This is a topic that Freeman Grapevine has a lot of personal experience with. I’m sure the answer, for the most part, really is up to the individual consumer. If you think you are going to get better service from an independent garage you are going to want to get all of the facts about that establishment before you decide to let them tinker under your hood.
I’m obviously going to want to steer you to Freeman Grapevine, as I believe we have one of the best service departments in DFW. However, I know that there are a few people who choose to stay tried and true to their mechanic because they haven’t had a better experience at a dealership, in regards to service. It can happen. That’s why you should really weigh your options thoroughly before choosing either a dealer or an independent mechanic to service your vehicle.
In doing research to see who the majority of people preferred to service their vehicle, I found a great article at Edmunds.com that has some very good things to think about before you make a potentially bad decision. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Dealers do have a distinct advantage when it comes to facilities. Dealers get manufacturers’ assistance with start-up costs and equipment. They get first dibs on any of the manufacturers’ newly developed service tools, specifications and, as noted above, recall and service bulletins. That way, the manufacturer keeps the latest information on new cars and the hardware to best service them “in-house,” at least for awhile. (This translates to keeping your money in-house, as well.)
Size also matters. Dealers usually have larger facilities and that means more service bays are available to accommodate customers. This can, but doesn’t always, translate to quicker turnaround time. You may find it more difficult to get prompt service at large, busy dealerships, especially if you go in without an appointment.
Dealer facilities are often cleaner, more organized and better maintained than smaller shops. At a dealer facility, you may find a waiting room, clean bathrooms, a place to buy car accessories, even the availability of drinks, snacks and television. They may even wash your car before returning it to you. This can make the overall experience a lot more pleasurable.
So how can small repair shops compete with dealers on facilities? The short answer is: They can’t.
I thought this was an interesting section as well:
Dealer service departments have a distinct advantage when it comes to manufacturer recalls and technical service bulletins. If you’ve moved since you first bought your car, or if the manufacturer simply doesn’t have your correct address on file, you may have no clue there’s an open recall on your car. Dealers should automatically check for recalls when you come in for service.
The more I kept looking into it, I found even more reasons to use the dealership as opposed to an independent. I would be remiss not to mention, however, that smaller shops have their benefits as well. It just seems, and I know this from personal experience, that you will have more mechanics, tools and brains hard at work which will directly translate into a job well done the very first time you bring your vehicle in for service. Don’t believe me? Try me. Bring your car to Freeman Grapevine the next time you need service and I’ll prove the value you of dealing directly with the dealership in regards to service.