Managing Your Car’s Noise Pollution

Ruth Thomas
By Ruth Thomas / June 4, 2015

It won’t come as a surprise that auto maintenance and service work is typically less expensive in an independent garage than at the dealership. Independent shops have less overhead. They don’t need to pay top salaries to their mechanics. Nor are they under as much corporate pressure to generate sales and revenue. With a loyal base of repeat customers, an independent repair garage can thrive. By contrast, dealer service shops have enormous overhead and staff costs. Their facilities are larger and they often pay their auto technicians more. These costs are reflected in the prices their customers pay for auto maintenance work.

Are Dealership Mechanics Better Trained?

There’s a common fallacy in the automotive world: auto technicians who work at the dealership are better trained than local mechanics. To their credit, the dealer’s technicians receive professional training about their specific models. However, it’s important to note that most of the mechanics who work in independent garages have a wide breadth of knowledge about all popular vehicles. While a technician who works at a Toyota dealership may have received specialized training about Corollas, the local mechanic probably knows just as much from experience.

Also, a lot of auto technicians who work at dealer service shops leave their jobs in order to work in independent garages. They take their training with them.

Repairs, Maintenance, And Warranties

When you buy a new car, the warranty will often require that certain types of repairs are performed at the dealership. For example, if your transmission needs to be overhauled, you’ll probably need to have the work done at the dealer. Taking your car to a local garage may cause your warranty to become void.

Ask your dealer to clarify which type of work needs to be done at their shop and what can be performed elsewhere. Oil changes, air and fuel filter replacements, and minor maintenance work will be less costly if you have a local repair garage handle it. And chances are, the quality will be just as high.

Ways to Increase your Car Fuel Economy – Save on the High Cost of Gas

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First, make sure that you are filling your tank with the recommended fuel octane rating. If you don’t know offhand, your vehicle owner’s manual will give you that information. A lot of people automatically fill their tank with the least expensive fuel possible. While on some vehicles that is fine, others require a higher octane rating. Putting the proper grade in your car can save money on car repairs in the future.