a lot in repairs. But I'd rather sink $5k into a new used car than into this car.

So moral of the story? Call around, potentially the dealership could be the place to take your care in for repairs. I like the dealership because they have the parts on site and they are used to working solely on Fords (or whatever brand of car), versus a mechanic who has to work on many different brands of cars.


Foxie said...

In my area, the dealerships definitely aren't that great. My car ended up at the Mazda dealership to be diagnosed and repaired, and they came back with a whole list of things that were supposedly wrong and that needed to be fixed, when those items had been done a few months prior. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome mechanic who works specifically on my make and model of car, and who also is much cheaper than any other place. All in all, if they come back wanting to do more work than the car went in for, get a second opinion. Customer satisfaction or not, the dealership exists to make money.

Jim said...

I try to work on my own car as much as I can. Change the oil, check the fluids, general maintenance that I can do. When things like a tire needs work done, I'll take it off the car and go to my discount tire place and pay to have them fix or replace it and put it back on my car myself. I just don't like having to pay a mechanic for things I could do myself. I saved a ton of money buying the pads and changing my own breaks. My car is getting up there in miles and I'm going to do my own tune up replacing the spark plugs and wires as the engine is getting up there in miles. The best piece of advice though is if you don't know what you're doing, take it to someone who does. Glad the dealership actually gave you a much better price. I would have marked the parts you needed replaced with a bright colored mark so you know that they were replaced. Too many of these shops try to BS people and charge for work or parts they shouldn't have.

Regarding car values you always have to look at your costs to maintain it or what you could save by replacing it. Either side has costs but you don't want to throw good money after bad. I hope to keep my car a few more years before we start to look at going up in car value.

Angelica Emmanuel said...

See? It sure is better to have many car dealers around. Competition is better than monopoly. It gives you a wider option, and the competition among companies will benefit the consumers. That is the good side of capitalism, hehe.