What Should I Do When My Car Dies on the Road? »
Four tips for keeping yourself and your vehicle safe while you wait.
Four tips for keeping yourself and your vehicle safe while you wait.
When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
I had a few things done inside my car. But the problem was with the cleaning and shampooing of my car upholstery. My car is only 7 years old. My car went in without any rips in the seams of the seat/upholstery. The technician I left my car with and picked it up from said he didn't see the rip there when he looked at the video. However, when I received my car back after the internal detail, my seat was torn in the seam about 3 inches. The carpet in the rear cargo area had little holes that were NOT there when I pointed out the area to be cleaned to the technician. Whom ever vacuumed and shampooed the upholstery seemed to have pushed too hard and left marks in the rear cargo area and the rip in the seat/upholstery. When I talked to the manager "Daniel" he said it was not there responsibility and the seat was old and they couldn't do anything about it. If that were true, then The Purple Turtle should have notified me to let me know the upholstery in my car was too old to withstand their cleaning process before they cleaned it, the car is only 7 years old. They should have told me there was a chance the seams would rip if they believed them to be too old, so I could make the decision not to do the cleaning. OR, they being "professionals" should have been careful and went around what they said were "stressed areas". They refused to take responsibility for the damage they caused until I got really upset with "Daniel" (the manager). He then called the owner his brother Mr. Duke. That's when they decided they would call an auto upholsterer they knew to see if he could fix the rip. He fixed the rip. But it took me loosing my temper with them to correct a problem they were responsible for. I will never use The Purple Turtle Auto Detailing again because they are NOT "Best In Anchorage". Incident February 2019.
A lot of shops in town claim to be the best but I can tell you when I inspected my vehicle I can tell this young man went the extra mile to make sure I left satisfied. He seems to be new to the business world but he knows what he's doing when it comes to detailing. I admire his motivation & glad I gave him a chance. We need more people who have a strong work ethic like this young lad.
Best in town! Getting ready to head out of town for the weekend, when the check engine light came on. Got me right in and back on the road. Ray is great to work with.
Always good to deal with and the Techs are as good as they come. I have sent several people there way with no complaints.
Bunch of crooks. Told them to do a general tune-up and check out some systems - NOT TO REPLACE ANYTHING, but to call first. They replaced everything they could get their grubby hands on without contacting us whatsoever. Ended up being charged over $2000 for what should have been a $400 checkup. Tried to talk it out with them but they couldn't have cared less; their only concern was shoving me out the door. Incompent, dishonest, and money hungry. Avoid this shop at all costs.
Take extra comfort in selecting any other shop. Don't believe the Facebook friends and Google buddies comments - instead take a look at the salvage yard the shop has. Those cars aren't fixed and either are cars like mine. I paid for the snake oil that sounds like customer service but only masks the greed and lazy desire to make an easy buck. The shop wants to put time into job that is quick and pays and hopefully recycles a part from the trash cars on site - but anything with labor hours that need dealer specs, need real skills/certs, or a run to the part shop ends in a 'favor' or reschedule to get to quick cash. This leads to many tinker tries and lots of snake oil salesperson crap that doesn't properly repair a vehicle
When I made the appointment for detailing, I was told to arrive between 9:00-10:00 am, and to pick up at 4:00-5:00. My appointment was for detailing inside and out with carpet and upholstery cleaning. I arrived on the at 9 AM, and no one was there. Waited and waited then finally at 9:20 AM I called them. No answer. I left a message saying where are you. No response. At 9:40AM I called again. No response. At 9:50 I left my car there with a note and keys in the drop box. I finally got a call from them at 10:20, saying they could not clean the upholstery because it was too dirty. If I wanted it cleaned it would cost $200 more. I told them no, just clean it with the basic cleaning. He refused to do it. I said don't do anything, I would pick it up at 4:00. He said oh, well we are closing early today at 11:30, one hour away. That told me he just didn't want to clean it because he didn't have time. He did say he had a family emergency the previous week, but he didn't have a contingency plan. He could have called me to reschedule or have someone take over for him. Don't give him your business!
The first few appointments seemed OK - especially liked Nick's response until they weren't fixing the car completely. Brake issue took me three service appointments before they repaired. Meaning, they said it was fixed but it wasn't. Then, I took the car back for a power steering leak. They kept my car for nearly 5 MONTHS - telling me nearly every week that it would be done the next week, then Nick was on vacation for a couple of weeks and then it was fixed but they road tested and found out it wasn't. Every week it was a different excuse. I kept, mistakenly it turned out, trusting them. I called and called - left messages - no response. So, after 4.5 months, thinking they might have gone out of business because they weren't responding, I drove by. Seeing my car was still sitting outside in the snow, I finally got ahold of the owner but only after writing a Private Message on Facebook and getting his daughter to respond. Stan, the owner was belligerent and non-apologetic about the status. I had it towed to another service shop who were able to diagnose the problem in one afternoon and repaired in two days after waiting for parts! I would never, ever, recommend Rally's to anyone.
Took my 10 year old, mechanically neglected car into Big O's on a Monday. I complained that the wiper didn't work it needed a tune up. They told me nothing was wrong with it; they just did an oil change and added fluids. To fix the wiper, they quoted me $950 to fix the Control Module under the center shift console. When I picked it up, they again said that there was nothing wrong with it, no vibration at all. The guy helping me (manager?) confirmed that they took it for a test drive and found nothing wrong....So they charged me $198.25 for an oil change and fluid check!Two days later, the check engine light came on. Knowing better, I did NOT take it to Big O's. I took it to a REAL mechanic, and complained of exactly the same things.Here’s what the REAL mechanic identified, that I kinda knew about but didn’t think were a problem or that it could be fixed. Again, Big O’s didn’t notice ANY OF THIS.Brakes were shot (the brakes pulsated like crazy!)It was leaking in a couple places (my driveway looks terrible)Serpentine belt was squeakingIt had trouble shifting gearsFuel filter was badHere’s what they fixed: The wiper was a FUSE ($20! Remember, Big O’s quoted me $950!)Spark plugsOil changeO2 sensorTune upBrakes & RotorsIdentified the leaks (engine and transmission)Changed beltReplaced the crankshaft sealFlushed the rear differential twice (it was ORIGINAL, 10-year-old fluid and had metal shavings in it)Replaced the transaxle fluidMy car runs like a top now. There’s a mechanic near Old Seward and Huffman that works out of a gas station. That’s the place to go.A mechanic is supposed to diagnose and fix problems. Big O’s did neither. They charged me $198.25 for an oil change and fluid check that I could have got at Jiffy Lube for $50.Oh. And when i called the manager today, he said "well, we didn't do anything to it" .... that was my point! And he said that, yes, it was a fuse, but the $950 part would "go out eventually."
Worst experience EVER with a car repair shop. I understand things dont always go as planned, but i got different story and excuse every time I called. Was told I would get callbacks, and didn't. Said they tried to call but no missed calls or voicemails. Was told that the car would be looked at same day or next day. Days later was told they were still diagnosing and worst case scenario I would be two days and parts were in town. Ended up taking 3 weeks. I ended up with problems that I never had before I took my car in. When I called and asked for an appointment since it was an issue that only appeared once i got my car back, he said they wont make an appointment, and denied that the new issues could possibly be caused by them. When I doubted him because of something the owner told me, the guy said the owner knows nothing and that he lied to me to buy time. He said he had to get off the phone and hung up on me. Horrible 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.