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?
Quality begins when you pick up the phone. Let’s say Sally answers. Did she listen to you and demonstrate understanding of what you want? Did she help you understand what to expect when you bring in your vehicle?
Once your vehicle is in the shop does she or the mechanic help you understand what is wrong with the vehicle, what the procedure is to fix it and how they arrived at the cost to repair the vehicle?
A quality repair shop will also help you stay on top of maintenance services and will be proactive in helping you repair things before they fail.
Sally will take the time she needs to help you feel confident in the decisions you are making for the services your vehicle needs.
When your vehicle starts making that funny noise again, you bring it to a repair shop because they are the experts and you are not. The mechanic, George, should exhibit that he is truly an expert at his craft. He will do tests, evaluations, and research until he’s confident about the cause of the problem and the solution.
Hearing, “let’s do this and see if it fixes the problem.” usually means they don’t actually know what’s wrong and they are asking you to spend money on a repair you may or may not need and may or may not fix the problem. Instead, the mechanic should be confident that he knows what’s wrong and how to fix it.
How can you trust George’s confidence in the solution? He, or Sally, should be able to explain it clearly and answer your questions until you understand their findings and how they got there. You might just take their word for it, but you shouldn’t have to.
An important part of a lasting repair is quality parts. This means using Original Equipment (OE – made by the vehicle manufacturer) or an aftermarket equivalent.
But what if there is a less expensive part? Why not go with that? Well, you know the saying – you get what you pay for. By purchasing a lower quality, lower price, part you are asking to pay for the same repair twice. For example, if the OE or aftermarket equivalent costs $100 and the lower quality part costs $75. You are saving $25, right? Not exactly. The OE part may last eight years where the cheaper part only lasts four. In the long run, now you are spending a total of $150 in parts plus twice the labor along with the extra hassle of bringing your car back to the shop.
Quality craftsmanship is just as important as the parts.
We once had someone call our shop to complain about a repair. He said that we repaired his radiator with duct tape and now it’s leaking again. I was suspicious because it didn’t sound like something Andrew would do. I looked up his name in our database and couldn’t find it. It turns out that he mixed us up with another repair shop nearby.
This guy was obviously very upset. Trust had been broken and he would have to pay for another repair that could have been fixed right the first time, most likely by replacing the radiator.
While this is an extreme example, it’s common in this industry for mechanics to cut corners in order to move the car through the shop and move onto another job (the reasons for this is a whole other blog post). Attention to detail is very important when repairing a vehicle.Even something that may seem minor, like properly tightening lug nuts, can make a big difference.
A mechanic telling you, “We could do it this way but it would be faster and cheaper to do it that way,” is usually a sign of someone cutting corners.
Long Lasting Repairs
Quality parts and craftsmanship both lend to a longer lasting repair. We can count on one hand how many times we’ve had a comeback in six years, and most of those were due to a defective part. That’s how seriously we take our focus on quality.
You can be confident you’ve found a quality-focused shop if Sally and George are clearly communicating:
- What to expect throughout the process
- What’s wrong with the vehicle and how they arrived at that conclusion
- Why they’ve chosen the parts they have
- How George plans to do the repairs
Once you’ve built a trusting relationship with a shop you probably need less detail and have less questions. You will be less stressed when bringing in your car and probably even be glad to see George and Sally.