Today’s show highlighted the advantages of visiting a franchise auto dealer for service repairs.

While the intent of the show was not to influence listener’s to patronize any particular dealer or type of facility, it was to discuss many of the perceptions about franchise dealers and independent repair facilities.

Many of my listener’s and close friends have challenged me on the economic disadvantages associated with having their vehicles serviced by the “dealer” compared to “their mechanic”. I invited my “insider’s” from both worlds, dealer and independent and the franchise dealer accepted the invitation to field the listener’s calls, in hopes of dispelling, what he called “misconceptions”, about franchise dealers.

We had TJ Toreno, Operations Manager, for Curry Honda, in the studio discussing maintenance, repairs and vehicle upkeep from a dealer’s perspective. TJ shared with the listener’s “behind the scenes” details about service technician training, specialized tools and Honda specific diagnostic equipment the add to the efficiency with which the dealer is able to maintain and repair Honda vehicles. TJ also spoke about the dealer amenities, not only Curry Honda, but most franchise dealers today and a caller challenged him on how the dealers can boast competitive pricing when the “overhead” is so much more than the independent repair facilities. TJ explained that the dealer operates much like many of the “big box” wholesale warehouses all around town, they deal in volume. TJ explained that Curry Honda’s philosophy is to “service more vehicles, at a smaller profit to remain competitive with smaller independent shops.” He also stated and I’m paraphrasing here, that the efficiency of manufacturer trained technicians and the latest diagnostic tools, allows the franchise dealer to diagnose and repair vehicles more efficiently than a non-franchise repair shop.

While I will agree, that if you are diligent in your research on local repair facilities and educated about your vehicles needs, you can find cost savings when dealing with independent repair facilities. I encourage you to consider the ROI (Return on Investment) when choosing the right repair facility for you. Make sure whomever you choose has the reputation for “fixing it right” the first time and that all repairs come with a warranty. Compare the warranty with other repair facilities and compare the “total” cost of the repair: How long will it take to repair? How convenient is the location to your home or job? What provisions does the repair facility make for alternate transportation?

We also spoke about how the appearance of your vehicle can help or hurt your efforts to get the most money for car when you’re ready to trade or sell. Not only do private buyers consider cosmetics when buying a car, but so does the used car manager when determining the value of your car. Running the car through the car wash on your way to the dealer will not undo the years of neglect that you subjected the paint and interior to over the years. It’s like the analogy my dad quotes about sales people and shaving, “selling is just like shaving, if you don’t do it everyday, you’re a bum.” If you aren’t diligent about maintaining your car mechanically and the cosmetics, it will be the “bum” when its time to sell– and you can’t expect top dollar for a clunker.

I’ve included some really good links below to help maintain your “asset”.

Remember to tune in every Saturday morning from 10am to 12noon on News and Talk 1380 WAOK,, or V-103HD3 (in late-model vehicles) for everything automotive. Also send show ideas, suggestions and questions to .

Helpful links:

Consumer Reports “How to Wash Your Car”

What Engine Oil Should I Use?

Owner’s Manual Online

How Old – Dangerous- Are Your Tires?

AAA “How to Select a Repair Facility

The ROI of Vehicle Maintenance

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