auto repair shop, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Independent Auto Repair Facility Myths

Misconceptions regarding independent auto repair facilities are spread by films and television shows. They are then repeated by family or friends. Even though they are owned and staffed by mostly honest and hardworking people, automotive repair shops are one of the most distrusted businesses. The following discusses the most prevalent myths and how they match up with reality.

Dealership Service Superior

Many car owners assume that dealership service is superior to independent facilities because of their affiliation to the manufacturer. However, dealerships are often franchised, and the quality of work can vary greatly from location to location. For the same reason, customer service at dealerships can range from friendly to impersonal. In contrast, independent repair facilities must take pride in ownership to prosper. Their standards for quality and service must be high to remain competitive.

Dishonest Practices

Like most successful business models, automotive repair revolves around the making and keeping of long-term relationships with customers. Independent repair facilities succeed at this by building trust through providing great service at a high value consistently. This combination results in return customers and excellent word of mouth, which in turn generates new clients. For the very few who use fraudulent business practices, whether dealership or independent, modern social media will quickly mark them as untrustworthy and to be avoided. A damaged reputation is very difficult to shed.

Manufacturer’s Warranty Voided

Many believe that having an independent service facility perform the required maintenance schedule will void a vehicle’s warranty. However, a warranty can be voided only when a service is not performed at the recommended service interval as stated by the vehicle’s manufacturer in the owner’s manual. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, ensures that car makers cannot compel consumers to use the services of dealerships under threat of voiding a vehicle’s warranty.

Unprofessional Environment

TV shows often portray local garages as being dirty and staffed by foul-talking mechanics stained by grease. The reality is that this industry has matured, and independent repair facilities are proud of creating a professional environment both for their customers and staff, often equal to dealerships. Typically Wi-Fi will be available at clean waiting rooms that provide beverages, snacks, and entertainment. They employ technicians that are highly-qualified. They receive continuous training and work with modern diagnostic equipment and tools.

Last Advice

Chesapeake Import has provided automotive services to Annapolis reputable and trusted  and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.

auto repair shop, Annapolis MD
Written by Jessica Golden

Strength in Numbers

CAR FoundersIndependent auto service centers are banding together to use their combined strength to gain buying power and to help pass favorable legislation. Chesapeake Import Services was a founder of this group. The group they helped start is the Council of Automotive Repair (CAR).

Back in 2008, six Maryland shop owners created this organization: Billy Hillmuth (Hillmuth Certified Automotive with four locations in Maryland), Stephen Powell (Thoroughbred Auto Care in Laurel), Frank Eberle (Eberle Automotive in Severn), Clyde McLaughlin (Chesapeake Import Services in Annapolis), Walt Eger (Walt Eger’s Service Center in Severn), and Lewis Schnauble (Schnauble Automotive in Westminster).

  • CAR was created to give a collective voice the chance to speak on behalf of the many independent shops in the Maryland-Delaware area.
  • These seven successful shop owners knew each other through WMDA, and all were mired by typical dilemmas facing independent repair shops: rising parts and equipment prices; expensive training costs; and legislation affecting their operations.

Since WMDA heavily focused on service stations, they decided it would be beneficial to start a similar group focused on auto care.

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