Is there a benefit to me taking my vehicle to a dealership for service?

Is there a benefit to me taking my vehicle to a dealership for service?

I bought my car in February 2010 at a local dealership, and it was the first time I’ve ever bought a brand new car! One of the big benefits of buying new was the security and reliability; we liked the idea that there would be a warranty if something went wrong. However, since we’ve had the car we’ve mostly had it serviced (and really, I mean we’ve had the oil changed) at a variety of places according to what was convenient at the time, since oil changes are regular maintenance and are not covered under the warranty. For a while the dealership left me messages saying I was due for a scheduled tune-up (at 10,000 miles, for example), but I never paid attention and they’ve stopped calling. My question is twofold: 1) What were those calls about? Am I missing out on something-perhaps services covered by my warranty-by taking my car elsewhere? And 2) If there is a benefit to me in taking it to the dealership, is it too late for me to take advantage of it, since I’ve been an absentee for so long? (Obviously you don’t have my warranty in front of you, but I am wondering about standard practice.) Thanks. I have a lot to learn about cars, so I am grateful for your program!


Danielle ParksDanielle Parks writes:

That dealer probably does what we do, call and remind by month and mileage of ownership to let customers know about recommended maintenance. There is also a chance they are contacting you about possible warranty recalls, etc. Most likely they would have record of the calls and could tell you what the contact was pertaining to.

It’s never too late to return to the dealership!

Some of the benefits of servicing thru dealership:

* OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, such as filters and correct oil, will be used.

* Dealer will check recalls and updates that may be on file with your manufacturer. This could be done with a call to your dealer with your VIN information also.

* Since the vehicle is under warranty, if a Multi point inspection is performed while servicing, a dealer can address any maintenance or warranty issues—also because they specialize in one brand/product they are more familiar with any trends they are noticing on specific models so they can be sure and check for you to recommend any maintenance that will solve the problem or address an issue before your warranty expires.

* If your maintenance is done with your dealer handling any warranty, they will also have a record of your maintenance if it was ever needed to reference for a warranty or slightly out of warranty issue.

You might want to contact your dealership and find out what their hours and options are for appointments. They may be able to accommodate you just as the quick lube places are able to do. You would be surprised at the conversations I have had with long time Darling’s customers that had no idea we are open on Saturdays!