How to help us help you…and save yourself money and time!
The more information we have when you bring your vehicle in for a problem (or maintenance), the quicker we can figure out what is going on and the less it will cost in diagnostic charges. If you are simply bringing your car in for routine maintenance, be sure and let us know if you have any concerns or if you have been noticing odd noises or vibrations.
Of course, for those cars we have been taking care of for many years, we have maintenance and repairs records to refer to, which is less costly than running a Car Fax.
Recently, we have had a few instances where customers neglected to tell us of their car’s previous service/repair history, which would lead us to look at specific problems. We also had a customer that did not tell us a friend had tried to fix their car, and then the noises changed. Specific information helps us know where to start looking for specific problems whether it is front, rear, side to side, or under the hood. These are very important details to help a technician narrow down your specific problem.
Time is money! Even though modern cars have computers that can tell our technicians where the problem may lie, those computer diagnostic codes are simply “bread crumbs” that lead us in a direction toward the system that may be the problem. In most cases, diagnostic procedures to find the exact problem still requires a skilled technician.
In order to help us help you in the most efficient manner, any automotive shop needs to know the following type of details:
- If you are experiencing a noise, vibration, or trouble starting the vehicle:
- At what speed does the noise or vibration occur?
- Does the problem with starting occur when the car is cold or when the car is warmed up?
- Or is the problem intermittent? Sometimes happens, sometimes not.
- Have you had your car or truck into another shop, or have you or a friend tried to repair the problem? If so, what has been done?
- If you are losing any fluid (oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, or ANY color puddle under where you usually park your vehicle), be sure and let us know when and where you think the fluid is coming from. Is it in the front or back of the car? Passenger or driver side?
- If you have been adding oil, how often? How much (1 quart, 4 quarts)?
- How long have you noticed the specific problem that you are coming in for? A day, a month, only occasionally?
If a problem is intermittent, be aware that we may need to keep the vehicle for a couple of days in order to reproduce the noise or symptom. We generally need to see the car when it is acting up (just like a child!!) in order to fix the problem.
Communication is important both ways. Our Service Advisors at the front desk are very knowledgeable individuals who take great care to transmit your concerns to our technicians, and then, in turn, translate the technician’s findings into language that is understandable to our customers. The Service Advisors can also help when you need to make those tough decisions, like is the car worth the needed repair. Those decisions certainly depend upon whether you want to keep the vehicle, the value of the car, the cost of the repair and the lifespan of the vehicle going forward.
We love helping our customers maintain and repair their vehicle, for the purposes and way in which a customer uses their vehicle. We are only as good as the information that is given to us when the car is dropped off to us. Help us help you by giving us very accurate information, so that we can give you honest accurate information about your vehicle!