• Last modified 695 days ago (July 25, 2019)


Safety is a concern for car dealerships

Staff writer

Car dealerships have their own priorities before a used vehicle rolls off the lot, said Randy Hagen, co-owner and office manager at Hillsboro Ford.

“Most customers are fairly knowledgeable, but we just don’t want to see them have any problems,” he said. “There’s always something with the possibility of happening.”

While a thorough examination includes cosmetic details like shampooing a vehicle’s interior, safety always comes first, said Eldon Kaiser Midway Motors’ service manager.

“Safety is always one item where you’re concerned,” he said. “We always want to note that depending on how they sell the car up front. If it’s a high-mileage car they’ll note that it’s older and might need a brake job or new set of tires.”

The smaller details, like a car window motor, sometimes take a backseat if there are numerous larger issues to be fixed, Kaiser said.

“We’ll make the list and the general manager usually makes that call,” he said. “If a car has other issues, the window might be further down, but the brakes are a higher priority. Safety is the highest priority of a vehicle vs. cosmetics. It’ll still run fine with a blown window motor, without brakes, it won’t.”

Dealership checks include the basics like brakes and air filters, but also pollen filters and cleaning the interior.

Pollen filters are often overlooked by drivers, but can make a big difference for airflow, Hagen said.

“Anything newer than five or six years probably has them,” he said. “It seems like we replace a lot of them. People will come in saying they aren’t feeling enough air out of the air conditioning, so you check the pollen filter and usually it’s plugged.”

Offering a warrantee is another important way to protect customers and businesses alike, Hagen said.

“These vehicles aren’t $2,000 or $3,000 anymore,” he said. “You’re talking $20,000 to $30,000 on some of these things.”

Last modified July 25, 2019