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 cannot say enough great things about these guys! They did a great job & gave me a great deal too!!!
Automotive Diagnostic Center, Marysville, WA: I had done business with Mr. Wilbur over a year and ½ (September 2014-May 2016). In that time, I put over $11,000 into his business, including an engine rebuild. I would say I got about 55% good and 45% bad for my money. He has problems with some of his parts (distributor, alternator), and some of his mechanics (leaving parts loose or forgetting to do work, overfilling at oil changes repeatedly, and putting coil wire near engine so as to die on the road). His A/C mechanic mis-diagnosed twice at my cost, though Mr. Wilbur promised air blowing "popsicle sticks." Also, once Mr. Wilbur has determined my bill, he has typically refused to change it, no matter how ridiculous his charges are. He comes across as knowledgeable and friendly, until you realize he overcharges, and there are too many recurrent problems from the work done there. He claims higher prices for the supposed quality. This is not the case at all.Mr. Wilbur refuses to honor one of his warranties. An alternator was installed on 12/2/15 by one of his mechanics. On 12/3/15, a check engine light came on, and it looked like a problem. I called Mr. Wilbur, and he said to bring it in. The check engine light went out by the time I arrived there. Mr. Wilbur seemed happy at this, and did not have his mechanic take a look. Six and ½ months later, Mr. Wilbur’s alternator not only failed, but it also destroyed my PCM (confirmed later by a separate mechanic after Mr. Wilbur's alternator destroyed other new PCMs until the alternator was replaced). I called to Mr. Wilbur since I was stranded out of town with his failed alternator. He did not respond back in almost 2 business days, so I had to call again and take care of it myself. Yet, he refuses to reimburse me to this day, and it has cost me an added $1480.72 because I went to his shop. If he would have reimbursed me fairly, I would not have had to write this. I see others have had similar experiences with Mr. Wilbur.
Like other reviews suggest, Automotive Diagnostics will take your money, and give you a sense that they know what they are doing. And sometimes they do, but too often, they have repaired something that did not need repaired and gave the illusion it was fixed, but they won't refund you for their errors. They just keep taking your money for subpar work.
Took in my 2005 Kia Sedona for radiator problem. He said he would have it finished by the end of the day. I never received a call as to the problem or for a quote of parts and labor. My husband went by there around 3pm to check on progress only to find that he had not even gotten radiator out. Vehicle wasn't ready until the next day around 5pm. We were over-charged in my opinion with a $553 bill. We got vehicle home and took a look under the hood to discover that bolts were left out and things were loose. Husband called and the owner said that he left out the bolts because they were too hard to put back. Husband asked if we could run it by the next day and have bolts put in and guy said yes. We took it in only to have the guy get mad at us and tell us he was done. No bolts were put back. We did call the police, but it's a civil matter and there's not much they can do. They did talk to him and he said he would put the bolts in but would need it left for 1 1/2 hours to put in 3 bolts and he would only do that if we weren't there waiting. Umm NO! He just can't be trusted to do it since he didn't do it right the first time. So, I'm taking the van to another mechanic. We did ask the guy for the bolts so that maybe my husband could put them in but he said he didn't have them. Weird since they were there when I took it in. Do not use this mechanic.
I have scheduled 3 appointments and every time I've gone they send me back and schedule me for later. A simple tire rotation! Horrible service. I walked in and I Waited until someone from the waiting room ended up being an employee and finally asked me what I needed. Never coming back again the worst customer service in my life!
very knowledgable and extremely clean shop. Mike knows his stuff and is known as the carb guru!
brought a lawn mower, chain saw, pressure washer and weed eater to get their annual tune up for spring and none but the mower worked if only for a day.When I brought the mower in it started with one or two pulls.. now we have to fight with it for ten minutes and hope it works. Seems the prime just isnt working now.The weed eater needed new gas lines, they said they put in new ones, but the bubble primer busted after three squeezes. The chain saw doesn't start up at all.The pressure washer *(only 2 years old, stored indoors) had some issues starting before bringing it, but it would start, now it jumps around violently, and pulling it as many times as I had patience for over an hour didnt help. Yes the water was connected and running and all the dials were on.Ultimattely if you bring your stuff there, don't expect it to be fixed. $200.00 later I'm in worse shape than when I started.PSThis is on a private residence, they work out of a giant warehouse. Maybe they do better with the bigger stuff like tractors.
Great place, was very impressed with the customer service also recieved shuttle service home and then got picked up when my car was finished. Their prices are comparable to other repair shops. I would recommend this shop to anyone that needs car repair. Oh and I even got a courtesy vacuum.
I took my car to automotive diagnostics center on friday oct 16th to fix problems the check engine light showed.when i dropped off my car the secretary told me the mechanics were on their lunch break. so when that afternoon john wilbur called i told him my concerns and he said they would start work on monday. monday employee mark called and said after an hour he did a compression test and needed another hour to check into it more. later he called and told me what he found and what the fix was and the cost of labor parts and a machine shop charge. the next day john wilbur called and gave me an update on my car and said he had to add another 20 percent to the machine shop charge and that labor was at around 1400.00. so after that phone call from john wilbur i got suspicious because no written estimate was offered.so i went in and talked to john wilbur and asked him why two people are giving me different prices? he said he had to add 20 percent and that employee mark forgot to. he then said he likes to do a prognosis on the car at no charge when it's put together to ensure it doesn't have to come back in a second time. i said i thought you found the problem that's why i let you do 2 hours to diagnose the car. he said well he needs to know what caused the damage to the parts he's fixing??i asked him i thought you found the problem that's why you're going to get the parts and put it back together? he said it's ok.on oct. 28th the day he said the car would be ready the same check engine light came on along with the same problems that it had when i brought it in. so at no charge to me he had his best two mechanics on it and said they will figure it out. i knew he was scamming me.on saturday oct. 30th he called and said it would be around another 2 grand to fix the problem. i told him to get the car ready and i'll pick it up and that i shouldn't have to pay over 3,000 dollars to get my car back with the same problems!after picking up the car and asking him why he's charging me and he didn't fix the car? he said he and his mechanics did nothing wrong! i took my car to a second repair shop and had him diagnose and see what he could find.the next day after diagnosing the car for 2 hours and 160.00 dollars he said it was major problems with the bottom end. and it would cost right around 3,500 to replace pistons and labor, he then told me he uses the same machine shop that Automotive Diagnostics Center usesand that the machinist that worked on my heads told him that an employee from Automotive Diagnostics Center told him that something got sucked through the motor. which means major problems with the bottom end of the motor.so JOHN WILBUR AND AUTOMOTIVE DIAGNOSTICS CENTER knew all along about the major problems with my car but did not say one thing to me and charged me over 3,000 dollars to fix a lesser problem that did nothing to improvethe condition of my car!John Wilbur and Automotive Diagnostics Center are not honest or trust worthy they are nothing but a rip off repair shop.i filed a complaint with the BBB.
I have been taking my car to Automotive Diagnostic Center for 2 years and found that they are very trustworthy and have always fixed my car. I would recommend this shop to anyone. I have been to other shops before bringing my car to Automotive Diagnostic Center and was ripped off, so it is nice to have a shop that can do the job.
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.