Seven Ways to Get Your Family Into Back-to-School Mode »
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…
Oil change prices vary among professionals, but it's easy to do this task yourself. Find out all the information you need to properly maintain your vehicle.
I called about a 2007 X5. More curious than anything because I had never driven one but was in love with the shape. Zack answered the phone and my first impressions were extremely skeptical; independent dealership, “we take good care of our cars”, “we do right by the customer” and more. A lot of big promises that I have heard from other dealers before and have always been unpleasantly surprised to find are untrue. Upon arriving at the dealership, there is a very large show room and a lot of inventory. Zack was with a customer and passed me onto James because they are not commissioned sales people. Not commissioned? - now that I like. James was very knowledgeable about all the packages, features and quirks about the X5. He was even able to give me a detailed break down of the differences between the X5, Q7 and ML. I was really impressed by his knowledge and pointing out things I hadn’t considered. When I wanted to test drive the car he took my info and just gave me the keys. I wasn't sure about the size of the trunk and had previously been thinking about a Q7. James not only gave me freedom to test drive the X5 but had a Q7 pulled up and ready when I returned for a side by side comparison. This was a lot of running around for him for me when I had clearly said I was just looking. When I compared the two cars side by side, he was right about all the quirks particular to my situation and the X5 was a clear winner. There was absolutely no pressure to buy anything but we sat down to look at some pricing anyway. I was blown away by how open both he and Zack were about everything. There are no managers (the worst types of human beings) or finance guys so all the decision-making was with these guys. They actually printed out a rate sheet from the bank and showed me the rates available to me without increasing them. When it came to my trade in they allowed me to remove my customized parts and gave me a very fair price. It was the tax advantage that James shared with me which ultimately sealed the deal. I had originally gone down there to just look but the excellent customer services, knowledge, honesty and great deal got me a new car ☺ My story and great experience would have ended there. HOWEVER, after buying the car as-is with no warranty, I drove it to Mt. Baker ski lodge for a family trip with my kids. Upon arriving at the lodge the X5 started leaking coolant violently and before I new it the car was ready to overheat. $!@$ was my reaction. I knew that the dealership would give me the standard “as-is” disclaimer. I was stuck on a mountaintop with a broken down car, kids, miles from home and no warranty. I thought I would call Elliott Bay just in case, even though I knew what to expect. To my surprise, these guys not only took care of the parts and labor to fix the coolant tank but covered the several hundred dollar tow from Mt baker back a 128 miles to Seattle. I was blown away. They even gave as another x5 as a loaner and sent the car back to have another inspection performed on it just incase anything else was wrong. My experience James, Zack, Spencer, Adam, Dan and Elliott Bay has been nothing short of spectacular and I would thoroughly recommend them!
Before I was able to purchase my first Chevy Malibu Maxx from the Pierre group of auto dealers, I had been turned away by over 25 dealerships in the Puget Sound. It was an incredibly frustrating experience, especially because those turning me down weren't professional or even courteous. Yes, the economy is absolutely horrible and there is little money to lend, but it's certainly not an excuse to treat potential buyers as poorly as they did! I discovered Pierre Money Mart about a week ago after reading the classified ads and calling their phone number. I was relieved when I actually got to speak with a professional, knowledgeable salesperson who made me feel great about calling and invited me to come in to see what cars they had. The next day I went to the Lake City location with a compact to mid-size Chevy in mind. Their dealership was easy to find and was run by none other than the most friendly sales staff I had ever seen at any dealership. Not only that, but their showroom and outdoor lot were immaculate and didn't feel unlike walking into a high-end new car dealership. After I looked at and drove a few different cars, I picked out my Chevy Malibu and applied for financing. They were able to approve me within an hour with just a couple signatures and the last 3 months of pay stubs, which was so much more painless than I had originally thought it would've been given my current situation. I just have to say that this is the best place to get financing approval no matter what your situation is. Don't even waste your time with anyone else!
First let me tell you I’m no novice to car shopping or financing. I have bought many, many, many cars from dealerships since I was 16 years old prior to us moving to Washington. It was time for a new vehicle so my wife and I were in the market for a late model BMW 750Li and had been searching for quite some time. We first went to a local Puyallup dealer “Tent Sale” just to look and they (in the typical car lot sales pressure fashion) did everything they could to “put me into” everything they felt they could sell me, just because they did not have the car we wanted to buy. A real waste of time! The search went on…. FORTUNATLEY, we met Zac & Rob at ELLIOTT BAY AUTO BROKERS in Seattle, Wa. We were amazed at their inventory of fine automobiles all in excellent condition, super clean, with low miles and best of all at Amazing Prices too! The sales experience was relaxed, pleasurable and totally pressure free. Their financing was easy, lightning fast and what a Great Rate! And the owner Jim, well you couldn’t meet a nicer guy that knows his business and really cares about his customers. I wouldn’t be surprised if a good number of Elliott Bay’s business is from return customers. As busy business professionals we will certainly be back on our next vehicle purchase. Thanks’ again Jim, Rob, Zac & everyone at ELLIOTT BAY AUTO BROKERS for making or recent vehicle purchase an absolute “BEST IN CLASS” automobile shopping experience!
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.