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8 reasons why you should choose a Toyota dealership for lease maintenance

When you chose your Toyota, you picked a brand that’s known for being dependable and reliable, and holding its value. So when it comes to service or repairs, it would be tempting to think that any shop can take care of your vehicle, because of the Toyota reputation. But, there are many differences between service at a Toyota dealership and a privately-owned service shop or chain stores that specialize in one thing, like tires or oil changes.
 
Since most people consider a car to be one of the biggest financial decisions they will make in their lifetime (second only to buying a home), it makes sense that you’d want to protect such a large investment. 
 
With your investment in mind, here are some things to consider about service at your local Toyota dealer:

New vehicles come with ToyotaCare

Every new Toyota, whether financed or leased, comes with ToyotaCare, a no cost maintenance plan which covers your normal factory scheduled maintenance (and roadside assistance) for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. This means things like your oil and filter change, tire rotation, adjusting fluid levels, and a multi-point inspection are yours free of charge. Why would you go anywhere else?

Toyota specific training

Every brand of vehicle has its unique characteristics, and Toyota is no exception. That’s why many dealer service technicians are Toyota factory-trained and certified through Toyota’s T-TEN training program, which is built on the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Education Foundation accreditation. In many cases, dealer technicians are also required to regularly complete ongoing training programs and certifications - which means that when you bring your Toyota to a dealer for service, you know that your vehicle is in the hands of highly specialized technicians who can give it the right care it needs.


Great service on your Toyota goes beyond just the items that are under your hood... Many dealers require that their service manager, service advisors, and support staff complete ongoing training programs, so they can easily help you with your Toyota’s electronics and other features.


Great service on your Toyota goes beyond just the items that are under your hood. There may be times when you need help with some of the high-tech features in your vehicle, and by visiting a dealership you have access to an entire team of people who can help. Many dealers require that their service manager, service advisors, and support staff complete ongoing training programs, so they can easily help you with your Toyota’s electronics and other features.

If you take your Toyota to an independent shop, your mechanic may not have Toyota-specific training, and that could mean their maintenance work depends on guessing or making assumptions. It’s a risk you might not want to take with your vehicle. Think of it this way: when you need help on home improvement, or you need expert medical care, would you choose a generalist, or someone who specializes in the help you need? Given the option, most people would choose a specialist, and specialists are what you’ll find when it comes to service at your Toyota dealership. No one knows your Toyota better! 

Tools of the trade

Today, vehicles are more technologically advanced than ever before: under that sleek exterior, there’s an elaborate electrical system and a computer that controls it. This means that an issue may need specialized diagnostic equipment in order to determine the problem, along with the right tools to fix it.

 

Since diagnostic equipment can be very expensive, this means that smaller, independently-owned shops don’t usually have access to it - but your local Toyota service center does. Additionally, because some parts require specially designed tools to be used in order to install or remove them, you won’t have to worry when you visit your dealer since they have all the right tools on hand. 

Genuine Toyota parts and accessories

Taking care of your service needs at a Toyota dealership means that only genuine Toyota parts are used. Remember that same dependability and reliability you had in mind when you purchased or leased your Toyota? It almost goes without saying that when your vehicle is serviced using genuine Toyota parts, sometimes called OE (Original Equipment), you’ll know that the same engineering quality went into designing and then manufacturing these parts. In fact, in many cases your Toyota dealership may offer a warranty not only on parts but also on the labor for any services or repairs they make. Be sure to ask your dealer for more details.

If you visit a local shop or chain store, they may use non-Toyota parts which can’t always guarantee the same reliability, performance, or warranty as parts made by Toyota for a Toyota can. 

Warranty coverage

Let’s consider the Toyota warranty of the vehicle itself. If you need maintenance that is covered by the Toyota warranty, then your service may come free of charge if you take it to the dealership. On the other hand, if you take your Toyota to any place besides a dealership, it’s safe to say that you’ll certainly pay for any service - even if you could have gotten it for free or discounted at the dealership. Don’t forget that trusting your vehicle to the dealer’s service department also means that your car stays under warranty; the same may not be true if your car is serviced and damaged at an independently-owned shop.

 

It’s also important to remember that even when maintenance is not covered by the vehicle’s warranty, the work itself will often be guaranteed under a repair warranty. This is a huge benefit, because a repair warranty is good at any Toyota dealership nationwide. So, if you move, take a road trip, or find yourself away from your usual dealership for any reason, you can rest assured that if a repair made by Toyota doesn’t hold, it will be fixed free of charge at any other Toyota dealer. While some independent shops may be able to offer you a warranty on service or repairs, it may not be the same coverage or offer the same length of time. Not to mention, if you find yourself out of town and need a second look, your warranty would likely be worthless elsewhere.  


Don’t forget that trusting your vehicle to the dealer’s service department also means that your car stays under warranty;


Stay aware of recalls

While they may not happen often, it’s important to know if your vehicle is associated with any Toyota recalls or technical service bulletins. Generally, Toyota sends these notices by mail, but perhaps you just moved and your address hasn’t been updated yet; at other times mail notices may get lost or not arrive to you in a timely manner.

That’s where a visit to your local Toyota dealership can help because each time you come in for service, the dealer should automatically check to see if your vehicle has any recalls associated with it. And just like repairs covered by your vehicle’s warranty, if any recall affects your vehicle, you won’t pay to have the work completed at your Toyota dealership.

Keep in mind that while some local and chain shops may have access to software that provides information on all manufacturer recalls and technical service bulletins, you’ll probably have to pay for any repairs since your Toyota warranty isn’t valid at those locations. 

Convenience

Most dealerships offer extended service hours so that you can get your Toyota taken care of when it’s most convenient for you, including nights and weekends. For simple services and routine maintenance, many stores also offer express service lanes which get you in and out as fast as possible. And in the event that you need service that will take extensive time, most dealerships offer loaner cars so that you can get back to your day while your Toyota is being repaired. 

Satisfaction

Your satisfaction is the top priority at any Toyota dealership, from the store’s employees to its owner, and all the way to Toyota’s corporate oversight. That’s why Toyota has stringent requirements in place at every store, to ensure that you get the best customer service possible, alongside expert care, no matter which Toyota dealer you visit. In some cases, you may be given a survey or other opportunity to share feedback about your service experience at the dealership.

An independent service shop may be a one person operation with only an owner/operator or a small business with just a few employees. With less oversight you may have a different experience at every visit, or even an owner who is less than willing to focus on your complete satisfaction. 

You bought your Toyota for a reason. Let's keep it that way.

Trust your Toyota to those who know it best. By bringing your Toyota to a certified Toyota Service Center, your vehicle will receive expert care from certified technicians working in state-of-the-art facilities using genuine Toyota parts. It’s the best way to keep your Toyota a Toyota.