3 Repairs You Should Leave to Dealership Service Departments

25 October 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Fixing any significant problem on your vehicle can require some hefty decision-making. One of the first choices you'll need to make is where to take the car for a complete diagnosis and repair. For most people, this stage means choosing between an independent garage and a dealership service department.

Dealerships can sometimes charge higher labor prices, and they may require a farther drive, but there are numerous advantages to taking this route. While it may make sense to save some money and go with an independent garage for certain repairs, you should usually leave these three fixes to specialized dealer service departments.

1. Electronics or Computer Issues

Modern cars are rife with electronics and computerized equipment. Electrical failures can sometimes stop a car completely because modern engines cannot operate efficiently (or at all) without a functional ECU. These parts also tend to be highly specialized, with many differences from manufacturer to manufacturer.

If your car is experiencing a fault with its electronic equipment, it's often best to rely on the experts at a dealership to locate and repair the problem. These technicians will have more experience with the unique components in your car, allowing them to track down the issue much more quickly. Dealerships may also have better access to replacement parts, which typically don't have aftermarket alternatives.

2. Recalls

Manufacturers issue recalls due to severe safety issues. These recalls typically come as the result of NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) findings, although some manufacturers also issue voluntary recalls. In either case, the cost of the repair and replacement parts will be free to you, even if you have an expired warranty.

Since recalls involve repairing critical safety components, you should always have the dealer perform this work. Moreover, independent shops won't perform the repair for free, and you shouldn't expect the dealer to reimburse if you have the work done elsewhere.

3. TSB Issues

Manufacturers issue technical service bulletins (TSBs) for known problems and common issues. Unlike recalls, you aren't entitled to this work for free when outside of warranty. However, TSBs exist because these problems show up on many cars. As a result, the dealership service department will have experience diagnosing and repairing them.

If you know your car is suffering from an issue related to a TSB, it's usually a good idea to bring it into a dealership service department for auto repairs. In many cases, the TSB will help dealership technicians perform the work more quickly than an independent shop, allowing you to get back on the road with less expense.