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.
Worst car buying experience ever! Sales people were really nice as they sold us a vehicle at almost double the Edmunds estimated value. Then less than six months after the purchase the vehicle dies. Stowasser told us not our problem. Then we discovered they had been re-selling this vehicle to anyone who would take it (3 sales in less than 6 years). I understand a used vehicle is a used vehicle but this is just unacceptable. My husband is a disabled vet and we live on a very slim budget. Now we are left with an expensive lawn ornament. Estimates are in the several thousands to fix.
I was floored. First of all I made appointment for 11am. I took my Ford Fusion in for first oil change, drove up and immediately the service person started typing in my information, NEVER once did he ask my name nor turn to introduce himself. Did not leave a good taste in my mouth. I like at any other dealership did not look at my paperwork figuring it was correct, when told my car was ready, service person walked out without advising me where the cashier was located. Being my first time there I had to locate it on my own. Once I made contact with Cashier I looked at my paperwork to discover it was not me and the car was not mine. TWO STRIKES! Waited addition 35 minutes for them to straighten out their error. They gave me a free oil change for inconvenience. Making an appointment did me no good, I will never return to their service department nor dealership. Both my husband and I have purchased vehicles from FORD/LINCOLN dealerships and NEVER had such poor service.
Very friendly. Prompt and easy to work with. Our 55in TV was repaired at a very reasonable price. They gave us a call with the estimate the same day they picked it up.
Broke down on a road trip. Called James in service and he saw to it that my adventure continued without delay. Great place. Thanks.
Fantastic and fast service! Thank you so much for the repair of my FreeWheeler!!!!
Wow. Often it seems when making a large purchase such as a car or motorcycle it can be an overwhelming process with all the paperwork, credit checks, sales men, etc. I can truly say that buying my new bike from this dealership was the smoothest, most painless comfortable process I've experienced when buying a bike. Everyone from the front counter girl to the manager Chris were very helpful in the process. I was even able to order a new set of handlebars and risers to better fit me from the parts counter I believe Tony was the gentlemen that helped me along with that. Can't wait to log some miles on my new bike!
While on a 19 day trip of a lifetime touring the Southwest on April 27th, 2016, the warning lights on the dash of my 2012 HD Street Glide came on indicating a problem with my charging system. My voltmeter was showing only 10 volts so I knew I had to get to a Harley dealer soon or the bike would be done. I pulled into Santa Maria Harley and spoke with James at the service desk who got my bike in right away and determined it was my regulator. James, Chris, and Dennis got the part replaced, charged my battery back up, and tested the battery to make sure it would hold a charge for my return trip to MN. I even told them flat out that if there was any doubt in their minds about the battery I would buy a new one. They could have easily sold me a new battery, but they assured me my battery was fine. Heck, they even washed my bike for me and got me back on the road in about 2 hours.
Over the years I have bought several Harley-Davidson's from Santa Maria Harley-Davidson. I have had nothing but great experiences that is why I keep coming back! The parts guys are always eager to help me out and even know my name. The general manager is very knowledgeable. I've seen him helping people with sales and parts. It's very unusual to see a GM get out from behind a desk anywhere else.
This is my new place for taking my Honda cruiser to have it worked on. I was bummed the one Saturday I took it there for a valve adjustment. They got it done in a timely manner, but when I rode it home, my bike was dripping oil and it was burning and smoking on my pipes. I got it home and called them up to tell them the deal. I talked to Chris the general manager and he immediately had their driver in route to pick up my bike from my house. The driver came and picked it up, they checked it out--determined it was a pinched O-ring and kept it to work on it the next business days. I was freaking out because my bike is my commuter--the guys there hooked me up with a 2013 Harley Soft Tail Heritage. I got to ride this awesome bike the week they were working on my bike to get the problem fixed and clean up the mess that was on it from the oil.
five stars for sure! was on a road trip last week, and noticed my rear tire was getting down to the wear bars on my ultra classic. Was at the dealership when they opened on Tuesday, GM chris backs explained that they had a lot of motorcycles ahead of me but they would see what they could do. 15 minutes later they were wheeling my bike back into the shop, and another hour later returned it out front, with the new tire and and an unasked for but greatly appreciated wash job. Price for the tire and labor to install was fair, and appreciated the time that chris spent going over the old motorcycles that were in their collection on the showroom floor. I can highly recommend them.
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.