How to Get the Most Out of Auto Repair Shops »
Your car is a big part of your life. You need it to last, but many times getting maintenance work done at auto repair shops can br…
2519 16th Ave SWCedar Rapids, IA 52404
From Business: We at Absolute Used Cars Buy Here Pay Here work with people who have no credit, bad credit, bankruptcy or are unable to finance a vehicle due to tight money at bank…
5261 Council St NECedar Rapids, IA 52402
From Business: Meineke is your one-stop shop for all of your car care needs. Visit us today or save time by scheduling your appointment online at meineke.com. Contact us for infor…
1740 16th Ave SWCedar Rapids, IA 52404
From Business: We are the experts in transmission repair and complete car care - clutches, brakes, factory scheduled maintenance, electrical, check engine lights, radiators, overh…
815 3rd St SECedar Rapids, IA 52401
From Business: We provide free estimates for collision repair of all makes and models. We use the chief ez liner laser measuring system. We are a du-pont certified refinisher and …
120 Jacolyn Dr NWCedar Rapids, IA 52405
From Business: Welcome! B and L Transmission Inc. is a locally owned & family operated business since 1983 and have over 35 years of combined experience. We are proud to service C…
Your car is a big part of your life. You need it to last, but many times getting maintenance work done at auto repair shops can br…
You need a reliable auto repair shop you can count on when it's time to take your car in for care. Get good tips for finding the b…
Some auto repair service shops may target women as uninformed consumers they can overcharge. Find out about common scams and strat…
With regard to the Henderson complaint below...... This vehicle was towed to us on 12/28/12 because it would not start. As is our procedure, we checked the oil and closed the hood. We attempted to start it in order to experience the "no-start" condition. Upon doing so, the truck's engine backfired. We stopped further effort and pulled the truck into our shop for further diagnosis. Upon opening the hood, we found that the upper intake manifold, which is plastic, had been been shattered by the backfire. Our root cause analysis of this led us to find that the #6 and #8 plug wires were reversed. Clearly someone did this before it arrived at our shop. We also saw corrosion on the distributor and, as the Mr. Henderson notes in his complaint, recommended an intake and distributor cap/rotor replacement. Once this was done the engine started, but had a ticking noise. We did some very basic investigation to isolate the source of the noise, finding that it was from the passenger set of cylinders. To make a long story short, Mr. Henderson, his warranty insurance company and I had several conversations over the course of time indicated by Mr. Henderson. I don't dispute the length of time the vehicle was here. Once we finally had approval to tear down the cylinder head, we found the small screw fragment n the rear-most cylinder on the passenger side. This was most likely from the intake manifold being shattered. There is no other logical way for anything to have found its way into the cylinder. Even at that, it is a huge long-shot for anything to find its way into a cylinder. The item needed to be removed to prevent serious ongoing damage. To Mr. Henderson's complaint about "fixing it right the first time", we fixed the initial issues diagnosed right the first time. There was no way to predict that the manifold shattering would lead to a screw fragment in the cylinder. I can understand his frustration...we have never seen anything like this occur, either. There was also no information shared with us that someone else had previously worked on the engine to get it to run. This was the true root cause of the extra time and expense of the repair. Had the plug wires not been switched, the repair would have been limited to replacing the distributor cap and rotor...Approximately $125 including sales tax. As to the overall time frame of the repairs, my lead technician (who was working on the truck) had a significant amount of absenteeism during this period. We have dealt with that situation. Are we pleased that it took this long? Not in the least. Between his absence, the issues related to dealing with the insurance company and the difficulty reaching Mr. Henderson due to his work schedule, it all added up to a very long process. Sadly, nobody involved in this repair is satisfied and that includes us As for the total cost of the repair, it was a fair-market price for replacing a head gasket, intake manifold and distributor cap and rotor. I would recommend having the Henderson's seek out pricing to verify that. The warranty insurance company had no issue with our fee. Of the $1,149 bill the warranty company paid $910. The warranty does not cover taxes and diagnostic time. In summary, it was a difficult situation with several extenuating circumstances. I have personally learned from it and have made procedural changes, as a result. In addition, an employ was disciplined for his role in the incident. We wish the Henderson's the best of luck in the future and would welcome them back as customers.
The guys at Havlik’s Auto are friendly, knowledgeable, and provide honest reasonably priced service. I’ve had two of our vehicles serviced there and have no regrets. I requested several issues to be addressed and was told I didn’t need to be concerned about one issue. They could just have easily done the work and charged me, but did not. They use quality parts and even gave me a ride to my nearby office. I believe I have found a trusted service facility.
This is a family owned business. They know what they are taking about without the "name brand" prices. They do the job and dont' try to push extra things on you that you don't really need. They have helped me out several times in a jam, for less than places like Meineke quoted me. I would trust them with my vehicle any day of the week! I drive there from Marion when there are several places I pass by on my way.
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.