Replacement Parts Question: Independent Shops vs. Dealerships

Dealership OEM Parts Vs. Parts at Independent Auto repair shopsLearn about the differences between parts you get at the dealership compared to an independent auto repair shop

I have wanted to write about this for a while.  Some time ago, one of our very loyal customers was trying to recommend us to his good friend.  The friend was resistive because he always used the dealership.  The friend explained that he wanted to get OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts that the dealership uses for repairs and maintenance.  He reasoning made him believe that the dealership was simply the smarter place to go for repairs and maintenance, because “they know my car best.”

After the conversation, our customer asked us the questions too.  He trusted us, but wanted to hear how we handle the question so he can answer his friend’s questions.  The following is what we told him and others that ask the same question.

Dealership OEM Parts Vs. Parts at Independent Auto repair shopsIndependents get to choose the parts they use for your repairs

All independent auto repair shops choose where they buy the parts for your repairs and maintenance.  The issues, however, each shop chooses differently.  Some shops focus on profit margin and a cheap price, so they will choose a cheap part.

At our shop, however, we choose the best parts for your particular car and much of the time it is the exact same parts that the dealerships use.  When possible and proper, we use OEM parts for our customers’ cars, and we often have a better price than the dealership.

Additionally, we have other options that are much better for our customers.  For example, a manufacturer may recommend a particular OEM brake pad for your disc brakes.  We have found that with some cars, they don’t last as long as other after-market products available; which mean you will need new brakes more often.  Some of the after-market products greatly exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations, so we use them when it’s appropriate – the dealerships don’t.

Internet connected independent auto repair shopsWe also know your car as well as the dealership

The year is 2011 (as of the writing of this blog article).  In this well-connected Internet era, we have the exact same (sometimes better) resources and knowledge bases about your cars as the dealerships.  Additionally, we have equal equipment that allows us to diagnose and repair your car like the dealerships.  We can look up your car to see if there are any recalls, troubleshooting tips, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), wiring diagrams and just about anything you would ever need to service your car like the dealerships.  One more thing, we are also connected to tens of 1000’s of other independent auto repair shop mechanics online that share knowledge that helps us troubleshoot your car faster and with much more accuracy.

Our bottom line about dealerships?  Because of great parts that equal and exceed the OEM parts and we live in the Internet age, there is no reason to go there for your repairs or maintenance anymore.  Independents offer faster service, friendly and more personal service and we really get to know you.  Well, at least our shop does these things.