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…
I LOVE THEM! I don’t write these posts often, but I have a good reason for this post. The guys at Best Buy Car Sale bent over backwards to get me into my “new to me” truck. I had never purchased a used car from someone I did not know before and was in all honestly, braced for the worst. Leading up to purchasing, I have been diligent in my homework online, looking for someone with a good reputation and great products within my price range. Unlike most of the people and places I was finding, they had both. They have good standing with the BBB, great posts by other customers, and have been in business long enough that I knew they were doing it right. The cars / trucks they had listed online were easy to research on Carfax with links right on their web site. I had a clear idea of my options before I even picked up the phone to see if the trucks I was interested in were still available and schedule an appointment for my test drive(s). I went to see them with 1 first choice but a total of 3 of their vehicles in my mind as possibilities. I was greeted with huge warm smiles and handshakes as soon as I entered the office. Allen had the SUV I had inquired about ready for me to test drive. Keeping this post less than 3 pages long, I’ll jump ahead. I decided on an SUV that I loved, but it was a bit above what I had in my budget to spend and I didn’t want to finance above the cash I had saved for my new vehicle. John, their manager did not try to push me into a loan I wasn’t comfortable with nor did he try to “sell” me. Instead he showed me complete respect and got creative on how to get me my SUV. I felt like I was working with a friend. He was honest, straightforward, and completely kept in mind what I wanted and needed. At no time was I rushed and every question I had was answered with knowledge. There was one small thing wrong with the stereo and he got someone to fix it while we were doing the paperwork. I’m sorry to say that I forget the name of the man that I did the finally paperwork with but will say he was just as wonderful as Allen and John. He also explained any questions I had, kept the sale fun, and was completely on top of everything so the paperwork went quickly. I recommend that you go visit their dealership. I could not be more pleased with my SUV and how purchasing it went..
Score! Finally a car dealership without the pain and utter frustration! I did a ton of research online before actually going in. I was on a mission to find my next baby - a white Audi A4. I found three in the area, M&S was the third and final stop. Others, who I won't mention, were a bit sketchy - the usual stuff - not wanting to share the Carfax, not answering my questions, pushing me to other cars. Eddie and M&S Auto was the opposite, I could tell right from the beginning my experience was going to be different. I parked and was attended to right away, I told Eddie I was looking at their 2009 Audi A4, he found that it was at their mechanic shop around the corner, he ran over and brought it back for me. While I was waiting I hung out in their lounge where I was offered drinks and donuts (multiple times) and, requested to see the Carfax, which they happily supplied. Eddie brought the car upfront for me. We went for a drive, he answered all my questions - there was a few he didn't know for sure and he ACTUALLY REMEMBERED to answer them later! I loved the car but, the airbag light was on - they assured me they would fix it for me at no charge (and they did). Then came down to the financing - I already had been pre-approved through my Credit Union, PatelCo. Eddie asked if I would like to see if they could get a better rate, I didn't feel comfortable doing so and, he had not problem with it. They were able to work with my Credit Union, faxed over all the documents and all the requested info. A few days later I noticed that my front driver brake was squeaking. I called them up and they said to just come down and they would take care of it for me... what?? No fighting? I brought it in the next day and they had it done in an hour. I was able to hang out in their lounge and use their wifi to work, so it wasn't a big deal. I just remember catching myself laughing and enjoying myself for the first time at a car dealership (this is my sixth car)! These guys are so cool and easy going - I never felt pressured or that I was being taken advantage of. Eddie said it best... "you're buying a new car, it should be fun!"
After spending considerable time searching for a used car that is both reliable and affordable, we landed at Salem Auto. Initially we worked with David. He was very up-front with us about prices and which cars he 'had room' to lower prices and which ones he did not. Wow! What a breath of fresh air! My husband came back the next night to look at a few more cars then finally we both returned a few days later to test drive each of the 4 we had narrowed down as possibilities. David was off this day, so we worked with Mike and the office manager (sorry, I forgot his name). While my choice would have been an older, more expensive car, my husband decided he wanted the Prius for the gas mileage as he drives 250 miles a day for work. Within a day or two the "check engine" light came on and we panicked. We know that when you buy a used car "as is" you are stuck with whatever you get. However, it seemed like the guys at Salem Auto were upstanding guys, so we decided to call them to see if they would be willing to at least look at it. When we called neither David, Mike, or the office mgr were available, we we explained everything to Alex. Alex asked us to bring it in telling us that there was something he wanted to check out. We don't live in Sacramento, so it was inconvenient but we were not about to refuse him! Alex hooked up his machine, ran some tests, and advised us put some fuel cleaner in the tank and no longer use cheap gas. We weren't even 1/2 home before the light came on again! We called back and spoke with David. David asked us to come back again. This time, he would have a mechanic take a look at it AND give us a loaner car!!! WHAT?!? We've never gotten a loaner car from ANY other car dealership even when we brought a brand new vehicle! The car was fixed and we picked it up the following day. Needless to say, I cannot speak highly enough of Salem Auto and all four of the men that helped us! Honestly, they all worked together as a single unit and to make sure we purchased a reliable car. We will definitely give them our business in the future!
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.