04 May Independent Mechanics Vs. Dealerships: Who Should Work On Your BMW?
Independent Shop Means Individualized Care
One of the most common questions about owning a BMW is “Where can I get my BMW serviced besides the dealership?”. It’s a question we hear a lot and have the answer; you can take your BMW to any mechanic you want! Let’s dig into the details.
You didn’t buy a flashy motorcycle. You didn’t buy a minivan or a high profile SUV for the family. Actually, you didn’t even buy a car. When you stepped onto the dealer’s lot that day and spent hours with a sales person, pouring over every little upgrade option and add-on you knew you had to have….you made an investment.
That’s how we feel about imports like BMWs, Mercedes, and Minis. That’s why we’re here to dispel the myth that you should remain loyal to the dealership for maintenance, regardless of warranty.
The bottom line is the dealership is almost always more expensive than an independent mechanic when it comes to repairing your car!
We understand the initial hesitation; you want to make sure your new baby only gets the very best treatment, and it makes sense to you that the dealer would know exactly what that is every time. However, one thing you should always keep top of mind is that the dealership’s loyalty remains with the brand’s bank account.
From the showroom to the service bay, the dealership is intent on selling. They feel fine about selling to you at a markup when they can because of the vast overhead involved in their daily operations. This means they exploit the trusting relationship you forged with them the day you bought your car and use it to their advantage.
Sadly, this is a story we’ve heard more than once from new clients, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you come to Shores Automotive first. This is where the second part of the question comes into play, “Should I service my BMW at the dealership?”, the quick answer to that is also no!
Let’s take a look at three big reasons to go with an independent shop for all those specialized needs for your BMW or Mercedes.
Okay, so you knew what you were getting into when you went shopping. You were ready to spend the extra money, up front, for precision manufacturing.
For many people, that’s one of the main inspirations to buy a premium import – they are so well made and fine tuned, you’re never worried about it breaking down and leaving you without dependable transportation. Next time you’re on a road trip, keep a tally of how many times you see a BMW on the side of the road. Those sightings will be few and far between.
Before you leave the lot with your new car, the dealership will make every attempt to ply you with freebies that seem valuable, like free oil changes for a year. However, these things are low cost to them and present an opportunity to get you in the door for more ‘rapport building.’ Sure, take the free oil changes for the first year, but don’t feel beholden to their services after those are up.
Do a little research and be confident that reputable, independent shops, like Shores Automotive, are able to source the same OEM factory parts that were made to fit your car, straight from the brand you love.
As a tight-knit team, and a family-owned and operated business, we agree that integrity is an important core value for our shop. To us, that means we would never use our privileged access to those parts to overcharge our customers.
You Get A Smile, Not A Sell
Markups on parts and inflated labor aren’t the only things that’ll cost you some extra cash at the dealership. You think you’re just going in for some preventative maintenance, but anytime you bring your car in (for anything) sales people are alerted to chat you up. BMW, Mercedes, Mini Cooper – they all do it!
If you’ve had the vehicle for a certain amount of time, usually about 18 months, don’t be surprised if someone in a suit approaches you to find out if you’re tender for another sale. Of course, you can elect to tell them you’re not interested, but the experience is enough to make you feel vulnerable, or irritated at the least.
At Shores Automotive, we have a family dynamic that includes our customers. When you bring your car to us, we don’t have an agenda to push. The only thing you’re greeted with is a smile….and maybe a handshake from the owner – he’s always available and happy to talk to any of our customers. This has always been our practice because the only ‘opportunity’ we see is the opportunity to develop a long-term, honest and professional relationship with you.
Dealership Mechanics Lack Critical Experience
Let’s say you’ve got an older model in need of some transmission work. Before you consider taking your high-mileage baby to the dealership, there are a few things to consider about their dynamic. First of all, after you inevitably dodge their sales people, you’ll be introduced to a service liaison. The service liaison is just a fancy way of saying that they’ll be the middleman between you and your mechanic. That’s right, you won’t actually meet the person working on your car. They do this for several reasons, but mostly because there will be more than one person assigned to do the work. To them, your car is just another number and there will be multiple people that you don’t know under the hood. Then, the only person you’ll be able to talk to about the repairs is someone who doesn’t necessarily speak the language of cars.
On top of potentially encountering unanswered questions with your service liaison and trusting an unknown mechanic, also take a moment to consider how much critical experience that mechanic might be missing. Think about it this way: most of the cars that dealer’s mechanics work on are within the warranty. It’s the same if you were to hire an interior painter, you want them to have real world experience. They’re used to dealing with cars that maybe haven’t been on the road as long as yours, and therefore, don’t have the same needs. They’re just not as well versed as independent mechanics who work on a wider range of ages and conditions.
We’re proud of our small but mighty team of mechanics, and we know you’ll appreciate their level of expertise when you meet them. We also believe our state-of-the-art facility is just as good as the dealer’s. We’ve got all the latest technology to give accurate diagnostics and bring your car up to peak performance.
Plus, we keep our space streamlined for success so we can consistently provide the quickest turnaround possible. Not to mention, we run a responsible, eco-friendly shop. As a fellow human, you can feel good about bringing your car to us because we take every opportunity to recycle things like oil, batteries, and metal components.
We hope this has been helpful for anyone who’s searching for the right shop. If you like what you’ve heard about us, we’re here for any service you can imagine: maintenance inspections, oil changes, fluid services, tire rotations, filter changes, tune-ups, damages to the braking system, engine, transmission, exhaust system, steering, suspension, A/C, and more.
At Shores Automotive, we want to become your repair and maintenance shop for life. Become a part of the Shores Automotive family.
When you’re ready to set up an appointment, check out our hassle-free online scheduler right here. We look forward to getting you all fixed up!