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 was in Colorado two weeks ago on vacation. My diesel pickup had mechanical problems on Sunday. Built to Last was able to work my pickup in on Monday morning and had me back on the road before noon the same day and charged a fair price. Truly outstanding customer service.
Extremely sorry service and customer interaction. Took my vehicle with all parts required for modification. They gave me a maximum estimate and assured vehicle would be completed at end of day because I was leaving for a week Not done at end of day, but assured it would be complete at noon following day, Saturday. Not completed on Saturday. I had to leave for trip and leave vehicle at their shop. Returned 9 days later and was then advised they would complete the day ofter my return. (Obviously did not work on vehicle during the nine days.) Upon completion of the work, they told me they would not do a portion of the work because they would not accept liability, and that all other places charge $3000.00 for this work. (Camping World installs hundreds of these units a year for $275-$375, depending on wages in area. Wanted to keep my money in the area.). When I made payment, it was $100.00 more than the maximum I had been assured, and the lions share of the work was not done. Secretary advised me they checked other shops and they would have charged me almost double their rate. DEFINITELY NOT TRUE. I had researched hours required for each task prior to getting their estimate.j I am now missing parts that they did not install. Have called to ask if they might have been misplaced during the work. They assured they would check and call. They never returned call. WHAT A SURPRISE.DO NOT USE THIS ESTABLISHMENT. THEY ARE HABITUAL LIARS, DO NOT HONOR THEIR ESTIMATE, AND DO NOT CARE IF WORK IS DONE PROPERLY. ONLY WANT THEIR MONEY, AND THE CLIENT BE DAMNED ONCE THAT MONEY IS IN THEIR HANDS.
I take several of my vehicles to Brittain's, and I refer many people to take their vehicles there too! I love the staff, they are always friendly, deliver quality service, and I love dealing with people I can trust!
I brought my car in to Brittains Highland because I had burning oil or maybe grease on my exhaust pipe. The diagnosis was leaky valve cover gaskets (I already knew about this) and a leaky crank seal. Taking the shop’s recommendation I got the valve cover gaskets replaced and the leaky crank seal. Because of the location of the crank seal I also got the timing belt, hydraulic tensioner, and waterpump replaced. Upon getting the car back the power steering was messed up. I explained to Rich that I just couldn’t accept the coincidence that it works perfect when you bring it in and it dies completely during the time it was in the shop. I think he was fair on this issue as he charged me half of his cost on the part and free labor to fix the problem, but it took a couple of more days to get this figured out and the fact that they tried to pass the car back to me with a huge new problem is dishonest. Although his employees swear they never did anything that could have remotely caused a power steering problem, I think that’s where my problem with this shop lies. When things go wrong, they cover it up with a lie.Since the car engine was covered in oil and powersteering fluid I continued to have that burning smell and despite asking if they could clean some of it off, it never happened. After leaving town and a few hours of driving later I realized the problem had not been solved. 1. I was losing oil. 2. I noticed new grease or oil splattered on my exhaust.I look as my receipt and sure enough I don’t see a crank oil seal listed in the parts. This is when I call back. Rich tells me that the oil seal was as dry as bone but at the time I didn’t ask “so why didn’t you replace it like every other shop does during the timing belt change?” I did send three emails with no response. To me, things didn’t add up. It’s a $7 part that has always been done in the past and after some research, it’s been done on every timing belt replacement on all of my family members Subarus. I wasn’t even given the option. While he didn’t replace the crankseal, I was charged over $30 to add coolant and replace a hose not only that I was never asked about or given the option for, but also didn’t fix the coolant leak I was having. Another poor diagnosis or poor repair jobIn the next few months here is what I’ve figured out. The reason I had GREASE on my exhaust is a torn boot on the CV joint. This is not even remotely close to a crankshaft oil seal leak. At the time I didn’t know anything about cars but now I see it’s easy to diagnose because of its “sling” pattern as the axle spins around. What about the oil leak? On the passenger side facing the back of the car there is a cover between the valve cover and the head gasket. I took it to the dealership and believe it or not you don’t find it on the parts list but the mechanics said they just seal it up with gasket sealer. I did and the leak there is stopped. On the other hand, I’ve had two mechanics tell me the head gaskets are leaking. That pisses me off more than just knowing that they’re leaking because to replace them includes doing over all the labor that I’ve just spent with Brittains. I know no one is perfect but hopefully this example drives home the point that it’s important to make an accurate and thorough diagnosis!I spent over $900 at Britains Automotive to fix a problem and none of the work or labor was geared towards that because the diagnosis was completely wrong. Once the shop realized that it was only upon prying into the situation that they admitted that with no apology. I was never told this when I picked my car up and they acted as if everything went well. Once things started going wrong on their end they tried to cover it up smooth things over and conceal the real issues.
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.