As I can view this from both sides of the fence I must say that I do get a bit annoyed from time to time when I have to deal with some 'blame the aftermarket/mod' from a dealer...BUT! In my business I also have to deal with warranty claims and sometimes the stuff I see really makes me wonder how some people have even managed to stay alive this long, as they have proven with absolute certainty that natural selection is only a myth. LOL
When I start the customer/dealer relationship with a new dealer, they are not aware of my decades of experience and I do not have any ASE certification papers to throw at them so for all intents and purposes, I'm just an average Joe with just enough knowledge to annoy them and cause trouble.
It is up to me to demonstrate an understanding of vehicle systems that is worthy of their attention and respect. I can not do this by spouting off how smart I thing I am or by approaching them in an argumentative or condescending fashion. I need to listen to them first (BTW - Listening is something I had to learn how to do.
), then ask some questions that are more like the question a trained tech would ask AND
is not threatening.
I deal with numerous dealerships between my vehicles, my company vehicles and my families vehicles. Some of these dealers come to me for advise on how to install a particular mod, while others are still trying to figure out if I actually know what I'm talking about or am well read but can't tell the difference between a 9/16 wrench and a spare tire.
In all cases I treat them with the utmost respect and give them all the opportunity to do the right thing. If they lie to me (doesn't happen often, but has happened) then I tend to pull them off to the side and discuss the situation at a much higher technical level which generally results in their understanding that I caught them in a lie but am also giving them an easy out as long as they never try that approach with me again.
I have never dealt with a dealership that I could not develop a great client/dealer relationship that resulted in both of us having a good experience. I have not always been happy in the beginning, and I'm sure many of them can say the same thing, but we always work it out. The big benefit is that I do not get hassled about my mods; but rather the opposite. I am often asked a lot of questions and have even sat down with a service tech and his scan tool AND my tuner so he could witness the tuner process and I could see what a modified PCM looked like on his scan tool. The service tech has 2 political things to deal with -
1) the customer - he wants the customer happy so the customer returns with new business so he has a job and can feed his family.
2) the manufacturer - he is charged with the responsibility to repair things that are a classified as a manufacturers defect.
Your service tech has been trained to work on your vehicle. He has not been trained by all the tuner companies, all the lighting companies, all the suspension companies, etc. If you choose to modify your vehicle from the factory standard that your tech has been trained to service then you have opened the door for questions. If you take the time to answer the questions and even better, bring the technical information that fully describes the mod so the tech can look it over and familiarize himself with it, then he will be in a much better position to make an educated judgement which is more likely to be in your favor.
Like every industry, there are good an bad. Not every service tech is a good tech, but not every one is a bad tech. If you find an exceptional one, find out which donuts he likes the most.
BTW - the best techs tend to be better with machines then with people, so don't let 'your feelings' get in the way of your trucks best interests.