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Have Your Vehicle Repaired At the New Vehicle Dealer, Repair Shop, or Local Mechanic

The old adage “penny-wise, pound-foolish” comes to mind when considering where to take your vehicle for routine repairs, oil changes and the like. Many consumers have often found the hard way that trying to save a few dollars by having their car, truck, SUV, Hybrid, motorcycle, or motor home repaired by a local mechanic rather than the new car dealer (e.g. Cadillac) can result in substantial costs following warranty denials after service by other than the manufacturer’s authorized dealers. All too often, the dealer or manufacturer may fault an unauthorized service center or mechanic for causing damages or other failures. The cause of the problem becomes a costly contest. Therefore, the consumer is best advised that during the new car warranty period to only have the vehicle serviced at an authorized dealer for all maintenance and repairs, even though the dealer may charge more than the local mechanic so as to avoid any disclaimers under the manufacturer’s warranty. The dealers can easily recognize after-market (non-OEM parts) and can likewise find from the manufacturer’s service history that the vehicle was repaired by unauthorized shops (e.g. Joe’s Auto or Pronto Oil Change).

I always like to share real case examples as lessons to be learned for others in the future. In this instance, a young woman had purchased a new car and while under the original manufacturer’s warranty, she would have oil changes performed by a national express oil change facility rather than at the dealership so as to save time. Unfortunately, during one of such quick services, the mechanic left the original gasket for the oil filter when replacing a new oil filter having a second gasket, thus causing a space and most all of the oil to leak from the engine during operation. Clearly, two gaskets are not better than one, and without warning the engine seized and required an entire short block replacement. After having the vehicle towed to an authorized dealer upon inspection, it was determined that it was the fault of the quick change oil service center and their own brand of oil filter was readily visible. The manufacturer denied all warranty claims for a replacement engine and the quick change service center failed to recognize its liability and even though it had substantial liability insurance, they refused to pay for the costly repairs, and thus the consumer was compelled to bring a law suit against both parties. The cost of repairs was over $5,000.00 and more than one-third the cost of her car.

In conclusion, if your car, truck, SUV, Hybrid, motorcycle, motor home or other vehicle is under warranty, then you are urged to have all maintenance and repairs performed at an authorized dealer to avoid a situation where costly warranty claims or damages could be denied or avoided by the manufacturer by reason of even simple and inexpensive maintenance being performed by others.