What to Know About: Auto Damage »
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?
Serving the Claremont Area.
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1101 Division Ave SGrand Rapids, MI 49507
From Business: Northwestern Auto Supply was founded by Harry Ashendorf in Grand Rapids in 1946. Today, Sam Ashendorf, Harry's son, runs the business and has grown it into one of…
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.
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
VIP crew is always very prompt and helpful! I but my tires from them and do my maintenance there. They do a great job! Thank you VIP. - Mandy
Cash and carry only! I purchased Goodyear Wrangler HP tires, but they installed Wrangler SA in the mix.The last time I let them install tires they didn't balanced them because the machine was broken, and didn't inform me of that until I returned to complain about vibration. Good price if you negotiate, extra bad service for you "deal".
Beware of this shop.I have bought several tires from these people but will not do business with them anymore. After my father spent over a thousand dollars a few months earlier on tires here he had them fix a leak in one of them.That was fine but then they talked him into letting them do a state inspection on it and failed it for all kinds of things that were not even wrong with it and didn't have anything to do with a vehicle passing state inspection. They even tried to say parts that were just put on a few months ago needed to be replaced. Then they try to scare you into paying them to fix all this stuff because they send a report to the state so you can't just take it to a trustworthy inspection station after. I know how these places work. I am an ASE Master Auto Tech and have a New Hampshire State inspection license and also 20yrs experience in the autobody trade.What usually happens is a lot of these techs are paid flat rate or a bonus plan and they think they are going to be a hero by billing out all these hours on the easy stuff and make a big pay check that week. And as for the vehicle that they drove the lift arms up into the rocker panels that is in the review below. They said the repair should of been about $200.The damage was severe. I was the autobody tech that repaired that vehicle and $200 didn't even pay for the paint to do the job. Beware of this place! Do not get suckered!
On November 15, 2014 I had my seasonal tires switched to winter tires by VIP Auto Claremont, NH. Upon arrival to pick up the vehicle I noticed the rocker panel had three obvious dents where a too-large lift was used on the vehicle. When it was brought the staff's attention everyone was very apologetic, friendly and helpful; the staff and I took pictures together and they called the manager on the spot. Steve was away and I was told that he would call me within the day to sort out insurance information. Later that evening I was called by VIP and informed that I would need to bring my car into a body shop for an estimate.On Monday, November 18, I stopped at VIP Claremont to obtain Mr. Ordway's fax information; he was extremely dismissive of me and kept walking away as I was trying to speak.Eventually I obtained his card and took the vehicle to Tom & Dales auto body. They performed the estimate and had it faxed to VIP by 1:00 p.m. November 18.On Friday, November 21'st, I received another call from VIP informing me that the quote seemed too high and they'd like me to have their brand-new on-site body work do the job. I was very uneasy about that suggestion and made it known. VIP then informed me I would have to get a second estimate at "Chris Spanos’ Auto" in Newport, NH.On November 22nd I went to Spanos’ to obtain a second estimate and explained the situation to him. He informed me it is illegal in the state of New Hampshire for them to tell me I needed to get a second quote, and if they ask it must be with the explicit understanding that it is ultimately my choice of the repair shop.Immediately on hearing that news I called VIP and spoke with Mr. Ordway, wherein he proceeded to tell me that the estimate seemed excessively high and “everyone at my shop agrees with me”…”it should only be a couple hundred dollars and a few days to repair”.Ultimately the issue wasn't resolved until I contacted Steve Ordway's regional manager. Avoid this VIP location.
Selling vehicles guaranteed to pass inspection but then fail in the state of Vermont. Said he'd order parts and call when they came in. Daughter finally called, was told parts were in, so made an appointment for 2pm following day. She has to drive about 30 miles, was there for her appointment by 2pm and waited until 3:30 as no one showed up. I have been trying to call Dennis Calahan, first by his cell phone (msg says his voice mail is not on) and called the business phone and left messages. Still no response.
I drove through the lot looking for ideas to replace my old van. After telling the salesman my needs, he offered a good trade-in and kept my payments within budget. I have less than perfect credit, but the financing was quick and easy. I'm loving my 09 Accord and get a kick out of these bad reviews from people not happy with the as-is heap they bought.This is the first place I'll look when in need of my next vehicle.
when I was 18 I got a credit card, maxed it and screwed myself. I needed a second chance. Arrowhead motors financed me when no one else would. The finance team told me that if I made my payments on time for one year, I could come back and refinance for lower payments, or I could trade it in. Here I am a year and a half later, my credit is much better and I just traded my Pontiac in and got another vehicle that is much newer!! When I looked them up online for the phone number I saw bad references.... all I can say is..... just because one person didn't do what they should have like make there payments on time so it got repoed or whatever...it is not on the dealership.... I had a great experience not once... but now twice. I would recommend them to my friends...and to my FAMILY. wish I had ten stars! The service has always been great, and they try to get you right in for oil changes and tune ups ect., and the sales rep I worked with the first time, is now the Sales Manager. Therefore new management inside from 2 years ago, and the rep I worked with just recently for my new car, she was a pleasure. I will keep going back to this dealer for all my automotive needs.
Great service.- took the extra steps to help with warrantee on my tires even thought they were not purchased at their business. We could not get help where we purchased them and was very frustrated. Thanks to Stephanie we will do our tire business with VIP in the furture.
I'm surprised about the negative reviews about Arrowhead I've seen here. I was having some credit problems and was turned down by a few other dealerships, and didn't want to fall into the buy-here-pay=here trap. What I needed was a new rig and the chance to rebuild my damaged credit. Keith (manager) & Joe (salesman) treated me professionally and got me in a 4 year old Chevy truck with only a small down payment and a copy of my last paystub...Payments are right within the range that I told them up front. It even with a warranty! Seriously, I would recomend these guys to anyone who wants an honest deal.
I bought a 2004 F-150 from Arrowhead Motors some 2 years ago and at a very reasonable price. I drive it every day and tow my boats and snowmobiles with it. I have never had any problems. It still runs and looks like new. Passed the 100,000 mile mark this month. Love it. An old bus driver.
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.