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.
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Get ready for back to school while you have the time to do it. From shopping and haircuts to dentists and auto repairs.
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.
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…
Talk about MIND BLOWING! From the very first second I called in to get a quote, there was an absolute feeling of calm and peace...not to mention a little disbelief. Here's the story.... I'd been in Orlando and had to ruch back to Miami for the birth of my first son. To be honest, I was supposed to leave out teh night prior - but due to a collision that happened Friday night, a part connecting the power steering hose to the actual pump was contacing the belt for the ending in my new 2006 Chrysler 300. I called several places that I looked up on Google. There prices - Extremely uncomfortable, Totally irrational, and beyond my logic. 500 to 600 bucks to change out an alternator??? (If I had the tools, I'd do it my darn self) Anyhow, after a long night of "what am I gonna do, and how am I gonna work this situation out", I thought outside of the box. I thought of some local AAA approved facilities, and a few ASA facilities. This nice little shop on 3155 Clemson Road - just off John Young Pkwy - comes up. It was called, "The Car Spa". I thought to myself, 'nice name'. But all I really wanna know is, 1. How much and 2. How soon? Long story short, what I thought was an alternator was more of a byproduct of the collision. Mike Hoffman - a smoot cool dude that actually has manuals of how to repair vehicles dating back to the 1960's came up to speak with me. I explained my woes, and he gave me the green light to leave, while he went to work replacning the alternator that costed under 150.00 from Advanced Auto Parts, and the caost of Labor - measely $80 bones!!! (Did I mention I love mike and hellen hoffman now???? ) So, not even 5 minutes after I've driven off, Mikey calls me back letting me know my alternator was in peak condition, but becuase the of the collision, there was some slippage on the belt - which came form the power steering fluid leak. This made the battery light come on...(I thought it was due to my mean sound system draining the alternator even though I added a capicitor). Mike said he'd get the work done, and he did just that. See, the power steering had gone out, so driving that big silver bullet was like going on a ruck march with a 100lb ruck sack on your back. When I got back to the shop, not only was my vehicle driving like new, Heck, they even gave me a few gifts for me and my soon to be born son - who will be a Junior. Hellen handles the business administration while Mike and the crew take care of turning wrenches and diagnostics. To sum things up: What I received from The Car Spa was Rolls Royce caliber service at Thrift Shop prices. You're gonna love these people. The next time I come up, God willing, I'm gonna stop by to say whats up to Mike, Hellen and the gentelman that answered the phone. I've never taken the time to write a review, and honestly, I'm leaving out a ton of good stuff from this - already too lond as it is - review. Never the less, when someone cant breathe, and in comes a fresh new pair of lungs at no real sacrifice, not only are they happy they can breathe again, but every breath they take is in memory of the person that provided that source of air. These guys are awesome. Thanking God for great people and good business. Did I mention, respectable prices???
Our car, too, broke down the night of our last day at Disney, Saturday, the day after Christmas! We were supposed to check out the next morning by 10AM and two of us had to be at the airport by noon. It was already after 6PM, Saturday, of a holiday weekend. Luckily, the car was in it's parking spot at the resort, but was stuck in reverse, and when we shut it off, it would not start. We called the front desk at the resort- absolutely NO HELP. We called AAA, they set up a tow to a 24 hour repair shop, which we quickly found out was a lie, no 24 hour repair shop exists (at least not on Christmas weekend). So, next, we were faced with the possibility of towing the car 150 miles to my parents home town, and renting a car to get to the airport and for the rest of us to ultimately get home- lots of money, but necessary. I was SO GLAD to find "Frank's Mobile Auto Mechanic" website on my cell phone, while my parents were trying to decide what to do next. We had another option!! We called Frank and left a message, he returned the call within the next hour. My Dad had trouble understanding Frank, so I did the talking. After I explained what happened to the car over the phone, he assured me he could fix it and he could come early the next morning. He knew exactly where we were, he had been to our resort before. He impressed me from the start, he has a great personality, a list of work experiences at several dealer auto repair shops, and he genuinely wanted to help us get our car fixed so we could be on our way. Like the other reviewer that described his van, he has everything he needed, and he had the part with him to fix our car. He permanently patched the gear shift cable as good as new, better than the dealer, and only charged us a little over $100 (85 to come out & 20 for the part). The car started up and the gear shifter works as good as new. We, also, were glad to tip him, he saved us so much time, stress and worry. And, we didn't even have to leave the comfort of our resort room. We continued to pack up the car while he worked on it in the parking lot that morning. This could have been a terrible ending to our wonderful Christmas vacation. His service is invaluable and I can't imagine what we would have had to endure if we hadn't called him. THANKS FRANK!!
I have to admit that I am a little skeptic when it comes to someone working on my vehicle, but Ian, the service rep, put me immediatle at ease with his caring personality. Escpecially on the delivery of my truck the first time they performed engine work. He and I found that the detail shop that had washed it had rubbed something on the back fender when they were moving it. He immediatley acknowledged the issue and was quite apologetic and needless to say somewhat embarrassed. Again, I was a bit upset, because he we go, another issue with a service department. But he assured me that he would take care of it. He had me in a rental car, courtesy of his shop, and I was set. On my return, he once again greeted me like a true friend, welcoming me back to the service department. The delivery of my truck took all of 5 minutes once I stepped foot on the premises. He dropped everything to give me service. On another visit, because again the truck was experiencing troubles with the engine, I was greeted by Ian. He took the truck, and I informed him that I was planning on taking a long road trip out of state, and this was going to put a dampener on my plans. He immediatly called corporate and put me in a rental for as long as I needed it, paying for everything, including insurance. I have been going to this service department since. I would highly recommend anyone who owns a chevy vehicle to call this service department, because they know the true meaning of "TAKING CARE OF THE CUSTOMER".
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.