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.
Given how great an experience I had with Honda of Downtown Los Angeles (“HDLA”), I felt compelled to write a positive review on every site I could find. Before I started writing I couldn’t help but read all the previous reviews – and I realized something: if I had read those reviews even a day earlier I never would have set foot inside the dealership. It is part of the research that I normally do before a car purchase, so it is unusual that I neglected it this time, but I am so glad that I did. My experience started Friday with a series of emails and phone calls with Michael Gennello and Enrique Correa of HDLA’s Internet Sales Department. I brought to them the best offers I had received after a couple weeks of contacting dealers all over Southern California (I was looking for an Odyssey minivan), and they were courteous and pleasant and honest about what they could do and what they could not do. They ended up quoting (what I thought was) a terrific lease deal (in an email, with specifics) and, since they had the color I wanted, I told them I would be in first thing Saturday to pick up the car. They said only to ask for “Rico” when I arrived. When it came time to drive to the dealership yesterday, I felt a pang of anxiety as it dawned on me that I was being handed off to someone who might not honor the deal I had been offered. Then, when I arrived at the dealership (a little early, I admit), “Rico” was not in (yet). My anxiety grew. I was handed off to Charles Reneaux, a young, very friendly salesperson who promised to honor any deal I had been promised the night before but had no information or specifics. Also, luckily, another “Internet Manager” appeared who claimed to have been aware of the deal and who said he would try to track down the specifics “in the computer.” I crossed my fingers. Just at that moment, the owner and president of HDLA, Joe Shuster, walked in and introduced himself and asked if there was anything he could do. I could only assume, from him and from the half-dozen employees that did exactly same thing, that all the attention was due to the fact that it was before 9am on a Saturday and I was the only customer on the salesroom floor. Obviously I could not observe every interaction that they were having with every other customer that morning, but from what I saw, the staff was friendly and warm to everyone that came in to the showroom. Mr. Shuster was very friendly and chatted me up – about the deal terms, about what I do, about my family (I was there for a minivan after all), about his experiences as the new owner of the dealership. He also decided to personally oversee the transaction and made sure that everyone was “taking care of me.” Charles was great too, hustling all around, making sure the car was getting prepped, that finance was readying the paperwork, that he had the necessary signatures on the necessary documents, and so on. Even though the day appeared to be going perfectly, it was at this point, however, after the owner had taken a personal interest in the deal, that I became most anxious that the whole thing was going to fall apart. Remembering past experiences, I feared that the owner, once taking a look at the specifics of what was, objectively, a very aggressive deal, would put a stop to the whole thing. But he did not. Mr. Shuster, along with his salesperson, Charles, shepherded the process along and made sure I got exactly what I was promised. All in all, I had a terrific experience at Honda of Downtown Los Angeles. I would recommend it to anyone.
This for the Service Dept and EDDIE CABRERA.. I purchased my car in June 2012 from another BMW dealer and it was in and out of the shop(dealer) THREE MONTHS in a row. So needless to say I had a HUGE chip on my shoulder and bad taste in my mouth for ALL BMW DEALERS and their service departments. So I get to Nick Alexander because my Check Engine Oil Level light is on(I called ahead and they said I didn't need an appt just bring it by)..One guy comes out and he's nice, but then another guy comes out(Eddie) and starts asking me all these questions -- (I was thinking "OK I know what the light said and all I need is the Oil topped off. Whats with all the questions??"--remember chip on shoulder from previous experience --) Anyways questions lead to checking under the hood and now finding "coolant residue" now Im really thinking here we go again the STEALER is trying to get in my pockets. He points out some things(wait -- I heard that they did this sort of thing but that never happened at the other dealer). Eddie is REALLY patient and calm, and begins to show me some things that were of concern for him. He wanted to keep the car; make sure everything was ok. I declined because - again bad experience and I just didn't feel like changing cars -- also I didn't want a RENTAL from the vendor they used. Anyways I tell Eddie I really don't want a rental Id rather a loaner, and asked how long would they need my car, he said once checked it shouldn't be too long -- I think yeah ok because the other DEALER kept my car a minimum of a 3 three days -- So I agree to bring it back on Tuesday when he said I would be able to get into a loaner and he would let me know asap, what was going on and how long it would take to repair.. So Im going to wrap this all up and say he is a GREAT SERVICE ADVISOR -- didn't push and assessed all of the things that needed to be addressed and called me by 1pm that day. He had all approved repairs completed and car was ready by the EOD but wanted me to pick it up the next day just to make sure all was right. This experience was a huge difference than my previous ones -- They may not be as flashy as some of the other BMW dealers but the service was great and I didn't feel like I was getting the run around. He helped unload and reload my stuff back into my car. Oh yeah I forgot something in the loaner and he got to it right before the loaner was sent out with another customer and kept it overnight for me. NOW THAT IS WHAT I EXPECT FROM A BMW DEALER-- if you have to pay a premium price tag for a brand than I suspect the SERVICE should be a PREMIUM ONE! Eddie is exemplary and has become that GUY for my car.
MERCEDES BENZ SERVICE BEYOND COMPARE. I am very happy to sing the praises of G&N Motors Mercedes Benz Service and Repair Facility. I came to G&N Motors about three months ago with my 2008 E 350. I heard a strange noise in the front of the car. I bought the car to the dealer from where I had bought the car. After being in their repair dept for a week I received a call stating they could not locate or copy the noise. My neighbor also owns a Mercedes and recommended G&N Motors to me. After meeting George I understood what my neighbor meant that “as soon as you meet George you will feel comfortable and confident that he is the right guy to solve your problem.” My neighbor was dead right, my Mercedes Benz was repaired and ready for me to pick up in a couple of days. Since that time I have had minor repairs and scheduled preventative that G&N Motors has taken care of ... I am very happy to sing the praises of G&N Motors Mercedes Benz Service and Repair Facility. I came to G&N Motors about three months ago with my 2008 E 350. I heard a strange noise in the front of the car. I bought the car to the dealer from where I had bought the car. After being in their repair dept for a week I received a call stating they could not locate or copy the noise. My neighbor also owns a Mercedes and recommended G&N Motors to me. After meeting George I understood what my neighbor meant that “as soon as you meet George you will feel comfortable and confident that he is the right guy to solve your problem.” My neighbor was dead right, my Mercedes Benz was repaired and ready for me to pick up in a couple of days. Since that time I have had minor repairs and scheduled preventative that G&N Motors has taken care of in a timely and professional manner. For those who are thinking about trying G&N Motors Mercedes Benz Service and Repair Facility I say “do it” you'll be glad you did. They are the best and honest. Sometimes it takes time to pinpoint the problem but your Mercedes will be running in a tip top condition.
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.