A friend needs to replace wheel bearings on a Saturn Vue. (See previous post). He is undecided as to whether bring it to the dealer at a cost of $398 per wheel, local garage at $312, or Pep Boys at $298. I suggested that he submit a post, that he would get a lot of very good feedback. No one has answered. Does anyone out there have an opinion? Thank you.
Definitely the local garage. The service will probably be about the same as the Pep Boys or the Dealer, but spend the extra $14 to get to know a real mechanic-- developing a good relationship with an independent mechanic can save you a lot of money and grief over the long term.
Good point,It is important to establish a relationship with your mechanic, I can’t think of the words to emphasize how important this is.
Take him your easy work along with the tough stuff, A solid trusting relationship with your mechanic can pay back much more than you will save getting that great strut replacement price (just for example) that the chain is offering,but the Independant just can’t match.
I do expect my Independant to keep my car clean,keep his shop clean,keep his people trained, and hire people who are mature and trustworthy, having the mechanic take my car to get his lunch (calling it a test drive) can test my tolerance.
I did work for Pep Boys, the store I worked for was not dishonest, but the experience level of both management and mechanics was low, lots of youngsters learning on your car, I was once the youngster learning on someone else’s car,at the time I didn’t realise how uncomfortable it can make a car owner.
Personally, I’d go get a local you can trust. Check out the cartalk listing in your area. Stick with that shop if you trust them.
Dealers often stick it to you because they have to, glitz and 40 employees doesn’t come cheap. The service writer behind the counter at a dealer is not salaried, he needs to sell repairs to work, so he’s looking to raise some capital off you. An independant has a greater flexibility, but he could also be just as big a schmuck as the kid at the dealer. Meet them, get to know them, or at least check out the technical reviews on cartalk and see if Tom and Ray have heard good things about them.
One of our cars got stuck about an hour from home recently. I don’t know any mechanics in the area, nor do I know anyone in that area any more. My insurer offers a free tow anywhere within 10 miles, so home was not gonna happen. They seem to have a deal with Pep Boys, so I took a chance. Pep Boys did a good job and found the fault on the first try. It turned out to be a battery with an internal short, which did not give the usual signs of a bad battery. I can’t speak for all Pep Boys, but this one seems to have their stuff together.