I’m afraid to go to the car dealership.

I believe in maintaining my automobile. After all, it’s a lethal weapon, and I’m haunted by the seventies, when car trouble was still rampant. That used to be a regular excuse…”I can’t come, my car won’t start.” Heard that this century? Not me. It took autos longer than computers, but at this point, they’re close to foolproof. And just like a computer, beyond self-repair for most people.

And the dealer is not thrilled with this improvement in car quality, because it used to be all the profits were in service. And now that everybody shops on the Internet, it’s hard to make money on new cars. All the profit is now in used cars.

As for service…

Many people jump from the dealership as soon as their warranty expires. They believe the dealer is a rip-off. Not me. I believe the dealer knows my car intimately, he sees it every day, he knows what it needs and can troubleshoot problems. I’m a dealer guy. I’ll pay extra for peace of mind. And I never had a problem with the upsell at BMW. Then again, the repair prices there are insane. But at the Subaru dealer… Every time I go they recommend something else. And I’m a sucker because I don’t want to find myself stranded. The aggravation’s not worth it. It’s kind of like buying insurance.

I was put on notice the first time I went there. The head technician, a brilliant mechanic, told me his customers didn’t do everything he recommended. But I chalked this up to Subaru, believing the owners might be financially-challenged.

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