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.
Use YP's sizzling summer checklist to pack in as many backyard barbecues, family trips, and memorable outings as you can before the kids head back to school.
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A few weeks ago my wife’s 2004 Toyota Rav4 was in need of a brake/rotor inspection. Not knowing of any reliable technicians in the area that wouldn’t break the bank, I turned to Yelp. I wasn’t expecting much since this area isn’t too keen on leaving reviews, but surprisingly I found Lee Dudley’s. Several great reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and even Yellowpages urged me to make a call. The owner, Brian, was extremely polite and informative on the phone. He mentioned that he doesn’t advertise and all of his business comes from referrals. He also stated that he would like to take some time to properly introduce himself and what he plans on doing with the vehicle upon dropping it off. I decided that this was the place I would want to have our car looked at. Now my wife’s car has been hit from almost every side imaginable and came close to being totaled at one point. We’re planning on purchasing a new vehicle soon and for the last several months have pretty much neglected the car, simply because it’s paid off, we don’t expect to get much out of it when it’s time to sell, and we’re just limping along a few months until it’s time to purchase another car. We also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that we’d be getting rid of soon, but in the same sense we don’t want to drive something that’s unsafe or would leave us a foot. Brian called me after inspecting our car and gave his recommendations on what needed to be done and how much everything would be. After giving the ok he said it’ll be ready the following morning. When I went to pick up the car, Brian went over several other issues he found that weren’t even related to the brakes and thoroughly explained what should be done to remedy the situation. After driving the vehicle for several days another small issue came up, and myself being mechanically handicap, gave Brian a call. He advised me on what I should do and if I couldn’t fix it myself then to bring it back. So I did, just to have him double check my work, and he proceeded to inspect and fix the problem. Brian is an incredibly nice person and honestly cares, which is hard to find in most businesses. He treated our car as if it were his own and didn’t try to upsale anything we didn’t need. Prices were more than reasonable for the work that was done and for the quality of products used. What I liked most was that he operates Lee Dudley’s like how businesses used to be. What matters most is that customers, whether they be new or old, leave pleased with the experience and wouldn’t hesitate to return again.
I brought my van in to be worked on - since I was leaving on a road trip with my kids. I have had this clunking noise in my engine for at least a year. Brian at Lee Dudley's knew the split-second he was standing next to my engine while it was idleing!!! He had my car fixed in no time and the cost was VERY reasonable! He told me I would be amazed at how much better my van drove. He was more than right! My van literally drives like a new car! I am still amazed when I drive it. It drives so smooth! I was so used to the crappy way it used to sound and handle. Here's the kicker....In the past, I had always taken my van to another shop (I won't mention names!) anytime I went out of town. I travel about 4 times a year to Utah to visit family. I make these trips alone with my kids - since my husband usually can't get the time off from work. I always took it into the old shop and tell them specifically that I was going out of town, alone with my kids. I always wanted to know if all was well, and if there were any problems. I had taken it to the old mechanic at least three times with the loud clunking in the engine and had been told three times nothing was wrong. I drove on at least three trips with this major problem! The last time I was in there I had a feeling they might not have even looked at my car! The guy just said it was all good. I had a feeling then that I needed to go somewhere else. A friend recommended Lee Dudley's. She has been going there for years and absolutely loves them! Lee Dudley's treated me with respect and really cared that my van was the best it could be. I cannot say enough what a great and trustworthy place this is!!!! I will NEVER take my cars anywhere else. Lee Dudley's is the best!!!!
EXCELLENT SERVICE! I have a 2011 Chevy Cruz and noticed my brakes making noise. I took it a couple of places, where they tried to sell me parts I didn't need for hundreds of dollars. Needless to say I was overwhelmed & upset, I don't know anything about cars or what was really wrong with mine. I found Lee Dudleys Brake and Front End by searching local brake services in Visalia. The reason I chose to go here was because of all the good reviews. He pulled everything apart, showed me what was wrong, why, and explained everything. Come to find out the reason for my front brake issues was due to my rear brakes not even working! Which the first 2 brake places never even found or mentioned. Brian's wife, Karen, was just as nice and even gave me a ride back to my house while my car was being worked on. When my car was finished, Karen drove my car to my house to pick me up. To my surprise Brian detailed my car including the rims, tires, and engine! He also cleaned my radiator because he noticed it was dirty, and replaced my air filter for my A/C because he noticed my air wasn't blowing well. All which he did with no charge. Not becasue he had to, but because he noticed little issues no one else had, and took the time to fix them. I'm thankful for people like Brian, he's beyond nice, honest, and went above and beyond all my expectations. I will never go anywhere else, and highly recommend them!
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.