You've seen these myths portrayed in movies and t.v. shows. You've heard them via radio advertisements from other shops and dealerships. You may have even heard friends/family use these myths as explanations as to why the automotive industry is one of the most distrusted professions around. The myths have always been around and they are well known, but how much is known about the realities that debunk these myths?
Myth #1 - Independent Repair shops want to rip you off.
Reality - The automotive business has become more about building lasting relationships than just about repairing your vehicle. Most of those affiliated with the automotive business are good, honest and hardworking individuals who follow the golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". They have no interest in stealing from their customers or defrauding them and work hard to avoid the repercussions of that type of appearance. A bad reputation travels quickly and damages the integrity that most business owners and staff try to uphold.
Myth #2 - The Dealership can do it better.
Reality - Many assume that a dealership is a better option for service and repairs on their vehicle, simply because they are affiliated with the brand of vehicle. There is also the common misconception that the dealership will always provide better mechanics, better parts, more advanced equipment and better customer service than any independent shop could offer. This theory couldn't be further from the truth. Dealerships are businesses just like any other, many are franchised as well, so the service can vary from great to lackluster depending on location. In an independent shop, just like at the dealership, you will find mechanics who range in skill, experience and dedication. The parts used at an independent shop can come from many different suppliers and are equal to the quality used at the dealership. The staff is committed to doing repairs right the first time and providing the best service possible.
Myth #3 - Having service completed at an Independent Shop will void the Manufacturer's Warranty.
Reality - Warranties are only voided out if the services are not completed on time according to the vehicle's Factory Scheduled Maintenance guide provided by the manufacturer. You can find this guide in the owner's manual for your vehicle. By law, vehicle manufacturers cannot force consumers to have their vehicles serviced and repaired at the dealership, nor can they threaten to void the warranty if the consumer takes their car to an independent shop to be serviced. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prevents the manufacturer from doing this, you can read more here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance.
Myth #4 - Independent Repair shops are dirty, staffed by uneducated and womanizing men.
Reality - The automotive industry has evolved in the past few decades. Gone are the stereotypical repair shops manned by the depiction of an uneducated mechanic covered head to toe in grease. Television and movies have portrayed the independent shop as a seedy and rundown type of place, filthy, and staffed with men with bad attitudes. In reality, you can expect the same type of professionalism and cleanliness in an independent shop that you would see portrayed in dealerships or any other professional business. The front desk is staffed with educated men and women (gasp!) that act as the liaison and interpreter between you and the mechanic. Waiting rooms are generally clean and offer entertainment and comforts via magazines, television, toys for the little ones, beverages, snacks and sometimes even wifi. The modern day mechanic is far from the earlier depiction as well, they've invested many hours in training, certifications and mentoring and have invested tens of thousands of dollars in high quality tools and equipment in order to master their trade.
In a nutshell, independent repair shops are a refreshing alternative to dealerships or inexperienced Tire/Muffler/Lube shops. We, at 0500 Mechanics, are a full service repair shop and can do anything from basic oil changes to engine/transmission replacements. We believe in using the highest quality products at the most affordable prices and strive to provide our customers with the best services.