By Jack Bulko, AutoAid
Often, consumers fall into a trap designed by car dealers and some automotive repair shops that overcharge for regularly scheduled maintenance to increase their bottom line. What is the standard rate for car maintenance, and how can you tell if you’re overpaying for it?
That’s a great question. I just had a call from a customer with a late model (2017) Audi S5 asking what a 24-month service would cost. He said the dealer quoted him over $800. My mouth dropped open. Then, I asked him what the mileage was on the vehicle; he said about 9000. Just in case you’re wondering, $800 is way out of the ballpark. It’s a tip that something is off.
My client proceeded to ask me what AutoAid would charge for the same 24-month service, and I told him about $150. He laughed; I laughed, but in reality, it was far from funny. No one likes to be taken advantage of. You can bet he didn’t get his maintenance done at the car dealership. But why the vast cost difference?
The above scenario is a case of consumer beware. The manufacturers recommend a laundry list of “checks” at various intervals along with an oil change and sometimes air and cabin filters. The various interval services recommended by the dealer are glorified oil changes. My client received the same oil change, same oil products, and filters form our service shop at AutoAid that he would have at the car dealership without the bad attitude.
I’m always amazed how often people use dealers to have their cars serviced, especially when they are still under warranty because they believe they have to take it there for maintenance. This just is not true.
However, you should be aware that many of the items on the maintenance checklist are wearable parts such as brake pads or fluids and battery replacement that need changing at various intervals, so our 36,000 mile or three-year warranty would not cover these items. Before we start any work on your car, be sure to ask us what is and isn’t covered by the AutoAid nationwide warranty. For those with more expensive repairs, we do offer an extended payment plan for any work that exceeds $299. Ask us about our AutoPass plan.
While my client was at the shop, he noticed we also provide Star Certified Smog Testing. He’s not due for that yet but will be rather soon. He seemed impressed and relieved that he could come back to us for his smog testing and certificate, one less hassle to have to deal with.
Most of all, he kept telling me how customer service at the car dealership he went to was less than desirable. “I purchased the car, and then it was like I didn’t exist,” he told me. “I come here and you guys treat me like I’m family, and that makes all the difference in the world.”
The next time you need an oil change or something more significant, no matter the year or model of the car, contact AutoAid. With us, you’ll get fair pricing, quality workmanship, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are being treated in an honest, fair, and transparent manner. You can count on it, and that’s not just us saying that. We have been awarded the AAA Auto Repair and Customer Service Award for 35+ years, and regularly earn a 100% Customer Satisfaction Evaluation score from them.
Schedule your next maintenance appointment online today or call us. We also invite you to visit our website and find out about the cars that we service, our other areas of expertise and our customer amenities.
Remember, to keep your car safe on the road you have to follow the recommended maintenance schedule. Safe driving!