What Should I Do When My Car Dies on the Road? »
Four tips for keeping yourself and your vehicle safe while you wait.
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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'm hoping my experience helps another person from making the same mistake that I did. I took my car to Tommy's because my check engine light flashed. Tommy, who looks like the love child of Uncle Si from duck dynasty and Todd Christly from christly knows best, called me later that day to let me know he is waiting on a part from Honda and it may take a few days. I went to get my car and discovered that it had standing water in the floor. Tommy, the old drunk hippie, refused to take responsibility and stated I left the window to my car opened during a rainstorm. I know for a fact that the windows were closed. My tire pressure was reduced to 22lbs of pressure when the standard is 32 lbs of pressure. Tommy, who resembles a constipated Yosemite Sam, blamed me for the reduction in my tire pressure and charged me $320. I was advised by an attorney to take pictures before and after I leave my car with him. Tommy's Auto Repair is misleading. I feel the name should be Tommy's House of Horrors for automobiles.
When I friends in from out of town they always want Classic on Noble for lunch and it has never disappointed. Their signature dish is Shrimp and Grits. My favorites are their seared Sesame Tuna, fried green tomato salad and their Noble salad with Strawberries and glazed pecan and their Noble fried Oysters. I also surprised my husband with a small birthday celebration and they packaged Shrimp Grits and Fried Green Tomato Salad for 6 and it was a huge hit! They will accommodate your need however great or small. Check them out!!
I usually just have my oil changed at the local Express Oil because it's quick and convenient, but I had been warned to use a professional car dealership to prevent damage caused by costly mistakes made by "young inexperienced kids" working there. When I bought my new car I decided to heed this advice so I used Sunny King Quick Lane for my first oil change (thinking I was taking better care of my vehicle.) Over a month later, with 2,000 miles left to go before my next oil change, I started experiencing problems with my car. I couldn't put my finger on it, it was just running funny and it felt and sounded like it could possibly be the transmission. I took my daughter to David's Wrecker and Body Shop in Jacksonville to pick her car up after having an alternator put on, and while I was there I asked if they could check my transmission fluid in case it was low (I thought that might be the culprit.) They said, "we'd be happy to", and asked me to pop the hood. Next he asked me who had changed my oil last, and I got out to see what the problem was. Turns out, the service person at Sunny King Quick Lane had failed to put the cap back on the oil pan and oil had blown out all over the motor and underneath the hood!!! Had I waited until my next oil change, I'm sure major damage would have ensued. I was shocked to receive such careless service from what I thought to be a reputable business. The nice guys at David's spent at least 30 to 45 minutes thoroughly cleaning oil off of my motor, hoses, belts, underneath the hood, etc, and replaced my oil... FREE OF CHARGE!!! (By the way, they also replaced the alternator on my daughter's Honda in only 2 hours) I will warn everyone I know about the sloppy service at Sunny King and I also HIGHLY recommend David's for not only oil changes, but all automotive needs. I learned the hard way, don't make the same mistake!!
You'd be a fool to not use David's. Super cheap and d*mn good work
The company I used to work for took all vehicles to Mike's with exceptional service and price. I take all my cars to Mike's and before my wife got her new car I her old car broke down in Pell City. I had several shops look at it there with the same result, the heads are blown will have to be rebuilt and it will cost $1200-$2000 plus any additional things they find while working on it. Had it towed to Mike's got it fixed for $175 and fluid was dripping and making it appear the heads were blown and they even thought this was the problem. They could have charged me for that job and I would have never known. They have saved me money several times and always treat you right. If you ever notice they are always swamped with business, there's a reason for that. Only drawback is they are so good and honest sometimes have to drop your car off just for simple things because they are so busy all the time.
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.