When purchasing wheels and tires online, we recommend taking them to your local independent custom wheel shop rather than the dealer for installation on your vehicle. Not only is installation at the dealer more expensive, more importantly they do not have the inclination to install wheels and tires which are not specifically OEM/Factory to your particular vehicle. Thanks to lawyers, the service, and part’s personnel at a franchised new car dealer are required to pull your VIN number and locate the exact parts that the vehicle came with and only install those parts. Frequently they will not even recognize the factory optional parts for the same vehicle. Your local custom wheel shop technician will think outside the box and lightly modify your vehicle to the proper specifications, if-needed.
Incredibly, the tire technicians at franchised new car dealers – including high-end such as Mercedes-Benz and MBW, usually are minimum wage mechanics and also not ASE-Certified. They are almost always not nearly as experienced as the tire technicians at custom wheel shops. Dealer recommendations are specifically geared to the manufacturer’s OEM specifications and not to your personalized situation. The independent shop can be creative and complete the job faster saving you money on labor hours.
At the dealer, you are at the hands of the service advisor. A service advisor is a salesman and frequently not an expert mechanic. Salespeople work on commission, so they are going to make recommendations that your vehicle may or may not require, costing you more money. We find that when our valued customers take products that they purchase from us to their dealers for installation, many times these dealers provide misinformation about our items. Dealers prefer that their customers purchase products directly from them, at higher prices. Plain and simple, they want to make a sale.
You are at the mercy of any miscommunication between the service advisor and technician. Due to the sales-driven atmosphere at the dealership, those mechanics will want to replace everything they can on your vehicle. Your local mechanic is much more likely to communicate what is necessary, what can be done in the future or not at all. This comes into play especially if you have an older vehicle.
You can enjoy more of an individualized relationship with your local custom wheel shop mechanic. You can have confidence that the work that is being performed is accurate. You’ll be provided with information that you will understand about your vehicle and the installation process. At your local custom wheel shop, you are treated more personally and are not just a number. Most of the time, you will not even meet the mechanic that is working on your vehicle at the dealer. You will not know his experience and his craft.
If you are a car enthusiast and have a classic ride an independent shop is the way to go for installation and repairs. The technicians at the dealerships are only trained for the vehicles and parts that the dealership sells.