10-WE hate spending your money, (without your consent)- for a diagnosis on intermittent, a best guess or a time and materials job like brake lines. I absolutely hate spending your money if we are not on the same page. We like to make the car that has that intermittent problem do it and confirm the problem before just throwing parts at it. If we must throw parts at it, we like to be honest and let you know it’s 50/50 80/20 or 70/30 best chance that it is going to fix it. If we cannot guarantee that we are going to get paid, and you are going to be happy, we really do not want to do it.
9- We do not like the oil maintenance reminder lights at all. Yes, cars have become more efficient in their oil use, but the people have not stayed the same or gotten better in car maintenance. A large majority of our clientele only know that you turn the key and go until you do not. A broad range of vehicle manufacturers have now set oil changes at 7500 miles or above intervals. We usually will see people when they need an oil change. That is 7500 miles or above that the tires have not been rotated or checked, that we have not checked for steering or suspension issues, that lights have not been checked, or state inspection status. We rate our full synthetic oil change at 5000 miles and the synthetic blend oil changes at 3500 miles. Pushing your oil changes that extra 2500 miles can total tires that have wear issues a lot faster than if we caught it at 5000 miles and were able to perform the alignment, tire rotation, or suspension check. Also try resetting a Volvo oil reset, I have yet to do it correctly the first time.
8-Someone can always do it cheaper(supposedly). Just because someone can, doesn’t mean they should.
There really is not anything stopping me from doing brain surgery, cooking, becoming my own lawyer, a wedding photographer, or teaching America’s youth. That doesn’t mean I should, and I really mean it when I say I would make a really crappy photographer, I just don’t have the artist eye. I am currently banned from ordering pizza because my cooking is that bad, and if I were a surgeon chances are you would be walking on your elbows upside down.
Our techs have been trained, take classes yearly, have access to our network of business contacts, and repair software to stay on top of the ever-evolving cars. On top of that we carry the proper certification for state inspections, to do AC charges, and we carry insurance 9 ways till Sunday that guarantees that if there is a problem, we have you covered. We also install quality parts, I have a list of part numbers, part lines, and brands that we outright do not trust, because they have a high fail rate. We don’t need practice doing a repair twice, and you don’t want us to. Can Mr./Mrs. Cheaper promise that?
7-Parts quality matters. Yes, there are 60.00 tires out there, but if they cup, have cords the shift in the sidewall, or generally fall apart at 10k miles are they really worth it? An awesome garage will help you, by making sure you are getting a good quality part. If your Check Engine light is on for that dreaded P0420 code, and they are putting on a cheap aftermarket catalytic converter, when you live in an emissions county, are they really doing you a favor?
6-They aren’t afraid to give you their opinion. There have been many times that we have told customers, “Look this car is not what you need or can handle, it’s time to start looking for something else”, or “no matter how cool it looks and sounds a WRX is not the car for a first time driver, unless they are footing the bill, because otherwise we will see it more than they do.” We would tell you what we have encounter with certain models or manufacturers, like the 2013-2014 Chevy traverse 3.6Liter Awd trans suck, and if you buy the car used, to make the trans was done, otherwise we very well may be replacing it for you. We ended up doing 2 in one month’s time.
5-They are willing to explain and back up their recommendations to you in a way that you can understand. There have been quite a few times that I have brought in a tech to talk to a customer on the phone, so that we get the problems solved and addressed as well as explain to a customer the reason their car failed. We also aren’t afraid to take a customer into the bay and show them the problem. It makes it more real to see it.
4-They give you options. For instance, on the older Subarus, we have a bare bones head gasket job, which is basically just replacing the head gaskets. Then I have a deluxe head gasket replacement, which we include replacing the timing belt and pulleys, water pump, spark plugs, hoses, and air filter for preventative maintenance. If due at time of head gaskets, and they replaced the parts in deluxe offering they will save almost 500.00 in labor than if they did them separate.
We also let customers know ahead of time, that they will need tires for winter, instead of waiting for winter to show up and pop up with hey you need tires. If you have 4/32” at State inspection in April, you are going to need tires come winter. I keep a list of people who are getting low on brakes, tires and other stuff needed, so that if I come across a sale, guess who is getting called.
3-They are willing to admit when they are wrong. If they aren’t willing to admit their mistakes, what else are they hiding? We have insurance in place for when we make mistakes, and we work with our customers to correct it, in the best way possible. We will also make a new policy, so that we shouldn’t make the same mistake again. One time we pulled a garage door down on an SUV roof, now the roof was high enough that you had to be an NBA player to see the damage, and if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t see it. We used Insurance to fix the customer’s roof, and then turned around and made corrections to our behavior so that it doesn’t happen again.
2-WE use google too, sometimes, for your car. Sometimes, it’s for how to reset the stupid oil light, because you can read the directions and they don’t make sense. Other times, we have a vehicle with a really weird problem and our repair software haven’t come across it, so we can’t necessarily condemn a part very easily, or actually confirm that it is a problem and not a design flaw. Once we can confirm or condemn, then we can verify with the software, and our network to give you the best repair. We use google as a source, but not as the be all or end all without verification. As my grandmother always said, trust but verify.
And last but not least
1-We don’t, off the top of our heads, know what every button or light in your car does. Cars keep getting more and more electrical and keep coming up with more features for comfort. There are some cars, that with a press of a button, it can tell what butt is in the seat and automatically adjust the comfort of the seat, steering wheel and mirrors. I still haven’t found the seat ejection button, which is useful for annoying brothers, but I am still going to look.
Then you have the lights, and those lights, while helpful, sometimes can be scary at other times. For instance, when the check engine light comes on, and then the Cruise Control light starts blinking, brake light comes on, makes your dashboard look like the Parkland Christmas light drive thru. You more than likely have 1 problem that disabled all those systems for safety and to guarantee the least amount of damage to your vehicle, but we aren’t going to know until we see it. There are the same lights with different colors like the genie lamp oil light, which mean different things. You got different variations of the lights like the tire light in shape of a tire and the worded TPM light. So, when we ask questions that seem redundant, just know we are trying to get full picture.
There are more courtesies and intel than listed that your repair facility should be informing you of, or providing for you. These are ones that just popped into my head while waiting for the techs to finish their job so I can do mine.