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?
396 N Balph AvePittsburgh, PA 15202
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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.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAR HERE!! I had been a loyal customer at this location for almost 2 years, and for the past year I've had nothing but disappointment. I took my car in late May 2012 for its 30,000 mile check-up, and they told me that the front brake pads and rotors were totally worn out. They said they would need to be replaced and that my back brakes had also gone out of alignment and would need to be readjusted. They charged me about $500 (~$400 of it was for the new rotors and brake pads). Less than a week after this work was performed, I started hearing this terrible grinding noise. It wasn't happening all the time but would just come and go. Of course I was freaked out by it, so I took it back to this NTB (about 2 weeks after I had the brake work done) and asked them to check things out. I told them I thought the sound was coming from the brakes, but I didn't know what could be causing it. After having my car for a few hours, they told me they couldn't find anything wrong with my car or my brakes, and that when they took the car for a test drive that they didn't hear anything. They said the sound could be coming from the new ceramic pads rubbing a bit and settling in, and that if I started having problems or hearing the sound more frequently that I should bring it back in. Well, a couple months went by and I heard the sound maybe once but it only lasted for a few seconds and then went away completely so things still seemed ok.Finally, in early September, I had taken my car to Meineke for a standard oil change. When the guy was backing my car up, it made the sound again. He told me that I needed to get my car checked as soon as possible. I told him that I was aware of the sound and that I had already taken it to NTB once to have it checked. I briefly told him about getting my front brake pads and rotors replaced in late May and how my car had already been in once. He looked up in his system the labor + rotors + their best set of brake pads and said it would have only cost me $280 if I had taken it there...so I was over charged by $100! Of course, Meineke offered to check things out (they said they thought the sound was coming from the back brakes), but I wanted to take my car back to NTB since they had done the work.So that same day, I took my car back to NTB 15237. When they call, the guy begins with trying to explain my braking system and how there are disc brakes in the front of my car and drum brakes in the back (I'm like get to the point...) He says that one of the springs in my back drum brakes had snapped and that was what was making the grinding noise. I asked him what might cause such a spring to snap, and he couldn't give me a straight answer (Mostly like “Well, it’s hard to tell without actually being there when it happened...). Then I ask how much it would cost to fix-- with parts and labor, $275. I ask him how soon I need to get it fixed (obviously I had been driving around with this snapped spring for a few months. He tells me that it's not something that needs immediately fixed; it's not the spring that attaches the brake to the drum. Then I ask him which spring has snapped then. He says the spring that attaches to the back adjuster is the one that snapped. And I say, "Oh, the spring attached to the adjuster that you guys were messing with to realign my brakes?" And he says, "Yes, and I understand what you are implying but there is NO WAY that we would have snapped your brake." They were completely rude about it and refused to take any part in the blame, despite the sequence of events explained above (I didn’t expect them to pay for everything, but at least offering a small discount on the work as an olive branch). PS…I found the spring online, it costs $3.33. I called around to other mechanics have been told that for parts + labor, replacing this spring should not cost more than $100. Save yourself the trouble and take your car somewhere else!
"Took my car here for an inspection and a load of repairs that I knew were coming (brakes, tires, oil change). I had the tires ordered on http://TireRack.com (like it suggests on their website) and they were delivered in a day, installed for a reasonable price. Not dirt cheap, but reasonable and better than Firestone or NTB. Unfortunately for my bank account, there were a few pricey additional items needed (catalytic converter, engine mount). Unlike everyone else on here with add-ons, I don't think they were trying to fleece me. The check engine light had been going on and off for some time, which was related to a hole found in the exhaust. With Hyundai Elantras, the exhaust flex pipe is part of the cat, so it was necessary to replace. I double checked what the guys had told me with my own research and found no reason to distrust them. The car had been making some general ""rough"" noises, which I reasoned to be the cracked engine mount. I also explained my financial situation (poor) and they tried everything they could to help, such as make sure the O2 sensor was no longer malfunctioning after replacing the cat, instead of just replacing it as well. And I'm pretty sure they threw in a pair of new windshield wipers. :-) After the fact, I looked at the parts and labor costs, and found that they were very reasonable, if not better than other places I have been in the past. The car now rides like a dream: quiet, no rumbles, squeaks or other ""rough"" noises as I mentioned before. Good job Baum Blvd Auto!On a side note, the lobby is pretty awesome, which some of the owner's collection of antique radios, a baseball pinball machine and cool signs."
