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I've always avoided the dealership and I don't know why. Can someone please tell me why we don't just use the dealership for repairs?



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Agreed.
I can get an oil change for my 7.3 Excursion for 80 $ at my local diesel shop.
$130 at my local Ford dealership, and it's drop off only. They call you when its done.

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Dealerships have LOTS of overhead to support. The building, inventory, employee expenses, etc add up quickly. That has to be paid for. Most dealerships make their nut from the Service Department, not from selling cars.

In dealerships, EVERYONE is on commission, or some kind of sales-based compensation. The more that gets sold, the more the people doing the selling make. Even the techs have incentive to suggest services that may not be immediately necessary. Brake pads for example. There's lots of pressure to up-sell. The dealership manager is pressuring the service manager, who's pressuring the service writers, who are pressuring the techs, then pressuring the service customer for additional sales volume. The higher the sales, the more these individuals are compensated so there is tremendous pressure to charge as much as possible. Generally, these commissions or sales-based salaries aren't used in independent shops, particularly one or two-man shops. And, the indi shops don't have the tremendous overhead to support.

Like anything, the most important aspect toward purchasing services is being comfortable working with an individual that knows what he's doing. I have yacht clients I've worked with for 30+ years. And I have certain parts and supply outlets with people that I've know the same amount of time I get my materials from. These are personal relationships. Generally, these personal relationships won't develop with dealership personnel. There's too much pressure and internal back-stabbing going on because of the commission structure, so people don't stick around long.

I'm an example: I worked at a dealership in the 70's for 6 years. I began by washing cars on the lot, and after 2 years was on the line as a mechanic with 35 other guys at 100% commission. I found my niche, I was really good at what I did (I had no comebacks, my diagnostics and work ethic was exemplary, I knew how to fix cars) and I made a lot of money. But after 4 years of it, I was burned out and moved to a different deal. That evolved in to the single-man self-employed yacht gig I've been doing for 39 years since.

When I gave my notice, the dealership General Manager and owner came out and took me to his office. He was concerned that I was leaving. (I was always one of the top-3 producers of the 35 guys in the shop. He was loosing one of his top-three money-makers). I told him I was tired of being part of a team where 5 of us could fix cars, and the other 30 butchered them up to the point the customer was NOT going to be returning to us. How did these butchers benefit me? He admitted I had a point. Plus the cars themselves were pieces of ****, and had inherent problems. These were the first Volkswagen water-cooled. My niche was the Rabbit Diesel which came out in 76. I was the only guy in the shop that could time one, so I got all the cyl head and engine burn-ups. About 3-5 a week. As I said, I made a lot of money, but it was tough going.

There's some insight into dealership operations. I was there decades ago. Not much has changed.
 

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For me, the independent shop I take my truck to is about 2 miles away, does great work and they seem grateful I've brought my truck to them. They only do diesels and are reasonably priced. They do let me know about things that need attention and suggest a priority, but are never pushy about them doing them.

It seems most of the dealer shops I've been to have had the attitude that they are doing me a favor by being there because the service I'm getting is superior due to them being a Ford shop or that in the case of a couple recalls, they were the only place I could go to get it done. But there is the $$ issue addressed above.
 
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depends on what it is. front end alignment its the dealer.
 

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DIY

youtube videos are literally worth gold or US promissory notes if you are a least bit mechanically inclinded for basic vehicle maintenance
 

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ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT DEALERSHIPS.....IS THE INFORMATION COLLECTION.....AND THEN WITHOUT MY CONSENT.....USING THAT INFORMATION TO SEND MARKETING MATERIALS TO ME FROM PLACES THAT I NEVER GAVE MY INFORMATION TO.....

YOU EVER BUY A NEW OR USED VEHICLE.....OR GO TO THE DEALERSHIP FOR SERVICE.....AND THEN YOU SUDDENLY GET 30 PIECES OF NEW JUNK MAIL?....
 

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). I told him I was tired of being part of a team where 5 of us could fix cars,

There's some insight into dealership operations. I was there decades ago. Not much has changed.
That’s always been my experience too. They usually have one or two mechanics there that can actually fix something and troubleshoot, and the rest are what I call ‘techs’ that are there for a pay check.

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How about reporting your visit, mileage and location to Carfax, and this becoming a permanent part of the truck's history? Usually the definitions are vague. But something like "engine replacement" isn't.

If I were looking at a 5 year old 6.7 and saw "engine replacement" I'd look for another truck. I don't want anything that some dealer tech did an engine R&R in. I did lots of engine R&Rs at my dealership on cars under warranty (So these were new-ish year or two old cars), and I prided myself on performing the work in such a way that it was impossible to detect that anything had ever been done. The other 30 hackers did engine R&R's too, once one of those guys touched a car it was never the same again. A carfax won't tell you which caliber of tech worked on it.

In most cases the car-buying public is ignorant, and would see the carfax entry for "engine replacement" as a positive. Guys like me don't need a carfax to be able to tell an engine has been out or replaced. If I had purchased a NEW 6.7, and it needed a new engine in the first 5 years I'd be pissed. I'd be even more pissed if the carfax was discouraging potential purchasers unless I had a low enough price to offset the stigma of a new engine.

Carfax affects the potential sales value at sales time. And the dealers that get paid to report to Carfax don't tell you that they are reporting it. They get paid, you don't, but when you go to sell it, you're the one with the diminished value.
 

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I count myself as fortunate. My dealer has several very good techs that have been there for a long time. Sure the prices are a little steep. But their service is really good and they have never done me wrong. The truck is always ready when they say it will be and never had an issue return. It may help that I am in NoVA and there is a lot of trucks and a lot of competition. Plus, they have a dedicated truck facility. 250 and up go there. They work on everything up to medium duty 750s and pusher motorhomes. All that said, nearly all maintenance I do myself. Except tire rotation. I hate that.
 

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I agree with you all and I also worked at a Dealer in the 80-90s and it was a Ford dealer (Parts dept). Beginning of the diesel era, 6.9’s and the dealer, whether car or truck had massive warranty claims with Ford. That was the dealers thing then and probably still now. Bring in a vehicle for a warranty item, then the dealer telling you it’s apart and you are in need of brakes etc., next thing you know you got your warranty done and your other bill is $750 for brake job. Always an upsell and honestly depending on the mechanic your vehicle wasn’t treated like you would treat it.
Remember the 80s and 90s era was wild. And Ford made some **** cars then. Still do now. Glad I got out of stealerships!
Find a reputable local shop depending on your car or truck. Dealer is a last resort for me no matter what. Even the oil change is a rip off. Most people here work on most themselves. The mechanic who is doing your oil change is doing it so fast that when having a bad day for whatever reason, leaves an extra filter seal on block or loose drain plug. I’ve seen it all. Cars falling off lifts. Pretty funny but glad it wasn’t my car.
There is good guys out there doing work yet there is more who don’t care and are hacks.


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depends on what it is. front end alignment its the dealer.
I've had excellent luck with NTB, Merchant tire or Big O tire depending on where you live. 5 year alignment for less than 200 bucks. Get it check and adjusted when ever you need it done.
 

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I've always avoided the dealership and I don't know why. Can someone please tell me why we don't just use the dealership for repairs?



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It depends. Oil changes and other fluid changes are usually more expensive. When my Toyota Tacoma needed a valve clearance check, the Toyota dealership was actually 50% cheaper than local mechanics. I think it is best to shop around and include the dealership.
 
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