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can you service your car at a different dealership?

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Can I buy from one dealer and go to another for service?

I've been working with a guy at one dealership and really like him. However their service shop gets HORRIBLE reviews.

I'm about to pull out and buy from the dealer that has OUTSTANDING reviews - but am having a moral crisis about it.

I've been reading here that folks are sometimes having trouble getting certain warranty work at a dealer they didn't buy from. What's the official word on this, and what has been your experience?

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asked Aug 2, 2017 in Cars and Transportation by mike

4 Answers

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Officially you can go to any Ford dealership for service (even warranty work). Or (Mercury) Lincoln service department, as far as I know.
answered Aug 2, 2017 by Webmaster
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As the Webmaster said "Officially" you can't be turned away for warranty and service work at any Ford or Lincoln dealer.Personally I would buy from where I wanted my service work done.I have worked for various dealers over the last 35 years and the last one was a LM dealer.He did not want to do any warranty work on vehicles he did not sell and would intimidate the Service personnel to discourage those customers.The service staff would have to lie to customers and tell them they were booked for months ahead or short staffed etc.The reason behind this is the dealer is reimbursed by Ford for warranty work through the Parts account and he did not want "his money" tied up because off customers who did not buy from him.Occasionally one of these visiting owners would slip through the cracks,the vehicle would be on the lift with a license plate frame from a competing dealer and the boss would drive into the service dept.Someone would be in big trouble.
answered Aug 2, 2017 by Flextatic
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I want to get my car serviced. Should I take it to the dealer it was bought from, or another mechanic's business? Why or why not?
It's a normal internal combustion engine car--not a sports or luxury car--with no aftermarket modifications.
answered Aug 2, 2017 by Mark Weinert
It depends upon:

Is the vehicle under warranty? - If so, to maintain the warranty, it is required that you go to a authorized dealer shop for repairs. If not, then there are other factors like:
What make or model is the vehicle? - A foreign automobile often needs to go to the dealer if you are interested in maintaining it with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, which the dealers don't sell to outside shops , or do, but charge a hefty amount for the courtesy.
The number and quality of shops in your area - If I live in...say Central Nevada or the Rio Grande Valley in Texas...your choices re going to be limited. If you live in  city where car ownership is paramount, then there are likely a dozen or so quality independent shops in your city if not in and around your neighborhood.
How much that you want or have to spend - A good private shop can often be 25-45% cheaper than a dealership (Some foreign shops, however, charge close to, if not what, the dealer charges and can get it due to the dealer being backlogged or not particularly good. See #5). If you are looking to save money, a private shop might be a better option.
How good is the dealership? _ I live in a town where I wouldn't let the dealer for my make of vehicle to change oil or light bulbs because they either screw it up or they overcharge the customer (Sometimes BOTH). I would (and do) take my vehicle to a local mechanic for things that I don't have the time or the equipment to do myself. However, I also use a dealership one hour away in another city to do work if/when my local guy can't fit me into his schedule.
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Can I buy car in one dealership and service in another dealership?
I'm buying my first new car and had a dealership related question. I live in San Jose. The specific car I'm looking for is available in Santa Cruz. Can I buy the car from the Santa Cruz dealer and then take it to servicing to a nearby Ford dealer in San Jose? Or do dealerships only service cars bought from their dealerships?
answered Aug 2, 2017 by silvrado
You can have the car serviced anywhere nationally. The only caveat is if you do a service contract with a specific dealer, and not a national entity.
Keep in mind that some dealers will give preferential treatment to customers who purchased there. That often boils down to nicer service loaners (if they offer them at all), first dibbs on scarce parts during recalls, etc. But not all dealers do this.

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