Car Accident Aftermath »
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.
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.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
First Major Plus: I called up Greg's Garage today, explained my problem, and asked if they could see me right then - they could. Second Major Plus: I got there, was greeted promptly, and we instantly went and looked at the car. All along the way he was explaining to me what/why he was doing what he was doing. Third Major Plus: We quickly found one of the problems with my car, it had to do with the computer, it wasn't affecting the way the car was running, but it was making it a big pain to diagnose. Instead of giving me an ultimatum (either you spend $500 to fix this so I can figure out what is wrong with your car, or I can't help you) he carefully looked over the engine, tried a few things and made his best educated guess as to what was wrong. Fourth and probably the Biggest plus in my Book: Through general banter about the car he realized I had done some minor work on the car myself. So, he gave me the opportunity to take the car home and try fixing it myself, with a few suggestions and tips. After all of that he only charged me for an hour of labor. The Result: I drove to NAPA, got all the parts for only $55 dollars, drove home, worked my car, boosted my manly ego, and I have a car that is currently running great. I also have a mechanic that I will take ALL of my work to.
I just recently went to Denver to visit my Daughter and while there the clutch on my vehicle started acting strange. We were at the club house of her apartment complex using the internet to try and find a mechanic when I asked a young man working there if he had one that he trusted. He told me their name and even gave me the phone number which he had stored in his cell phone. I called and Gary said he could get it in the next morning to see what was going on. I explained the situation to him and that I needed to get back to Arizona. I arrived there first thing in the morning and he took it right in and within a matter of minutes he diagnosed it as a Leaking Clutch Master Cylinder. He said the clutch would have to be replaced sooner or later (probably sooner) but He and the young man working with him did what they could do which was adjust it enough so I could get back home to my regular mechanic and he didn't charge me and arm and a leg. As with many of us we have that one mechanic that we trust and always go to. The same goes for me but now I have 2; 1 in Colorado and 1 at home in Arizona. I would like to thank Gary and his crew for helping a stranded tourist with honesty, fairness and empathy. You guys are top notch! Keep up the great work!
II took some advice from a friend and he talked me into changing my spark plugs in my truck after the dealership recommend it. The truck had not had a tune up ever; with 110k miles on it, I went to an auto parts store and purchased the parts. They sat in my truck -- oh for about a year now! Finally I popped the hood the other weekend and thought I should be able to change out the plugs in about an hour or so.... 3 hours later I was done.. kind of - actually I was just starting... Needless to say the truck was not running good at all. Not knowing what had gone wrong, I called around to some shops and the quotes over the phone were $600 - $700 bucks for the work that needed to be done. Then I called Greg's Garage - Greg was very upfront and honest about what was needed. First thing is first and we need to diagnose the problem, fix the problem and get you on your way. Not once did he try to sell me extra parts that were not needed. Greg saved me a few hundred bucks and gave me a clean truck back! From hear on out, I will use Greg's Garage for all my service work. Couldn't have asked for better service. For the Do-It-Yourselfers like me - think of Greg's Garage next time, it just might be easier than you think! Thanks again Greg!
Once I find a good mechanic I stay with him for years. I ended up at Greg's Garage by accident, and told him I was looking for someone else. He told me I could go, no hard feelings, which was a surprise, so I stayed to give him a chance. Now I have no reason to go anywhere else. He takes me in at the last minute if needed. He worked on the suspension when it was covered with snow. He worked under the hood (over the engine) when it was 90 degrees. He changed out three tires, but only charged me for two---and shuffled the old with the spare and balanced everything. The oil was fine, so he topped off the fluids. I do as much as I can at home, but can not get on the computer. Greg hooked up the computer, did whatever programming it was, and fixed my gas mileage. Gas prices have doubled since I got my truck. I used to get four, maybe five trips to work on one tank of gas. Now I get five, maybe six trips to work and back. I work at the same place. I drive the same way. I start from home---it must be Greg. For a domestic car, I have not found anyone better since old school friends.
