We regularly discuss whether a client should fix or replace their vehicle. Many of these clients mention its value per Kelly Blue Book (KBB) or Edmunds when making this decision. While market value comes into play when looking to buy a vehicle, it doesn’t really account for much when looking at whether keeping the vehicle and repairing it makes more financial sense.
Our family’s 1994 Toyota Corolla has a few quirks, but has been a reliable vehicle overall. Having been around vehicles so much over the years, I have a unique peace of mind about driving a vehicle of any age. Why? Because I’m educated about what’s normal, what’s not, and what to do if there is a problem. You can have the same peace of mind.
Sights, Sounds and Smells
It’s important to know how your vehicle communicates. There are many indicators when there is a problem. Being able to describe the sights, sounds and smells that could indicate a problem helps you talk to your auto repair shop so they can have a good understanding of where they should start testing and evaluating the problem. Having this information also helps you know whether you have something to be concerned about.
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.
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?
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!?
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.