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…
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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…
in may, 2010, i was going down to jacksonville, 220 miles away, to see my cousins and to look at a 2005 mercury in which i was interested. i needed a good unbiased expert opinion on the condition of this car, so i scoured the internet and came up with dealer diagnostic. i made an appointment with the owner. when i drove up, he was just about ready for me. they test drove the car, looked at EVERYTHING under the hood (and i chose to have an electronic analysis performed), and they even looked at the chassis and body. after a most thorough inspection, they gave the car a "thumbs up" with a warning that the rear wheel bearings, a problem with that year model, were starting to make noise. i bought the car with confidence! because i only had one key, they later arranged for me to meet their "auto key man" on the premises a couple months later on my next trip down to make me a couple more keys. i have a '98 buick lesabre, 3.8, with the GM brainchild PLASTIC PLENUM - and have already replaced it twice! i suspected another imminent replacement after i lost a lot of coolant on a night trip in august, 2010, which turned out to be the result of the bottom radiator hose separating from the radiator. i was now in a quandry: only radiator hose or radiator hose AND plenum problem? my solution: DEALER DIAGNOSTIC ... i emailed the owner telling him about my dilemma. he graciously agreed to "check it out" the next time was down if i called him. i emailed him the first week in october and made the arrangements. i called an hour prior to my arrival, and although the owner was on vacation, i was assured that i would be well taken care of. 23 minutes after i exited !-95 on pecan park road, i merged back on to I-95 with complete knowledge that i did not have a plenum problem based on the oil consistency and the reservoir level, which i did not touch since completely refilling it after the august hose separation. i was also "complimented" on not using the GM stock coolant when i replaced the plenum because of the terrible interaction between the coolant properties and the plastic plenum and plenum gaskets. i was cautioned that although i had the "right" coolant now, the intake manifold gasket may, in the future, need a look because of its exposure to GM's "magic coolant". needless to say, it is quite settling to know that "i have a friend" in the auto diagnostics business. you'd better believe that i'll gladly make the three-hour drive if my car will possibly make it! oh, yeah ... if it doesn't, i understand that they DO offer tow service. the service at dealer diagnostic is excellent, their expertise is phenomenal, and the peace of mind is priceless!
this is truly the most honest business practice i have ever run across. I had just bought a used truck and took it in to have a bit of a shimmy looked at. being a woman, i fully expected them to treat me like other businesses has in the past, as if i didn't know anything, and then try to sell me stuff i didn't need. not only did they not do that, they also pointed out that i did not need things done that i fully thought i did. the lead mechanic, dave, has got to be the most honest mechanic i have ever run across, and the owners are kind, compassionate, and care more about the customer than making a profit. and when i went there, they did not know that i used to be a truck driver, owner/operator, and know a little more than the average female. but they did not treat me a like a typical shop and try to pull the wool over my eyes to sell me stuff i didn't need. they are an increditble business in these times of so many businesses trying to rook someone just to make a buck. and of course, i would trust that mechanic dave with any equipment that i have. he really is the most awesome mechanic i have ever run across, whether semi truck or pickup truck, but to give you an idea of his expertise, the truck i just bought last week was a GMC sierra 3500 dually longbed with a duramax diesel engine and allison transmission. awesome truck, but even more awesome people to deal with when you buy a used truck!!!!!
I was sent to Ron's Auto buy a friend. I called in to ask about someone looking at my car because I could not get it to crank or turn over and my radio died at the same time. Was told buy the owner to bring it in and he would take a look for free. While there he told me how much it would cost to fix my car and then he asked about my front end. (" Which had been in need of repair for a long time. But I could not afford to do so after price checks with other places. It was just to much for a single person on a small pay check.") He told me he could look for the parts to fix it and give me a quote before he did the work. Needless to say he went way beyond expatiation he not only fixed the fuse box under the hood and my radio I now have 2 new turn lights and a right fender and a new bumper. All for parts and half the labor all those other shops charge!! The car starts on the first try and it looks even better than when I bought it . THANKS RON'S AUTO YOUR THE BEST!!!! I would tell the whole world if I could they truly are the best!! OMG almost forgot. They did a oil change and trans fluid change and checked and filled all the other fluids like power staring ,windshield fluid and so on. And did I mention the owner and staff were very polite and friendly with me. Did I say fast? I got my car back in less then 2 days!! They really are the BEST!!
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.