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Where Do You Service a Car From a Defunct Brand?

Many of us will never have to wonder where to service a car when the brand that sells it goes out of business. That’s not something you’ll have to worry about with the vast majority of vehicles sold by established brands, from Ford to Toyota to Mercedes-Benz to Lexus. But what happens if your car’s manufacturer is no longer on the market? Where do you go for servicing and parts? We have the answer.

Depends on the Brand …

Although it’s easy to think of shuttered brands as being relatively similar, there are some major differences. For example, if you happen to own a Mercury, which folded up shop only a few years ago, you should have no trouble finding parts for years to come, as most Mercury models share virtually everything with similar vehicles from Ford. The same goes for Chrysler brands Plymouth and Eagle, as well as for former General Motors brands Oldsmobile, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn.

With that said, the situation can get tricky if your defunct brand doesn’t have an existing partner automaker. For instance, in just a few years, it may become challenging to find parts for many Saab vehicles. Likewise, Suzuki parts and servicing may become more and more difficult to seek out as the remaining models age.

Still, just about any competent mechanic should be able to work on most of the cars we’ve named because each of the brands is relatively recent, meaning there should still be access to parts and technological knowledge for making repairs.

… and the Age of the Car

Things get a little trickier as you consider older vehicles. French automaker Peugeot only sold cars in the U.S. until 1991. If you want to fix one, you can’t exactly go down to the local Peugeot dealer. It’s the same story to service a car from Alfa Romeo, which offered vehicles in the U.S. until 1995.

So how do you service those models? Although some adventurous mechanics might be up for the job, your best bet is to find a specialist in your area who can fix and repair the type of car you have. If you live in a big city, there’s usually at least one specialist capable of handling brands such as Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Triumph and others. If you live in a more rural area, though, you may have to perform the work yourself or ship the car elsewhere if you suffer a breakdown.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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