How to Winterize Your Car »
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
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All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
OK, this is going to be a long review, but these guys are TOTALLY worth it, so here goes. This is a no frills shop. I personally don't care if there is free coffee and ESPN on in the lobby because that means I am paying for it in my bill on the end. It is what you expect from a mechanic shop. Everyone I met or spoke to was courteous and knowledgeable and all answered my MANY questions (I drove Shane crazy with questions, even though he won't admit I did). Shane sourced the best and cheapest place for the parts I needed, and my bill was less, not more, than he quoted. Let me state we have a 2008 Ford F150 which is problematic, to say the least (Google it, god knows it's a horrible year for bugs on this truck), and none of the MANY other shops we took it to would listen when I said, "by the way, the wheel is wobbling. 5 shops (including some very big chain stores) have said it is fine , can you take a look?" Lo and behold, we had a bent axle. Potential for a dangerous accident as well as thousands of dollars in rear end damage, and they saw it and fixed it. They fixed MY screw up (I won't be washing that engine again), and did it all with a smile. Shane called me and kept me updated at every turn. That alone is priceless. Don't you hate it when the shop has your vehicle that you NEED and they say they'll call and they don't, and then you have to call them and they act like it's a inconvenience to them? Well, that didn't happen here. All in all, I LOVE these guys, and they have my business as long as they are in business and I will recommend them until I am blue in the face. I am cross posting this on Yelp and everywhere else I can find! :) Thanks to the entire team at Engine Menders/Body Menders. Much love and respect! -April Hughes
Blessed , Got our SUV XL7 Van , back today! Tim's Auto Repair, Columbia , SC Father Tim Sr. & two Sons , Tim Jr. & Justin Great family auto shop - they were knowledgeable and found a good matching transmission to replace our obsolete one. We feel they were honest and communicated openly about doing this big repair job! We had considered selling the car for salvage at one point before speaking to Tim Sr, Very reliable, & true to his words... The owner , Tim Sr,, went out of his way to pick up a transmission for us . He himself drove to Myrtle Beach 4 hrs away and found be that was a perfect match ! Unfortunately the guys at the auto parts in Myrtle Beach , SC weren't delivering a compatible transmission on our own timeline in getting back to Miami , so Tim Sr. Drove himself to pick this up and brought back himself to Columbia, SC We all live in Miami and very appreciative that he drive the 4 hrs to help us get it in time then worked all day Saturday so we could be headed back home.. We would recommend this family, owned and operated repair shop without hesitation !
About two weeks ago my fiancé and I were headed to Charleston from Charlotte to get married! Of course on the way down, my car decided to quit on us. I knew it was the transmission! We had the car towed from where we broke down to Engine Mender. We were nervous about bringing the car to a place we have never been to but we were beyond thankful that we found this place. The owners are so down to earth and friendly. The staff was very helpful and communicated with us constantly. My car took about a week to fix and when I picked it up the staff took time to go over everything with us. Having a transmission replaced is a big deal and can be stressful if you’re not familiar with the mechanics. I am so confident they did above and beyond. My car runs so smoothly now. I am so appreciative for their services and would ABSOLUTELY recommend Engine Menders to anyone in Columbia or surrounding areas.
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.