I realize that statement was made some time ago . I use the Volvo Dealer for anything our Volvo needs so I guess we are stupid. The service department manager , she has been there for over 20 years . The 2 main Volvo trained mechanics each have years of experience and attend almost every factory update class offered.
Did you replace the A/C amplifier?
I didn’t realize saying someone is a dealer or works for one is an aspersion. But you’re better positioned to know.
Do you know a source of provable data about dealer v indpendents that isn’t anecdotal? You attempt to show my report is invalid because it’s anecdotal, with your emphasized anecdote.
Independents “can,” I suppose be as crooked as dealership owners, though I think I’d have no problem distinguishing an independent’s house from that of a dealership owner.
Stupid is a bit harsh, how about inconsistent?
Some people don’t trust their high end vehicle to the corner mechanic.
“Corner mechanic”? When were you last at an independent? Mine is in a building, on a main street, but not in the expensive “Auto Circle” area. He employs three mechanics, and he and his partner are hands-on. The shop has two lifts, shelves of parts, large tool carts. It is kept very clean; it’s his property, he treats it as such. The front office has computers for records and research. When they didn’t have a part my car needed, they made a call, and in less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered, a parts store driver dropped off the part.
Somehow, he manages to always charge meaningfully less than the dealer asks. Probably because he has no fancy waiting room with leather chairs and “free” coffee–there are plain metal chairs in the office, comfortable enough; no huge TV and surround sound–a small one and good selection of auto magazines; no service writers (no one to get between the customers and the people who will do the repairs); no advertising costs, word-of-mouth keeps him more than busy, while the dealer’s ads are on TV, emails, the newspapers; no “free” car wash; no sales department; no crew of cleaners vacuuming the waiting area, washing 10-stall bathrooms and huge display windows; no salespeople, no showroom, no lot full of unsold cars; no high salaries to himself and managers (no managers); i.e. no enormous overhead cost to pass on to customers. Virtually only what’s essential to repairing autos.
To be clear: Not every independent is skilled, honest, doesn’t pad bills. Nor is every dealer untrustworthy. (Though there must be a reason car salesmen are always at or next to the bottom of surveys of professions people don’t trust.) But, the odds of getting good, honest repairs, at reasonable cost, from an independent are excellent. Consumer Reports, and other respected auto blogs and pubs, suggest considering using independents, especially post-warranty.
Everything is anecdotal, I hope I didn’t post this before: Some of the gauge lights on my '94 Lexus LS400 went dark. I took it to the dealer for, I thought, new light bulbs. The service manager said the cluster was fiber optics and there was no way to fix dead lights. It would have to be replaced, $1500 for the cluster, plus about $200 labor (this was in a while ago’s dollars).
A friend told me of an independent Toyota/Lexus shop he’d had good experiences with. I went there, was told there’s a company in a city an hour from here which repairs Lexus instrument clusters. He’d remove it, send it to them for repair, when it was returned to him, he’d reinstall it. I drove without speedometer, etc, for about a week. Then the independent reinstalled the cluster. The cost was a bit less than $600, including payment to the company that had repaired it, two-way shipping, and the labor of the indie to remove and replace it. I’ve used him ever since. That dealership changed hands, but things tend not to change; years later, when I brought my newer Lexus there for a “special oil change sale,” the service writer lied to me and charged much more than the “sale” price. Your experience with indies may differ. Especially if you don’t research them. Or seek corner mechanics.
You have faith and respect for your repair facility, what was the outcome for the air conditioning complaint?
I became ill. Then the pandemic hit and I followed lockdown rules, still in effect in my state, driving only about 30 highway miles a week to keep the battery up and fluids flowing. The A/C problem, which still exists, fell in urgency. There are other things that have been neglected and must be attended to first when I think it’s safe to resume “normal” life. I have full confidence that when I bring it to my preferred shop they will find the cause and fix it. In 20 years, they always have. I’ll post when it’s done.