A car dealership has long been the place you go to buy a new car. Recently, car dealers have become brand outposts, offering a variety of post-sale services from manufacturer-certified mechanics and repair shops to acting as retailers of Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. Manufacturers have realized that the sale is just the beginning of a customer’s relationship with the brand and increasingly rely on car dealers to ensure a smooth ownership experience.
The Rewards of Loyalty
Manufacturers realized that buyers stay loyal to a badge as long as the brand retains its positive image. Customer loyalty is even more ingrained than it was previously, and most customers only switch brands after a negative experience. Manufacturers began to focus on ensuring that car dealers delivered a reliable, standard, uniform sales experience across product lines. Buildings, uniforms, processes, and advertising were all standardized.
Ownership doesn’t end at the showroom door. A bad experience with a car, even if it is unrelated to a manufacturer’s defect, could cost a customer for life. As a result, certified services are now offered through dealerships. Technicians must pass a series of qualifying procedures to allow them to perform work on vehicles that will be backed by the company. This ensures uniform quality and control at any branded dealership. Service performed under these conditions also preserves the vehicle’s warranties and is visible throughout the company via a universal service record. This can enhance the resale value as well as maximize the utility of the car over its service life. Additionally, any maintenance performed by certified technicians is usually warranties through the company as well, adding another layer of protection for current and future owners.
An ownership experience could also be jeopardized by the use of shoddy or knock-off parts. To encourage the highest standards of performance, car dealers structured their operations to include becoming a regional distribution hub for OEM parts. As a result, many dealerships now have extensive parts inventories for their mark, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars worth. This coordinated effort ensures that branded vehicles run at their peak engineered performance for the duration of their service lives and minimizes the risk that a customer will encounter a poor ownership experience for any reason that can be controlled by the retailer.
Many consumers are unaware of these changes and hence do not utilize them to their full advantage. Using manufacturer-certified services and parts can extend or preserve vehicle warranties. Maintenance performed by car dealers, as well as the certified technicians they employ, ensures that the vehicle continues to perform at the highest level possible. Company-issued updates, recalls, and parts all reach customers through the extensive databases maintained by service departments as well, meaning that the latest technology is available most directly to those who utilize their dealership. Taking advantage of post-sale benefits is an often-overlooked perk of brand ownership.
Posted in Repairs
If you do not take good care of your car, you are very likely going to incur great costs when you head to the auto repair shop for repairs, replacement and other maintenance needs. Your car is an important part of your life, and you should strive to ensure that you do everything possible to keep it in good shape, and in doing so, avoid expensive auto repairs. Here is what you should do:
Follow the maintenance schedule as outlined in the owner’s manual.
The manufacturer of your car includes a maintenance schedule that is to direct you on how and when to touch up your car for maintenance purposes. This schedule is your best guide as it comes from someone who understands the car properly, and all its components and the needs of every one of them.
Fix problems soon enough
Pay attention to your car so that you can detect when something is amiss. And if at all you detect something wrong, get it checked out immediately. If you allow little problems to exist without getting fixed, they will escalate into something much bigger that will not only be expensive to fix but dangerous to your safety as well.
Change fluids, filters and spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer
You might think you are saving some money by not changing these as recommended, but waiting longer than the time the manufacturer has stipulated only serves to damage your vehicle. So that in the long run you end up spending more money in getting your car repaired.
Inflate tires properly
Tires that contain too little air or too much of it are dangerous not just to your car, but your safety as well. This is because such tires are prone to excessive wear and tear which can result into a blow-out.
Consider upgrading your motor oil to a high-performance synthetic oil which will not only prevent certain problems associated with common motor oil, but improve your car’s performance as well.
Unusual noises on your car might be an indication that something is wrong, and for this reason you should check the owner’s manual to ascertain what is usual and what is unusual. If the unusual noises persist, take your car to an auto repair shop where the repair professionals can check to see what is amiss.
Avoid expensive auto repairs by driving your car carefully, so that you can minimize the chances of wrecking your vehicle, which would definitely necessitate extensive repairs. If someone borrows your car, make sure they are careful drivers and remind them to handle your vehicle well. This is especially important if you are lending your car to someone who has just started to drive.
Know what you can handle and what you cannot
If your car needs some repairs, do them only if you are sure you can adequately deal with them. Otherwise, let the auto repair shop deal with auto repair problems that are beyond your scope. Tinkering with your car when you are not sure about what needs to be done is only going to worsen the problem, and lead to expensive auto repairs.
Posted in Repairs