Six Sanity-Saving Tips for Carpooling »
Great apps and resources that can help make you the master of headache-free pickups and dropoffs.
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.
If you see your airbag light on, there could be an issue that prevents the bags from deploying. Find out what's wrong with your ve…
I recently got into a car accident in which my brand new mercedes S550 got rear ended by an incompetent driver not paying attention at a traffic light. He manage to completely ruin my bumper breaking my right tail light. As you can imagine I was furious. The car was only a few months old and I was completely at a loss as to what to do. I have gotten into minor accidents before with previous cars and my experience with other auto repair shops in the past were very unpleasant causing me to feel even more anxiety about having to find a completely new shop to repair my brand new vehicle. My sister informed me of this shop (Autotech Collision) she and several of her friends have used in the past. She went on and on about how great her experience was and how pleased she was with the repairs to her vehicle. I decided to give it a try. Its located in the city so I am able to drop my car off on the way to work. I called, got an appointment right away, and went in. Angry, worried, anxious, and over all just up set, I must honestly say I wasn't in the best mood. However, I couldn't help but be taken back by the how nice, courteous and attentive everyone was to me. I expected it to be an all day thing (as it had been in the past when dealing with other shops). I was so delighted when I was seen immediately when I arrived. The employees where very clear and precise in explaining to me what was going to be done and providing an accurate time frame as too when the repairs would be completed and I could expect to pick up my car. I even got the opportunity to meet the owner (Michael) who after expressing my frustration to him about my situation and past experiences, he assured me not to worry and he will take care of my car. I was provided with a rental and in a few days when my car was completed I received a phone call telling me I could pick it up. I went in still anxious because I anticipated something going wrong with the repairs however when I saw my car I could not believe it was the same car I brought in a few days prior. It looked exactly the same as when I purchase it. They even were courteous enough to wash it prior to my picking it up. The bumper and light were completely replaced. You could not tell at all that anything had gone wrong. I was truly amazed. I must have stared at it for a half hour in disbelief. I was sure I could find something anything that would indicate proof of the accident but there was nothing, not one scratch. I thanked everyone repeatedly. Finding them was truly a blessing. I would most definitely recommend them and use them in the future. Hopefully I wont need to too soon :)
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I asked Alan Brownfeld to examine my car for a specific repair that I'm familiar with. I was told I would get a call after they had a look. I had to go to work, but we do have phones these days. I was busy at work and didn't hear back from them. I got a call the next morning after all work had been completed. I got the most astronomical and undetailed bill I've ever seen! I could have done this myself, I just didn't have anywhere to work on it. I tried to ask how he arrived at this figure, but I could barely get a word in and I was on a schedule as I'm sure is often the case. Alan had been referred by my friends so I was shocked at the $800 bill for a job other mechanics say takes 4 hours installing $87 worth of parts. There is no number of hours on the invoice! I paid it so I could get my car back. I'm very disappointed with this experience and I feel it's fair to warn people who don't have money to burn. Oh wait, it's NYC! I'm sure he's a fine mechanic, but he charges designer prices!
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.