Lately it seems the majority of owners disregard using their local Porsche dealer for service and repairs fearing huge costs, but is it true? To be fair I used to be one of those owners. Lately though I am starting to see that maybe some Porsche dealer service centers aren’t that bad.
Personally I have used my local Porsche dealer to do the annual service on my car purely on their convenient location to my home. I always felt I had been paying a bit more for convenience.
It wasn’t till recently I realized I was paying the same for my annual service as some other owners in the area have been paying at a well-known independent shop 45 minutes away. So I was actually paying less considering the transportation cost. I found this out during candidate conversation with a fellow PCA (Porsche Club of America) member when we where discussing each of our recent service done. What was interesting was the reaction on his face when he realized we paid the same for a similar service and I went to a dealer and he supposedly was saving by going to the independent.
Enlightened by what I had discovered about the Porsche dealer verse the independent shop’s annual service cost I decided to give the dealer a chance at my needed clutch and spark plug replacement. The clutch replacement on my Porsche is labor intensive, so it required me to do my homework and shop around bit comparing the dealer verse a well-known independent in the area. The dealer quoted me a number about $700 more then the independent.
Instead of conceding that the annual service was a fluke, I called them back and asked how many hours the Porsche dealer and independent were including in their estimates. The dealer quoted 22 hours and the independent quoted 16 hours, which clearly revealed the discrepancy between quotes. It turned out the dealer was quoting removing the entire engine and transmission to complete the job, which is the manufacturers suggested safe method, where the independent was quoting a commonly known acceptable work around by only removing the transmission. My next call was to the dealer to see if they could complete the job in using the same method as the independent reducing the hours and thereby the cost, which they said they could do it but explained the dangers to the vehicle and why the manufacturer suggested removing the entire engine and transmission.
So between the Porsche dealers’ service repair and the independent mechanics quotes, they really weren’t that far off in cost just method. One last note about my experience, the Porsche dealer offered me a loaner where the independent did not.
The above scenario is not always true with every Porsche repair or service, but I think the moral of the story is that it pays to shop around and to include your local dealer in your search.