Is Your Mechanic Treating You Fairly?

Is Your Mechanic Treating You Fairly?

Fair is being told the truth even if it’s not good news.

Fair is clear communication.

Fair is meeting a high standard of excellence.

Fair is knowing you are getting good value for your money.

Fair is seeing actions align with words.

Fair is being treated with respect.

It doesn’t matter if your mechanic is great at fixing cars if you don’t feel like you are being treated fairly. I can’t count the number of times a person, especially a woman, has come into our shop with a tale or two of feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of by an auto repair shop. There are many ways people have been treated unfairly by auto repair shops but I want to focus on what being fair should look like. 

Communication

Throughout the process of your vehicle’s service, both you and the shop have expectations of one another. You expect them to be up front with you about cost, the service to be done and the timeframe it will take to complete the work. The first thing a shop should do is ask questions that help them understand what your expectations are. They should listen to you.

Throughout the process, no matter whether you are just in for an oil change or an extensive engine repair, the shop should communicate clearly what their recommendations are, how they intend to complete the work, and what the budget is for that service. This conversation should begin before the vehicle is touched. What cost should I expect for testing and evaluation? When will I get an estimate? Will my questions be answered so that I can give approval for the work with confidence?

The shop should update you regularly when the services take more than a day. You should know where they are in the process and they should be the one calling you before you feel the need to call them.

Price

This is often a sticky topic when it comes to auto repair and one that is very important to most people. Yes, owning a vehicle and the repairs that come with it is expensive. This is why many people price shop when looking for a new mechanic. A fair price is about more than what you are billed at the end of your visit. I’ve written a lot about this important topic, so check out the links below.

A fair repair shop will…

Craftsmanship

An auto repair shop practicing fairness will do everything they can to fix it right the first time. They will have all of the tools, equipment, and resources they need to do the job right. A mechanic who is more than just a mechanic, but an automotive technician takes his craftsmanship seriously. They are constant students of their craft. 

A fair mechanic will take care to follow all steps and procedures to high standards without taking the “easy” way out. Auto repair is more than just “turning wrenches.” It’s about being a craftsman.

Are You Being Treated Fairly?

A fair auto repair shop will welcome your questions and take time to give you answers. They communicate clearly what your vehicle needs, why, and how they formulated the budget for the repair. Vehicle maintenance and repairs are one of your biggest expenses, so you deserve to be treated with fairness and respect. These are basic standards you should expect everyone to follow, especially your auto repair shop.

You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For

What is your reaction when you see a business advertise a “quality” service or product? For me personally, a claim of quality doesn’t influence my purchasing decision. I wonder if it’s just a marketing ploy. I want to experience the quality, or hear about other’s experiences, before I trust in the claim. 

Quality is a value our shop strives for, but we don’t want you to take our word for it. We want you to experience it for yourself. 

So, the question really is, how do you know if an auto repair shop truly meets a quality standard? 

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Is Your Mechanic Being Honest?

Is Your Mechanic Being Honest?

I was talking with a friend the other day about her latest car repair experience. Her vehicle had broken down and was towed to the shop AAA recommended. After testing and evaluation, some inexpensive parts, and labor to fix the car, they received a bill for about $1,000. She was shocked that after only a couple new bolts it cost that much. She was under the impression the invoice said two mechanics made $50 an hour each for the job. There were only a few inexpensive parts, so why did it cost so much!?

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How to Build Trust With Your Auto Mechanic

How to Build Trust With Your Auto Mechanic

Cheryl hung up the phone and thought about what she should do. She wasn’t sure the woman from the repair shop was giving her the right information. Did she really need to have all that work done? Struts, shocks, control arms, an alignment and tires? It seemed excessive. 

She called her husband. They decided they should call Uncle Billy who does a lot of his own work in his driveway. She trusted his advice about cars.

This experience was so much like all the others. She was hoping this shop would be different – the woman that answered the phone seemed nice enough. It’s for this reason that she rarely went back to the same repair shop more than once or twice. They seemed to want to sell her more than what she really needed.

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Taking Ownership of Your Auto Repair

Taking Ownership of Your Auto Repair

It’s common to be uneasy about having your vehicle serviced. Shop practices vary widely so it’s hard to know what to expect. Not surprisingly, many people have their guard up.

With too many negative experiences you can lose hope. Maybe you expect “the list” or pressure tactics. Maybe you assume that no-one will look out for you so you must look out for yourself.

Maybe you’d be relieved just to find a shop that will  find and fix the problem the first time, charge fairly, and treat you well.

We all use our past experiences and current desires to decide what paths we take toward a solution. This includes auto service. Automotive service paths can be short and effective or long, winding, and tiresome. Whether it’s home sweet home, feeling at home at work, or feeling at home with another person, there’s always a path that got you “home”. 

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The Stress-Free Holiday Road Trip

The Stress-Free Holiday Road Trip

Jim and Jade are preparing to take their children to visit Grandma and Grandpa (a four-hour drive) over the week of Thanksgiving. Their 2005 Honda Odyssey has been trustworthy for around-town driving and the occasional weekend trip. They’ve done a fairly good job of keeping up on maintenance and repairs amidst their busy schedules. However, they’re not quite sure the vehicle is ready for a long road trip and they know it’s due to be checked. On Friday, a week before they need to leave, they call their auto repair shop to schedule that pre-trip inspection for peace of mind.

Jim dials the phone. As usual, he hears Tina’s friendly voice on the other end.

“Tina, hi, I would like to schedule the Odyssey for a pre-trip check.  We’re planning to head out of town on Friday. Can I have the vehicle looked over and get the oil changed while it’s there?”

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