Everyone in the service department at the dealership has been tremendous, but I cannot say the same for BMW on a corporate level. My car is only a few months old and the keep fob fell apart. I called the BMW corporate number to complain, and after more than 20 minutes on hold, they told me they would not cover it. I had to pay $250 for a new fob which had to be programmed at the dealership. However, the new key fob would not work. After FOUR trips to the dealership on four different days, it was finally programmed. It was not the dealership's fault - it was BMW's --- the BMW corporate engineers couldn't figure out the problem. They ordered a second new fob and still had problems programming it. I had to take off work on four separate days for this inconvenience, it cost the dealership and their mechanics time and money (shuttle service and rental car). This was not the dealership's fault and they should not have to have incurred the time and costs. The dealership couldn't have been more accommodating to me - they were wonderful. However, I am very unhappy with BMW on a corporate level. I should not have had to go to this expense, inconvenience and trouble.
have been takingFinally a Mechanic I Can TrustI have been taking my cars to Marcos for over fifteen years. Marco was recommended to me by my husband's Volvo mechanic. I had taken my car to a local Chevy dealer for its annual inspection. The car seemed to be running fine so you can imagine my surprise when I was quoted a price of $1200. to fix my car so that it could pass inspection. I had the mechanic write down everything that needed to be done to the car. I then took this list to Marco. He looked the car over (no charge) and then explained in plain language the problems that needed to be fixed. Marco fixed my car and passed it for inspection for a grand total of $600. The car ran great and I saved myself $600. I have been taking my cars to Marco's ever since. In addition to being a great mechanic, I find Marco to be honest and fair. When my car does need work he takes the time to answer my questions in language that I can understand. Also, Marco has NEVER done any work on my car without clearing it with me first. Fifteen years of experience make me very comfortable in highly recommending Marco's Garage.
In response to Nathan, Mitchell's flat rate labor rate to R+R heads on his Jeep is 13.5 hours@ $80.00=$1080.00, he was charged 1120. Estimate of 1200. was always just labor and he was told that. Make no mistake, he was informed of every step. We can't tell what machine shop charges will be till they access heads. Holiday and Vacation of Machine shop delayed completion. Design changes on Timing cover parts alone cost three days of searching. Sounds bad, but numbers don't lie. we told him approx. 1200. labor plus, we charged him 1120. plus mach. shop costs. and we solved his issues. $539.50 in gaskets, fluids, head bolts, plugs, a/c refrigerant, etc. Not all that much for major surgery. He was involved every step. 33 years and one key board jockey bad review? Who's the bad guy here?
I have been taking my car there since we moved to Morningside. While always satisfied with the service and price - they just saved us a ton of money when we went there for a second opinion after the Honda Shadyside dealer told us we needed $1500 in repairs to address a steering wheel vibration (no, balancing the wheels has nothing to do with that - several engine mounts were supposedly completely broken and the car wouldnt even pass inspection, according to Honda). Long story short - HiTech balanced wheels and fixed the problem for $40 and made a point of waiting for me and showing me in person that all engine mounts are not just ok but completely undamaged. Same for the other thing Honda claimed needed repaired.
I also explained my financial situation (poor) and they tried everything they could to help, such as make sure the O2 sensor was no longer malfunctioning after replacing the cat, instead of just replacing it as well. And I'm pretty sure they threw in a pair of new windshield wipers. :-) After the fact, I looked at the parts and labor costs, and found that they were very reasonable, if not better than other places I have been in the past. The car now rides like a dream: quiet, no rumbles, squeaks or other "rough" noises as I mentioned before. Good job Baum Blvd Auto!
When my daughter broke down, we took the advice of the AAA operator and had the car towed to Baum Boulevard Automotive. This shop is top notch. We're 3 hours away trying to get the car fixed and they went way above the service we expected. We received an honest evaluation, 10% student discount on labor and very prompt service. But most of all they promised to make the car safe for her to drive and included a safety check 7 days later. It is very refreshing to do business with honest people that have your best interests at heart.
The Salesperson(Veronica Hernandez)was very informative, she went above and beyond what I consider her sales duties to make sure that we bought the best truck for us. She didn't lay on the sales pressure and it was much appreciated. We are very happy with the F150 XLT so much that I have a couple of family members that are likely going to look her up when it becomes time to purchase their next truck. (We were always Chevy folks but Veronica was a good salesperson) Thank you for the good experience.
Overall I am satisfied with the services I received. After $4,200 and three trips, they finally figured out what was wrong. The only thing that needs improvement is diagnosing the issue and conveying the correct information to the service tech. The third and final time I brought it in, a foreman drove with me and knew exactly what the issue was. If that time had been taken in the beginning, I wouldn't have been back 3 times and would've been more satisfied.
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.