These guys just saved me over $!,000 on my ECM computer replacement! Here's what happened: My old mechanic charged me $90 to diagnose my hesitating transmission on my '93 Rav 4 Toyota, to tell me what I needed was a NEW Electronic Control Module computer (a 4" x 5" unit behind the glove compartment) And that the only place who could possibly do the job was the dishonest Toyota dealer (where I bought the car), for $1,500 parts and labor. Found out that these go out all the time on '93 models. I was ready to sell the car as-is! Then after many phone calls around town, I found Dave and Phil at Toy Auto Masters, who ordered a re-built ECM computer out of L.A. They had it shipped here, installed, programmed and tested it 3 days later, for a grand total of only $498, tax included! WOW - These guys are smart! Plus they made 2 free round trips to Lakewood to drop me off and pick me up. They also were honest enough to tell me that I did NOT need to replace my 2 x $300 front struts that make some noise. I would never take my Rav 4 anywhere else - - Goodbye old mechanic -- These guys are wonderful!
I have been a customer of Shep's for over 7 years now, and I have nothing but praise for them. They are affordable, honest, and timely with all of the repairs I've had done with them (quite a few over the years). In fact, I had moved up to Brighton a while back and STILL cannot find another mechanic I trust as much. One mechanic told me recently that my engine was shot and to say goodbye to my car (unless I wanted him to replace it), after much hand-wringing I decided to get another opinion from Shep's. Simple $40 repair. After this I will be making the trip no matter what. Jack (Shep) has even worked with my insurance claims persons to straighten out issues and they ALWAYS get me in quickly when I have an emergency. Besides being genuinely great and honest mechanics, they are genuinely great people as well. Bonnie (Jack's wife) is incredibly knowledgeable and can answer just about anything without going to ask Jack. This is awesomeness for me as I rarely need to wait for a call back. I very highly recommend these guys, they are family run and just as honest as they come if you are looking for a mechanic.
Greg, (And Gene and Andy) Thank you for running a shop that is geared towards solving your customers problems. Thank you for taking the extra time and extra effort to put my truck in shape. I need this 'ole truck to get me by, and I didn't want just anybody to work on it. (1999 Chev Van, 1-ton, 5.7 L) You fellas are Master Mechanics, and I know just a little bit about that phrase. Please excuse me if I seemed to be a demanding customer. It's just that I have been disappointed so many times in the past with shops that promised me that they were capable of quality mechanical work, and then could not deliver, but charged me as such anyway. If only the rest of the independent business men in our world shared your ethic of quality trade work and honest, fair pricing. Thanks again, all of you. You guys are mechanics, not just "parts changers." Best, Mike DeNoyer, Sr. (40 yr. resident of Sheridan, CO.)
Greg has been terrific for me and my daughter-in-law. When her car broke down we had it towed to Greg's Garage. He took a look at it and gave us a price to fix it which was comparable to other shops. Since this was the 3rd time the same problem had happended we did not want to spend the money to fix it so Greg purchased the car. And gave her a free car inspection on the car she bought. I took my car in for several things. I had been to a garage when I was out of town to check a leak and a clunking noise in the rear end. I was told the transfer case was leaking and the transmission might be bad. When I returned home I called around and got prices from 4 shops for repairs. Then I went to Greg and he quoted me a price much, much lower. The transfer case was leaking but very minimally and the clunking noise was a loose spare tire!! Simple, quick fixes that saved me tons of money. I recommend checking him out.
I was referred to Greg's by a friend who told me that he and his friends always took all of their Ford trucks there for repairs. I took in an older Ford diesel moving truck that I had just purchased. Greg diagnosed the problems and advised me on which one's to fix and which to hold off on because they probably wouldn't be an issue before I made a long distance move and sold the truck. I was so pleased with Greg's service that when my wife's non-Ford car needed service shortly thereafter, I didn't even consider taking it anywhere else. When a new problem surfaced the first time we drove the fully loaded truck up I-70 into the mountains, Greg took care of us quickly despite already being fully booked for the next week. I consider myself fortunate to have been referred to Greg's Garage, and could not recommend them more highly!
I have to say it's very hard these days to find a good mechanic let alone an outstanding one, but I have! I took my Ford F-250 in for service and Greg did a wonderful job! He even went up and beyond the what I took my truck in for. He fixed my license plate which was hanging on by some wire which I never asked him to do and then washed my truck! Where else can you find service like that anymore? I originally took it in to get a new radiator. Greg is very knowledgeable as well as very friendly and personable!! He doesnt make you feel as though your just another job, but like a friend!! His prices are also very reasonable and he explains things to you which I find helpful! I will continue to take my truck in for any work I need done on it! Thanks Greg!!!
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.