Independent Garage vs. Dealer: Where to Repair Your Vehicle (Part 1)

Independent Garage vs. Dealer

Many people are under the misconception that they must go to a car dealership for routine maintenance if their car is under warranty. This is simply not the case; in fact, in almost every situation getting routine maintenance performed on your vehicle by an independent garage will not affect your warranty. This includes tire rotations, oil changes, fluid checks, new brake pads and more. Going to your neighborhood garage also comes with the added benefits of convenience and that personal touch you just won’t get at large dealership. When considering whether to take your vehicle to a local garage or to a dealership for routine maintenance, take the following into consideration.

An important aspect in making this choice is whether a dealer can refuse to honor a warranty that came with a new car if someone else does the repair work. The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission consumer protection agency, states it’s illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance performed by someone else. You are legally entitled to shop around for the best servicing without voiding your manufacturer’s warranty, although rules may differ for extended warranties. Of course, you would not want to do anything to your car that expressly voids the warranty. For example, some warranties prohibit cosmetic changes.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for dealers or manufacturers to deem your warranty void or deny coverage under your warranty if you choose to have your vehicle serviced by someone other than the dealer. They can require you to use a certain repair facility if the repairs provided are to be free of charge under the warranty.

In our next blog, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of taking your vehicle to the dealership verses an independent full service automotive garage like Cassels Garage for your automotive repairs and routine maintenance. Hopefully this information will help you make an informed decision. Cassels Garage is a full service automotive repair facility located in and serving Melbourne, Florida. Family owned and operated, we have been serving Brevard County for more than 40 years. Call us or come on by!

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