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…
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…
Thi place i fine if you have terrible credit (which I do becau e of ma ive amount of tudent loan ; my D/I ratio i terrible), but you have to be careful! Make ure you're reading the fine print, and don't let them talk you into anything you don't want! They ...moreautomatically ign you up for the extended warranty, o if you don't want it, make it known throughout the proce , and be prepared to walk away if they won't take it off...no matter what they ay, you DO NOT have to take it. If you tell them you don't have any money down, they'll try to get you to ign a promi ary note for a down payment at a later date. I did not ign mine. Get everything you need for your vehicle before you leave the lot. I wa a ured I would receive a 2nd key, and I till haven't. I al o called becau e my temporary licen e plate expired and they ba ically told me I wa S.O.L, and that I had to wait on the tate to end it. I poke with their ecretary and omeone named Denni (I think he might be the bu ine manager) and he wa very rude to me. I a ked him when the information had been ent to the tate becau e I doubted they would give you a two-week window if it wa n't enough time to proce the paper work, and he refu ed to give me the date and aid I wa jumping to conclu ion . He aid they "might" have it by the end of the bu ine day, other wi e there wa nothing he could do. I will be contacting the Better Bu ine Bureau if thi become an ongoing problem. Overall, I give them 3 tar becau e they were able to get me financing. However, they have terrible follow-up cu tomer ervice (and poor cu tomer ervice in general), and their facility i a little cary to ay the lea t (it' really mall o if anyone blow up the bathroom you will mell it, and kind of eedy and dirty). If I had a friend that a ked me about their ervice I would ay, "If you can get financed through anywhere el e, don't go to thi place."view less
In July I purcha ed a 2004 Chevy Avalanche from Lakeland Car Co. Here i the tory. I actually went to the dealer hip to look at a Chevy Tahoe that they had. I howed up right at the end of the day and they were going to be clo ing in about 30 minute . I met with Kurt and ch...moreecked out the Tahoe. A I wa looking at it I happened to ee the Avalanche. Kurt had ju t bought it at the auction. He hadn't even put it online yet. I checked it out and I loved it. I told him to ell the Tahoe to omeone el e becau e I wa more intere ted in the Avalanche. He ended up holding onto the Avalanche for about a week while he attempted to find the be t price for my car that I wa trading in. Ultimately, I ended up elling my car to a private party on Craig li t the very ame morning that I bought the Avalanche. I got a great deal on it and I wa very happy with the price. Later I found 3 mall i ue with it. 1) the headlight wa loo e (broken bracket) 2) the oil pre ure gauge topped working and 3) there wa a CD jambed in the CD player. Kurt re olved all three i ue at no co t to me. Kurt worked hard at making thi deal happen I can't thank him enough. My only con tructive critici m to offer i that they could work on their communication a little better. Other than that they did an out tanding job and I would highly recommend them!view less
Ben DeKruyter wa very courteou and cu tomer friendly. I had my Toyota in for a factory recall repair and they were great at fixing the problem. A for other repaire while the quality and work i excellent they are out of line on pricing. You have far too much overhead and...more your non productive ervice people all have to be paid a well that drive up the co t of repair . I wa told I needed my radiator replace a it had leak and wa told you could do thi for a little over $1000. I declined and went to another certified repair hop and found out the exact ame radiator replacement and flu h could be done for ju t under $400 o had them do it for me. There i no way the co t of that repair hould have been over $600 higher at Toyota of Grand Rapid . I ju t cannot afford to ub idize your exce overhead. Many other Toyota owner have expre ed the ame entiment . Go back for recall item but el ware for the re t.. view less
An auto repair professional - or mechanic - is an expert at finding, evaluating and fixing a wide range of automobile problems. Mechanics are asked to quickly diagnose vehicle issues, ranging from the exterior look of a car, motorcycle, van or truck, all the way to interior problems with the engine, brakes, mufflers, gears, or anything else that may be in need of repair. Once he or she evaluates the situation, an auto repair professional will provide you with a quote, or the expected amount of money it will take to fix the problem, along with a timeframe of how long the process will take. Depending on the severity of the vehicle's issues, the time-frame of a mechanic's work can vary. Some repairs can be done instantaneously, while others involve ordering specific parts and materials, meaning they can take hours, days or even weeks before the car is completely fixed.
Auto repair professionals are typically educated through training programs and specialty schools, learning about the different ways vehicles are constructed, damaged and ultimately repaired. There are multiple subjects covered in these programs, including auto repair and maintenance, restoration of damaged parts, collision repair and electronics. Some mechanics have a wide base of knowledge for a great number of makes and models of vehicles. Others are specialized, with a concentration on just one type or brand of automobile.
Many mechanics work out of shops with other automotive experts called body shops or garages. These businesses vary in how they are owned and operated. Some are connected to auto dealerships or large auto parts stores. This type of garage is very popular, especially for vehicle owners who have a warranty on their automobile. Depending on the terms of the contract, you may be entitled to a discount through the dealer for repairs and checkups on the vehicle.
However, many auto repair businesses are operated independently of a car manufacturer or specific brand. From large chains to neighborhood-based garages, these locations are often certified by a manufacturer to perform work within a warranty or make repairs if a company recalls a product. An independent business can also earn certification through programs sponsored by a manufacturer, meaning it is licensed to sell products and make repairs on specific vehicles. Independent auto repair businesses have a reputation as being more focused on customer service than larger, dealer-backed garages.
For car owners who need a repair on their vehicle, determining the best auto repair professional to use can be an intimidating task. There are several concerns out there in terms of mechanics who overcharged unsuspecting customers or billed people for items that don't require fixing. Understanding how you can find a reliable mechanic, what issues require professional auto repair services and how you can fix some of your own car problems are all important parts of vehicle ownership.
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.