Most of us know that new cars start to lose their value as soon as we drive off the lot. Nevertheless, for the past seven years, we have been buying them en masse because recession-related cutbacks in new car production led to a glut of available lightly-used vehicles. Thankfully, experts agree that is about to change. In fact, The Washington Post reports, “Forecasts show that (new) car sales are expected to plateau or decline over the next several years.” And none too soon, since one of the drawbacks of owning a new car in America is that we have been led to believe we have no choice but to use dealership service centers for maintenance and repairs. Have you been duped by any of the following dealership service center myths?
Dealership Service Center Myths Debunked
Myth #1: Using an outside mechanic could void your warranty
If you own a car, you understand how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. But must you take your vehicle to the dealer for service? And, if you turn elsewhere for routine maintenance and repairs, can a dealer refuse to honor the new car warranty?
Fact: You can have your car serviced and repaired anywhere you want. Just keep your records.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says no. It is illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed elsewhere. This type of work includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads, and inspections. Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year. Note that the best source of information about routine scheduled maintenance appears in your owner’s manual.
Myth #2 Using ‘aftermarket’ or recycled parts will void your warranty.
Fact: Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. However, the manufacturer or dealer can require owners and their mechanics to use select parts. That is, if those parts are provided free of charge under the warranty.
The exception is if the aftermarket or recycled part itself was defective or wasn’t installed correctly. Also, it must have led to damage to another part also covered under the warranty. In this case, the manufacturer or dealer have the right to deny coverage for the secondary part and could charge you for associated repairs. According to the FTC, the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.
Myth #3 Dealerships are the only facilities that can keep accurate service records
Fact: While most dealerships keep your service records, the same is true of most independent shops.
For example, Genesis Automotive keeps records of service done on our customer’s cars. We can even access CarFax.com to compile repair records done at other repair centers or dealership repair centers. In fact, with the availability of easy online programs that maintain and update service records, car owners have the ability keep their own service records. This is particularly important in the event of a resale of the vehicle.
About Genesis Automotive
Whether you own a new or used car, if you live in the San Gabriel Valley, the best place to bring your car for repair in Covina is Genesis Automotive Repair. We serve the communities of Azusa, City of Industry, Covina, Glendora, Irwindale, La Puente, La Verne, Monrovia, San Dimas, Walnut, and West Covina…to name a few. Established by owner/master mechanic Carl Walker and a former partner, Genesis offers honest and dependable automotive repair and maintenance services, which is a far cry from how many profit-focused dealer service centers treat their customers.