Secrets Of A Dealer Service Department

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They say the top two human fears are public speaking and death, in that order.
Some might say number three is what we will talk about today.
Taking your vehicle to the dealership service department.
We have all been there, suffered through the constant upselling and seemingly unnecessary repairs forced down your throat.
Fear no more.
I am going to let you in on some secrets they never want you to know.
1.
When your vehicle is under "bumper to bumper" warranty.
Most manufacturers offer bumper to bumper coverage these days.
Common time frames are 3 years/36k miles whichever comes first.
The most common mistake people make when they buy a new car is not taking full advantage of this benefit.
When you are under this coverage, every little problem that occurs with your vehicle is taken care of free of charge.
So if you hear any type of squeak/squeal, clunk/rattle bring it to the dealer and have them look at it.
Go in there with a long list of everything you think is wrong with the car.
They are obligated to listen and determine what the problems are, regardless if they want to or not.
Additionally most dealership service reps are graded on how well the warranty customers are treated and paid accordingly, so don't be afraid.
You should always ask for a loaner/rental car if the repair is to take any significant amount of time.
This is one of the benefits of buying a new car, take full advantage of it.
2.
When your vehicle is not covered under any warranty.
This may be the scariest situation to be in.
You have a problem with your car and nobody seems to know what's wrong.
Your best bet is to take it to the dealership to find the problem.
This is simply because they know your vehicle better than anybody else and can fix it right the first time.
The problem with this is that dealerships are very expensive when you have no type of warranty coverage.
Double Check Estimates The best advice I can give you is to double check estimates.
Technicians in dealerships are paid on whats called a flat rate system.
This means that every repair has a published time frame allotted for that repair.
These times are found in industry standard labor time guides (ie.
Mitchell, Chiltons guides).
So if a technician quotes 2.
5 hours for a repair, at a shop hourly labor rate of $85/hr, the labor portion of the repair would cost you $215.
50.
But how do you know it really takes 2.
5 hours to do the repair? Simple answer, you don't and it doesn't matter.
Regardless of how long it takes the technician to repair your vehicle, you will pay for 2.
5 hours, however this does work both ways.
If the repair takes the technician 4 hours to complete, you still only pay for 2.
5 hours.
The biggest thing you need to look out for in this situation is that the time you are quoted for the repair is indeed the correct time published in the labor guide I referenced above.
Ask to see for proof of the time quoted.
You can save so much money here because often technicians will over quote a job in hopes the service rep can sell it to you.
This is very common when the repair needed on your vehicle is an absolutely necessary repair in order for your vehicle to function.
Negotiate a Deal Service reps are paid a commission on the amount of labor hours they sell.
They make very little money if you don't buy the repair they recommend.
So when a service rep comes to you with the estimate of repair, ask for a discount.
They need to make that sale just as bad as you need the repair.
Point out how high the parts prices are, as they will be the most inflated prices on your repair estimate.
If the representative refuses to come down on part prices, simply tell them you will buy the parts from a cheaper source and have the dealer install them.
Most service reps will not have a problem with this as they are paid commissions on labor only, not parts.
Sometimes taking your vehicle to the dealer is unavoidable.
Make sure you use all the knowledge gained from this article to your full benefit in order to save you valuable time and money.
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