After-Market Myths: Did You Hear What I Heard?

Brown  car SUV sunroof, hatch close-up

After-Market Myths and Rumors

“Did you hear what I heard? Janie got a sunroof installed in her car and it leaks all of the time! She should have just bought a car with a factory installed sunroof; then it wouldn’t have leaked! I’m never going to buy a car with a sunroof!” said rumor-believer Bob.

Have you ever heard anyone talking negatively about after-market installations? I wanted to sort out some of these rumors, so I had a talk with Marty Pelker, owner of Auto One – Lincoln Park.

According to Pelker, many of the moon roofs and sunroofs that are factory installed come from the same manufacturer that the after-market stores use. Many people don’t understand that their sunroof is not a Ford or Toyota part; the sunroof came from an outside manufacturer. Getting a moon roof or sunroof installed after-market is not a bad thing, often it can be an even better thing.

After-market Sunroofs and Moon Roofs

“Because of the demographics in our area, at our store we don’t install a lot of moon roofs, but we do spend a lot of time repairing them. Our store has become a destination to repair broken and leaky roofs. We have experts who really understand all of the moving parts, sometimes better than at the dealer – especially compared to a smaller dealer,” said Pelker.

Getting a sunroof or moon roof installed by Auto One can often payoff in the long run. According to Pelker, the warranties offered by car dealers often expire after 3 years or 36,000 miles. For an extra fee, an extended warranty can be purchased that may not even cover the moon roof. The warranties at Auto One can offer 10 years on parts and 3 years on labor to the original owner.

“I had a customer come in a while ago to get his sunroof repaired that we had installed. Unfortunately he had caused the problem by not using the roof properly. We fixed it for him at no charge. We explained how he broke it and told him if he did it again we would have to charge him. That would have never happened at the dealer, the customer would have had to pay the first time,” said Pelker.

What many customers don’t realize: the sunroof could be installed after-market – straight from the dealer! According to Pelker, often times if a customer is ready to purchase a vehicle from the dealer, but really wanted a sunroof which the vehicle doesn’t have, the dealer will send the vehicle to an outside source (such as Auto One) to have the sunroof installed. In this case, the sunroof warranty will come from the dealer.

After-market Installation Voids Warranty

“Another myth or rumor that a lot of people believe is that if they get something installed in their vehicle after-market, then the warranty from the factory is void. This is far from true. Many dealers install non factory aftermarket products. Remote starters, hitches, running boards and moon roofs, to name a few. The dealer telling you that your warranty is void is a scare tactic to get you to buy their aftermarket products. If a customer comes back to me after I’ve installed a remote starter on their vehicle and the customer said they were told of the ‘voided’ warranty by the dealership, I go to bat for the customer,” said Pelker.

When a customer comes to Pelker with a concern about their dealership warranty, Pelker calls the dealer. He wants to speak with the technician and find out directly from the source what was done after-market that affected how the vehicle operates. Often times the technician is not able to explain it.

According to Pelker, dealerships should tell their customers that if due to an aftermarket item being installed on a vehicle a problem occurs, do not expect the factory to cover the cost of repair. Instead, the shop or person installing the offending device is liable for the repair cost.

Rustproofing for Life

Many people who buy their vehicle from a car dealership often leave confused and misinformed. “One of the products we still offer is rustproofing. When we talk to customers and mention rustproofing, some tell us the factory did it, or the salesman said they didn’t need it. The truth is: the factory warranty is 5 years or 100,000 miles against a rust hole forming for the original owner. If a customer buys a one-year-old vehicle, there is no rust warranty. Salesmen often slip this past the customer by not even mentioning it. Until they start making cars out of plastic, cars will always need rustproofing,” said Pelker.


What can be done about all of the after-market myths that customers continue to believe? In Pelker’s opinion, the answer lies in education. “Many of the myths that exist today came about through the rumor mill, people believe things they hear from their friends – and things that the dealer told them. You have to educate the customer,” said Pelker.

Pelker explains to his customers that the experts at Auto One are highly trained in very specific areas. This training makes them the most qualified to perform certain installations. He makes sure customers understand that even the dealers turn to stores like his for installations and repairs.

Rumors, myths and misunderstandings have been around for years. But when we start talking to each other, we can realize what is really true. Stop by your local Auto One today and find your way out of the rumor mill.

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