It has been a long and stressful two years. Many have been masking up, staying home, being responsible and safe, eagerly awaiting the time when they can go on a great adventure out on the road again.

But while it's easy to stay fit, exercise and be ready to go while at home, for our cars that normally isn't the case. Like us, our automobiles need to be on the move to keep moving. Our cars were designed to be on the go and don't like to be parked for long periods of time. Bearings can seize. Batteries get drained. The rubber bits get brittle.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

Before you book your hotel rooms or pack your tents and gear for your next road trip, the smart thing to do is to take your car for a proper check-up first. But where do you go? Some would say to just bring it to your friendly neighborhood mechanic or to a larger auto shop for a check-up. Sure, that's sound advice, but when it comes to the complexity of modern cars, the best option is to bring it to your authorized dealer's service center.

Automotive manufacturers like Ford Philippines put a premium on vehicle and customer safety by encouraging Ford owners to get their vehicles serviced, repaired, and maintained at an authorized Ford dealership. For the automotive company, there is more value and long-term benefit in taking your Ford vehicle to a Ford dealership, and we’ve outlined them below:

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

1. All the parts you need

Anyone who has ever tried to hunt down certain parts while their vehicle is being serviced by unauthorized centers will understand that it isn't an easy task.

Many “DIY” service centers do not stock parts that are specific to every vehicle; if anything, they will only have certain fast-moving consumables like air filters, spark plugs, and oil filters. Anything more specialized and it could mean spending time tracking down a suitable replacement. And speaking of replacement, the parts you get outside of a dealership are most likely not of the original or genuine variety.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

At a dealer, that isn't going to be the problem. Dealers will have parts specific to your vehicle to get you back on the road. And if a part is so specific that they do not have it, they can easily call the company headquarters to order that part, deliver it to the dealership and get you on your way.

The best part (no pun intended) is that you don't have to worry about doing that for them. You won't need to spend hours with different auto supply shops on the phone to track down a critical part you need. Everything will be sorted for you.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

That's customer service, and that's how Ford works. Important parts are kept in stock from fast-moving ones like oil filters and sparkplugs to even more complex pieces meant for fender benders and the like. Ford even has the new Motorcraft micronAir proTect Cabin Filter that is designed to be effective against all allergens, and even capable of filtering and neutralizing a variety of viruses. That's just extra peace of mind right there if you drive a Ranger or an Everest. In this pandemic, one less thing to worry about definitely counts.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

2. No diagnostic guesswork

Here's a piece of advice: if the person working on your car is wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and frequently says phrases like tignan natin (let's see) or parang ganito (it's like this) or pwede na yan (that will do), then take your car somewhere else.

A person diagnosing your car -be it a technician or a service advisor- should look clean, sound professional, and actually have the diagnostics tools at their disposal. That's the big advantage when you bring your car to a dealership rather than a third-party shop: the professionalism. You want your cars to be worked on by people who know what they're doing rather than guessing or trial and error.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

There should be no guesswork when it comes to diagnosing what is wrong with your vehicle. A technician will never just go with their gut; they will use a variety of diagnostic tools or test procedures before working on a vehicle to make sure they solve the problem the first time, every time. And before they release a vehicle, they run the tests again and go through the checklists to make sure they got it right.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

One key benefit that Ford customers get from having their vehicles serviced at a dealership is the Vehicle Report Card (VRC). Whenever a customer receives their keys after every service, the service department will give them a VRC, providing a full and comprehensive picture of the health status of their vehicle. Essentially, it's your car's Form 139 and tells you how your vehicle's important parts and systems are doing, and which ones may need to have work done and be replaced in the near future.

The last thing you want to experience on the road in a faraway is a technical problem that will have easily been spotted if the checks have been done. A “back job” is not an option at an authorized service center.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

3. Factory training and support

But really, the biggest advantage of bringing your car to the dealer for service is the training and support that the technical staff gets from the factory. Each technician gets the proper training to deal with any issues with their brand's models and have the right reference materials like service manuals to refer to if need be.

And if a problem is difficult, then they can contact the factory to help with the diagnosis and the solution. That is the kind of support they have, and no third-party shop can claim to have the same level of support and access.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

At Ford, that's exactly what they do. There is no problem that can't be solved without the right knowledge, training, and factory support provided by Ford. They even support customers with special deals like the all-in battery package which is available for owners of the Fiesta, Focus, EcoSport, Ranger, and Everest. They can enjoy the package that is already inclusive of parts and labor, and it starts at just PHP 6,300. All parts of eligible Ford vehicles covered by the promotion automatically come with a 24-month warranty.

Of course, there are many who will still insist that going to a casa is pricey versus the friendly neighborhood mechanic or a nearby auto garage. That is true; storing parts, tools, training staff, and maintaining competency has significant costs appended to them. Some would argue that other service options cost less, but there is nothing cost-effective about a back job, an avoidable mechanical problem while on the road, or hunting and waiting for parts.

Casa Maintained: Why your Ford deserves the best care image

At the end of the day, bringing your car to a dealership for service is about being sure that the job is done right the first time, every time. It's about getting your car the best care possible and -if it's still fairly new- preventing your warranty from being voided. But ultimately, it's about safety. These are the things you can expect when you bring your pride and joy to the dealer after so many months of being parked in the garage, and these kinds of advantages -and more- are what Ford vehicle owners can expect.

And as a Ford owner, you can also enjoy service offerings available at the dealership such as all-in battery packages and the Motorcraft micronAir proTect Cabin Filter to protect you and your family as you head back on the road. To make sure your Ford vehicle gets the best service, visit a Ford dealer nearest you or you can check out the Ford website at www.ford.com.ph/locate-a-dealer/ now.