Auto Repair Horror Stories – How to Avoid Them

You have heard the horror stories. You paid to have the auto repair shop fix the problem, but your car still does not run right. You take it back – they find something else – and the car still does not work.

We recently saw a Honda CRV that was barely running. The owner experienced overheating problems and had taken it to a nearby mechanic. A thermostat was replaced. A week later the radiator cracked and it was replaced. The car continued to run hot until the engine began losing power. The mechanic could not find the cause. So the owner brought the car to us.

Our diagnosis?  A burnt valve requiring a major repair to the engine. The repair bill – over $2,500.

The sad part about this story is the cause. Both of the vehicle’s electric radiator fans had failed.

After three trips to the cut-rate mechanic, no one noticed that the cause of the overheating, the blown radiator and ultimately the engine damage was the failure of two fans. Replacing the fans would have cost less than $100 each.

Incompetent mechanics can cost you big bucks!

Diagnosing automotive problems is the hardest part of automobile repair. Changing parts is relatively easy once you know what is wrong.  With a few tools and a little “back yard” experience, many people can replace a battery, change a spark plug or install a starter.

The trick is: knowing what’s wrong.  Knowing what is wrong takes training, expensive diagnostic equipment and experience.

Many automotive service shops do not have qualified repair technicians. An oil change outlet or tire store does not need them. Certain retail chain shops run by franchises or national brand companies employee “service technicians” who can “service” your vehicle, but are not qualified to repair your car.

Repair shops often have one qualified mechanic to oversee the work of other workers. This mechanic will often hold a certification in one or more automotive repair categories. The true quality shops employ Master Certified Automotive Technicians with credentials from an industry organization such the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The value of going to a true repair shop for your automotive needs is that Master Certified Technicians spot small problems before they become major repairs. They use their expertise to save you money and to keep your car or light truck running for years.

Surprisingly, using high quality independent repair shops do not cost more money. They beat dealership prices. They usually beat chain store prices. And they save you in costly mistakes caused by incompetence.

Find a Great Auto Repair Shop

Our advice? Find a competent vehicle auto repair facility. Look for shops with certified technicians on staff.  Try them out with a minor service and ask them to check your vehicle for overall condition. Like your dentist, get to know them before you need them. If you are not comfortable with the shop, look around and try again. You will be glad you did.

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