Dealership Service Center vs. Mechanic: Which is Better?

There’s a long-standing debate when it comes to having your car serviced at an auto dealership versus taking it to a local mechanic. Some will argue that a mechanic or repair shop will be cheaper or offer better warranties. We’re here to dispel some of these myths and show that, for all intents and purposes, your dealer’s service center is a more honest, reliable, safer bet

Dealership Service: The Pros


Today’s modern cars are finely tuned, complex, and precisely engineered to very exacting tolerances. Even if you’re looking for something as simple as an oil change in Miami, you want the correct grade of oil and the right OEM oil filter for your specific make and model. 

That’s why it’s important to go to a service center that specializes in your vehicle’s make. Take our Honda service centers in South Florida. Our ASE-Certified service technicians are factory-trained to the highest Honda standards. The majority of the repairs and maintenance they perform are on Hondas, giving them an extensive knowledge of all Honda models that you won’t likely find at your local repair shop or a mechanic near you.

Good Mechanic in South Florida

The Most Advanced Equipment

Dealerships offer the latest and most advanced diagnostic and repair equipment, specifically calibrated for specific automobile brands. Moreover, dealer service technicians are specifically trained on how to operate this high-tech equipment, helping ensure that your vehicle is fixed right the first time.

Superior Warranty & Genuine OEM Parts 

You should have your car serviced and repaired at a dealership while it’s still under factory warranty since the dealer will perform the repairs at no charge. The same goes for any recalls, which are also repaired at no cost to you.

Even if your vehicle’s coverage has lapsed, you may have extra options. For instance, if your Honda factory warranty is expired, Honda dealerships back up their work with a parts-and-labor warranty that’s good at any Honda dealership nationwide. You can also purchase a Honda Care® maintenance plan, as well as extended warranty coverage.

While you can go to a car tire shop and purchase an inexpensive set of tires, dealers offer an excellent selection of OEM-quality tires and wheels at competitive prices. They also offer a large selection of genuine OEM accessories that you won’t find at a local mechanic. 

If you need a Miami tire center or parts for your Honda Ridgeline, a roof rack for your CR-V, or an accessory for another model, contact your nearest South Florida Honda Dealers for a quote.

Customer Convenience

Local car dealerships depend on repeat business and are focused on giving you the red-carpet treatment to help ensure your satisfaction. Dealer service departments offer customers spacious and clean waiting areas, with plenty of free coffee, snacks, and wide-screen TVs. Dealerships also typically offer free shuttle service, as well as loaner vehicles, in the event your car must stay longer for repairs. You may not find these customer conveniences at a local garage.

Local Auto Repair Shop

Mechanics/Repair Shops: The Cons.

Lack of Oversight

Independent repair shops answer to no one but themselves. If you get your vehicle repaired and encounter a problem due to shoddy workmanship or inferior parts, you’re at the mercy of the shop owner to resolve the issue. Good luck with that.

Lack of Expertise

Local garage mechanics work on a wide variety of cars. Even if your Miami mechanic has some experience with Hondas, for instance, they probably don’t have the same high-level training as our Honda-trained technicians in Miami do. They also may not be familiar with how to repair or service the latest Honda technology; especially when it comes to electronics and infotainment systems.

No Hybrid Car Repair Experience

If you own a hybrid car, like the Honda Accord Hybrid or Honda Insight, you don’t want to risk bringing it to a local mechanic who may not have a lot of experience repairing hybrid vehicles or EVs. A branded service center, like one at a hybrid car dealership, will have trained technicians who do have that experience.

Signs of a Bad Mechanic

Inferior Aftermarket Parts

If you take your car to a local garage, you may find that it uses aftermarket or third-party parts which are generally inferior to OEM auto parts. In some cases, you might even get refurbished or remanufactured parts that may not last as long or work as well as original OEM parts.

You can request authentic vehicle parts, but you may have to wait a while; local mechanics don’t always have a large stockroom of parts, and there are delays when placing orders. Our Honda dealerships’ auto parts stores in Miami will usually have a large inventory of OEM Honda parts readily available.

Limited Warranty

Most local repair shops will warranty their work. But the warranty may be very limited both in coverage amount and coverage length; perhaps only 90 or even 30 days.

And when it comes time to sell or trade in your vehicle to the dealership, having service records from a branded dealership carries more weight than those from a local garage.

You Get What You Pay For

Independent repair shops will argue that they charge less to service or repair your vehicle than a dealership. It all comes down to that familiar adage: “You get what you pay for.”

If you’re willing to trust your Honda to a local mechanic to save a few bucks, you may end up with a vehicle that’s worse off than it was originally. But if you want the best for your car, then take it to a certified dealership service center. They’re backed by the OEM, so if there are any problems with your car post-repair, you’re not liable to pay for the extra fixes. 

Need an honest mechanic in Miami? Say “no” to the independently run repair shops. Bring your vehicle into one of our 16 conveniently located South Florida Honda Dealers, where every customer is a VIP. Click here to schedule service and get your appointment on the books.