Today's cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.
But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same. The following tips should help you along the way:
Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.
- Read the owner's manual to learn about the vehicle's systems and components.
- Follow the recommended service schedules.
- Keep a log of all repairs and service.
When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don't ignore its warning signals.
Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:
- Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.
- Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.
- Worn tires, belts, hoses.
- Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.
- Note when the problem occurs.
- Is it constant or periodic?
- When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up?
- At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?
- When did the problem first start?
Once you are at our location, communicate your findings.
- Be prepared to describe the symptoms.
- Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give us.
- Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell us where it hurts and how long it's been that way, but let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.
Stay involved. . . Ask questions.
- Ask as many questions as needed to fully understand your repair. Ask for laymen terms if needed.
- Don't rush the technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. You may ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begins.
- Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
- Leave a telephone number where you can be called.
I called Keith's Automotive after my brakes started scraping a month after having them done somewhere else. After being told my caliper was bad and a $700+ quote I called Keith's and Adam was very helpful. After they looked at it Adam let me know it seized because my break line was swollen. He was able to transfer my brake warranty for the pads and rotors and along with a caliper and hose it was still well under $400. I'm thankful for their honesty, thorougness, and professionalism. If I let the other place change my caliper I would've been back in a couple days because they didn't tell me about the brake line being swollen and who knows how much money.
My vehicle broke down on a long road trip in some random place along I-70. I looked for a mechanic with good review to tow my vehicle to it, and I was lucky enough to find Keith's Automotive Center. They went the extra mile and lent a helping hand when I was literally stranded in their small town. They got my car into a service bay on a same-day basis and got back to me with preliminary diagnosis before close of business. They continued to troubleshoot the next morning and gave me solutions with quotes that were accurate. They worked over the next week to keep me informed as to progress, and in every way they went above and beyond to make sure that I was taken care of, even helping me get squared away while I was in town and trying to figure out how to get home while I awaited repairs. They delivered their work faster than they had quoted and faster than I'd have expected. Then because I had to come back from out of town, Adam met me outside of normal hours to return the vehicle to me. These guys are trustworthy and pros.