The October To-Do List »
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.
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.
Great apps and resources that can help make you the master of headache-free pickups and dropoffs.
Get ready for back to school while you have the time to do it. From shopping and haircuts to dentists and auto repairs.
About three weeks ago I was involved in a collision that left my car unable to be driven. I was in Houston for the weekend, but I live in Austin. Luckily my car was covered under the manufacturer's warranty which included free towing. Upon arrival the tow truck driver recommended Expro Auto Collision and stated that I would be able to get a rental immediately. Since I had other business in Houston that required a vehicle, I decided to go with the recommendation. Upon arrival I was introduced to Sal, one of the managers, who assured me that I could in fact drive off in a rental later that day. Sal was very helpful and understanding of the situation as I was a bit panicked and scatterbrained at the moment. My last car accident was over 6 years ago and it was a horrifying accident that resulted in three cars being totaled out. Consequently I was definitely shell-shocked. Sal was extremely helpful in walking me through the claim process with my insurance company and I did in fact drive off in a rental. I had to return t Austin because I am a graduate student there, and throughout the entire process, Sal kept me updated on the status of my car. I was able to pick it up yesterday and it looks brand new. I drive a manual Mustang that has unique over the top stripes that are a dealer exclusive. My car had been previously dinged in a hit and run incident in a parking lot so there was surface damage on my rear bumper. They were able to fix this as well as an extremely reasonable cost compared to the estimates I had received from other shops. The also maintained the integrity of my stripes which extend to the lower rear bumper. In addition Mustangs have custom cores for their tires and my car had distinctive rims as well. Everything was replaced to look completely new and my car is as gorgeous as it was when I bought it. Overall I couldn't be happier with the service I received. I appreciated how the shop handled everything with the insurance company. I was even picked up from the bus stop by someone from the shop which is definitely above and beyond regular service. Throughout the entire process Sal kept me updated and even dealt with spam calling from my mom. I would definitely recommend this shop to anyone. My car was freshly washed when I picked it up which is something NONE of the Ford Dealerships in the Houston area have done for me regardless of how long they've kept my car. Definitely the best experience I could have hoped for given the circumstances!
If you are reading this post because you are searching for a body shop that is relatively cheap but yet performs reasonably good work or better without getting ripped off, then you might want to continue reading my experience with Gessner Auto Tech. First, no one has paid or asked me to write this post. I am writing because I am an extremely satisfied customer though I was very hesitant to do business with them in the beginning. Let me explain. Your first impression pulling up and weaving throw the unevenly parked cars and perhaps wreckage from previously repaired vehicles is likely to go out the same way you came in and I would have probably done just that if someone had not parked behind me. Appearance wise it is not the most upkept facility. However, if you are willing to look past the less than perfect groundskeeping, you will be glad you did. First, before I explain the extent of the damage to my car, let give you some background. I come from a long line of auto body tradesmen in my family. When I was younger my father owned a paint and body shop. To make a long story short, I understand the auto body repair business and an eye for quality. My car damage: I was hit in the passenger side door the extended damage to the front fender and lower quarter panel. The door, door post, and fender had to be replaced. Approximately 3 weeks later the repairs were completed. Again, an eye for auto body repair quality, here's what I looked for: - I looked at all the gaps between the hood, fender and door for even alignment – perfect! - I looked for a smooth open and door shut – perfect! - I looked down the side of the door and quarter panel for any uneven body work – perfect! - I looked for sand paper scratches in the paint which usually reflects improper prep work before painting – perfect! - I looked for any orange peel effects in the paint – perfect! - I checked for over-spray on parts and windows that wasn't painted - perfect! The craftsmanship and detail that went into the preparation of my car is as equally if not better than a large dealership (and of course much cheaper). I am absolutely giddy about the finished product! Without reservation nor hesitation, I can strongly recommend Gessner Auto Tech. By the way, they paid my deductible!
MY NAME IS JEFF FLEISHMAN, I LIVE IN HOUSTON TEXAS, LAST YEAR I NEEDED A BODY SHOP FOR MY HONDA CIVIC. I GOT REPAIR ESTIMATES FROM 5 DIFFERENT BODY SHOPS. I DECIDED TO GET A 6TH AND LAST ESTIMATE IT HAPPENED TO BE TOMMY ROGERS COLLISION CENTER. AT FIRST MEETING, TOMMY WAS TALKING SO FAST THAT HE SEEMED TO BE A FAST TALKING CAR SALESMAN THAT JUST WANTED TO MAKE THE SALE OR GET MY BUSINESS. HE LOOKED AT MY HONDA AND ONE THING I MUST SAY IS THAT TOMMY IS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AT HIS CRAFT HE TOOK THE TIME TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING AND ANSWERED ALL MY QUESTIONS. THEN HE LOOKED AT ALL THE ESTIMATES AND BEAT THE LOWEST REPAIR ESTIMATE I HAD!!! SAVED ME OVER $ 1500.00 DOLLARS!!! HE DID JUST WHAT HIS NAME SAYS: "GUNNED DOWN ALL THE COMPETITION. REPAIR WAS FAST AND MY CAR LOOKS LIKE I JUST DROVE IT OUT OF THE SHOWROOM FLOOR. I WAS SO PLEASED WITH THE SERVICE, I TOOK MY LITTLE BROTHERS VEHICLE FOR REPAIR. AND ONCE AGAIN TOMMY "GUNS DOWN ALL THE COMPETITION" AND SAVED MY BROTHER $ 500.00 DOLLARS (FROM THE LOWEST ESTIMATE). CAR LOOKS GREAT LIKE NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. NEEDLESS TO SAY MY BRO WAS EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE REPAIR WORK. I WILL ALWAYS GO TO TOMMY ROGERS COLLISION CENTER FOR ANY BODY WORK NEEDED AND WILL RECOMMEND TOMMY AS THE BEST BODY REPAIR SHOP IN HOUSTON TEXAS. TOMMY "GUN" ROGERS IS FAIR AND IS A MASTER AT HIS TRADE. I AM RECOMMENDING A FRIEND THAT IS IN FACT TAKING HIS VEHICLE THIS WEEK FOR A REPAIR ESTIMATE. I AM SURE THAT TOMMY ROGERS WILL BEAT ANY AND ALL REPAIR ESTIMATES ONCE AGAIN AND LIVE UP TO HIS NAME: TOMMY "GUN" ROGERS. IF ANY ONE EVER HAS (GOD FORBID) AN ACCIDENT AND NEED A GREAT BODY REPAIR SHOP GET SOME ESTIMATES AND TAKE THEM TO "TOMMY GUN" YOU WILL BE EXTREMELY SATISFIED WITH THE SERVICE AND REPAIR WORK. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS E-MAIL ME. I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT THE SERVICE I RECEIVED FROM TOMMY GUN SHOP jeff_fleishman(at)yahoo.com. TOMMY "GUN" ROGERS IS A TRUE PROFESSIONAL WILL NOT DISSAPOINT AND SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY "GUNNING DOWN ALL THE COMPETITION". KIND REGARDS AND HAVE A NICE DAY. GOD BLESS YOU ALL FROM A FELLOW HOUSTONIAN , JEFF
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.