If you’re a car owner, you usually have three choices on how your pride and joy gets serviced. The first is to do the work yourself, and the second is to get the dealer to service your car for you. The third option, of course, is to use an independent garage services company.
Each of those three options has their pros and cons. But, it might surprise you to know that getting your branded car dealer to do the work is the best idea! There was once a time where people would suggest you should just buy some workshop tools and be a DIY mechanic.
Nowadays, people seldom tell you things like that. So, why is that the best idea out of those three choices? Let me explain.
They can update your car’s ECU
All cars built since the mid-1990s have a computer “brain” called the ECU. This unit manages the smooth running of your car’s engine, among other things. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to even start your pride and joy!
Every so often, the car’s manufacturer will release an update for the software used by the ECU. Only the authorised dealer network will have access to those updates. If you service your car yourself or get a third party to do it, you’ll miss out on those updates.
But, why are ECU updates necessary? Well, many of them are “fixes” to known problems found after production. For example, they might improve fuel economy.
They are often cheaper than independent garage services
I know what you’re thinking. A dealer’s rates are going to cost more than independent places! But, it might surprise you to learn that the reverse is often true!
Dealers often lower their rates because they can afford to do so. They usually offset the discounts against the profits made by selling cars. Independent garages have no choice but to charge higher rates or they’ll go out of business.
For instance, check out the latest Citroen servicing offers. Have you seen how cheap they are?
You’ll increase the value of your car
Yes, you might save money by servicing your car at home or getting an independent garage to do it. But, the money you save is far less than the decreased value of your car!
Today’s car buyers scrutinise the service history that comes with each vehicle for sale. They are happy to pay more money for a full dealer service history than one where the car got serviced by many people.
Is it worth saving the money to get a cheaper garage to work on your car? Not if you want to get the best resale value for your car!
Genuine parts get used
Last, but not least, there is one thing you might not think about. But, it’s a fact that could come back to haunt you! Let me give you an example. I once had to have the steering rack changed on my car three times!
The first two times was from an independent garage. The third time was from the dealer. There was nothing wrong with the way the rack got fitted on all three occasions. The only difference was the part.
With the genuine part, my car ran fine and didn’t need a fourth replacement. Did I wish I went to the dealer in the first place? Yes. Did I wish the genuine steering rack got used? Yes!