With profit margins shrinking, auto repair facilities have been looking for ways to increase the profit potential of their service departments. Unfortunately, many of their offers benefit the dealership more than the car owner. One good question to research is whether your dealer’s maintenance schedule matches the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
Car owners often assume that the dealer continues to speak for the car manufacturer after the purchase, but that kind of blind trust creates a tempting opportunity for dealers to accelerate the maintenance schedule and increase their profits by replacing parts that are still working well.
Another common technique of car dealerships is to sell you protection that you don’t really need. There are several variations on this maneuver. Many car dealerships offer additional rust-proofing undercoating that can cost the buyer over $1000 or paint sealant that gives a lasting shine. The fact is that such protection is simply unnecessary because of the quality of paint used on most new cars. Regular washing and waxing is a better way to take care of your car’s paint job.
Fabric protection seems like a relative bargain at around $100, but not when you compare the dealer charge to the cost of the over-the-counter spray you could buy and apply yourself. In most cases, the only fabric protection you need is to clean spills promptly.
If yours is an upscale vehicle, police and insurers recommend VIN etching because it deters potential car thieves. VIN etching makes it much more difficult for thieves to dispose of a stolen car, and insurance companies will sometimes reward their customers with lower premiums or waived deductibles if their stolen cars have this protection. However, even though this is actually a useful upgrade, dealers typically overcharge for this service, up to ten times as much as the cost of a do-it-yourself kit, and usually significantly more than a trustworthy independent garage.
Cassels Garage offers an unmatched level of customer care and personal attention. This summer, one of our customers brought in a new can of hairspray because she was unable to remove the lid. We handled that, and we’re equipped to handle even greater challenges.
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