The Fear Generators
The thought of automotive repair seems to strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest of Phoenix consumers. Why is that?
- When consumers go to the doctor or dentist and get bad news they fear bodily pain; when they get bad news about their vehicle they fear the pain they might feel in their wallet because repair invoices are higher than preventive maintenance invoices.
- Auto repair shops are still tops in the rating charts of businesses consumers don’t trust.
- They also top the charts in complaints to the Consumer Protection Division.
- The media took hidden cameras to several untrustworthy auto repair businesses to reinforce in the consumers’ minds that some shops are a bunch of rip-off artists.
- The general public is not very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of automotive repair because the places they do business with don’t bother to educate their customers.
Fear Eliminator: The Warranty
A reputable shop will warranty their parts and their labor. For this reason, most shops prefer not to use parts supplied by the consumer. If they do accept these types of parts generally and understandably they will not warrantee the job.
If a consumer simply can’t afford the cost of the estimated repair, shops sometimes will look for salvaged parts because they are less expensive but again, they most likely will not warrantee the job. The good news is that most independent shops will use aftermarket parts which are high in quality but are not as expensive as original manufactured parts. Aftermarket parts will be covered by warranty.
Fear Eliminator: Testimonials and an Educated Staff
- Look for testimonials from a shop’s customers…make sure they sound genuine and not something fabricated by the shop owner or his/her family
- An excellent shop is staffed by excellent people. The shop owner will make sure everyone from the owner, the service advisor to the technician is involved in continuing education classes. This industry changes quickly and without ongoing education a shop’s staff will quickly fall behind and be inept at servicing and maintaining today’s vehicles.
- Certifications show that the shop’s staff has had continuing education classes in certain areas but they must be kept current.
Fear Eliminator: The Reality
Consumers understandably want what is best for their vehicles at an affordable cost. We call that value! They sometimes go to a great deal of trouble clipping coupons for oil changes at one place, tires at another, brakes at yet another and on and on it goes. Some even tell themselves this is good for their car because they are taking it to a specialist instead of a general car care practitioner. In reality, this usually costs them more money and can actually wreak havoc with their car’s health. Eliminating an on-going relationship with a shop who knows your car’s medical history, and all the aspects of the care it has been receiving, risks getting diminished care for your car. Managed preventive maintenance reduces your car’s healthcare costs too!
Fear Eliminator: Trust
Find a shop you trust, just like you need to find a doctor, dentist or vet you trust, stick with them and your car will be healthier and have less need for repair due to preventive care. This alone will save you money! The fear factor keeps many consumers away until the car breaks down. The end result is a major repair that could have, in most instances, been prevented. Your owner’s manual tells you clearly how often your car needs servicing. The service advisor of your chosen shop can also tell you how frequently your make and model needs to have service and what services are recommended. A quarterly visit lets the technicians keep an eye on hoses and belts that could break or leak, causing problems, as well as other areas.
Don’t Let Fear Rule You
If fear has been keeping you away remember that neglecting your vehicle’s needs will cost you more money in the long run because repairs are much more expensive than maintaining a vehicle. Be proactive about your car’s health! You’ll be glad you did. You will also find that most automotive service and repair shops are excellent, reputable establishments that are staffed by people who genuinely love cars! They actually hurt to see one mistreated or neglected.