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Dumbest Car Guy in the World

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

This picture is real - not doctored in any way - and was taken by a Transportation Supervisor for a company that delivers building materials for a lumber company.  When he saw it in the parking lot of IHOP, he went to buy a camera to take pictures.

OverloadedCar.jpg 

The car is still running, as can be witnessed by the exhaust.  The driver finally came back after the police were called, and was found crouched behind the rear of the car, attempting to cut the twine around the load!  Luckily, the police stopped him and had the load removed .

The materials were loaded at Home Depot.  Their store manager said they made the customer sign a waiver.  While the plywood and 2X4’s are fairly obvious, what you can’t see is the back seat, which contains - are you ready for this? - 10 bags of concrete @ 80 lbs. each.  They estimated the load weight at 3000 lbs.  Both back tires exploded, the wheels bent and the rear shocks were driven through the floorboard.

Extended Warranties - Are they worth it?

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

I will admit, every time that I am offered an extended warranty, I always wonder if I should buy it.

Well, it is only for a fleeting second that I wonder.

I do not ever recall having purchased an extended warranty for anything except for the one time that I returned my second water heater for my home within less than two years The warranty contract promised to pay for the labor to replace the water heater (should it go out again).

On the subject of extended warranties for your car, I have yet to find one that is as good as we hope for it to be.

Most warranty companies provide coverage for things that usually don’t break and provide no coverage for the things that do break. Or if they have coverage, there are exclusions and exceptions that allow the warranty company to deny coverage.

This past week we had a client’s vehicle in that had died while driving.

No big deal (so we thought), we sent a tow truck and got it in the shop. Our technician diagnosed the car and the client was called. Our client let us know that he had an extended warranty and asked if we would call them for him.

The warranty company asked us to get the repair and maintenance history.  They said that they should cover the repair as long as the timing belt did not break, causing the internal engine damage. They sent out an inspector who agreed that the timing belt was intact and wondered why he had been called out to look at the vehicle, especially since it was here at The Auto Shop. The warranty company knew us and our reputation. Usually inspectors don’t get sent here.

The warranty company stated the next day: that since there was no proof that the timing belt had been replaced at the manufacturers recommended interval of 80,000 miles and the vehicle now has 87,000 miles on the odometer, that the vehicle was not maintained according to the manufacturers recommendations. They had no responsibility for these repairs.

They denied the claim. And they denied it because of a lack of paperwork.

Please bring your car or truck in for an inspection along with your warranty contract so that we can make sure that this does not happen to you.

Thanks,

Jerry

“Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later!”

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Yes, that’s right and yes, you may have heard it before. I’m old enough to remember hearing it on a commercial for car maintenance many years ago. For some reason a lot of people are forgetting about it or maybe the younger kids have just never heard the saying or don’t really understand what it means.

Today’s average car payment is over $600.00 per month and the average length of payments is 78 months (that’s 6 ½ years!). At the same time, the warranty runs out at 3 years or 36,000 miles. This means that you run out of warranty before you run out of payments. However, I think that most people want their car to last longer than the payments, and you can as long as you maintain your vehicles properly.

Well, here it is in a nutshell:

The ONLY way that your car will outlast the payments is to do regular maintenance. Period!

That means you need to find a good, qualified, full service, repair shop in your area. Basically everything that needs to be done to your vehicle should be done at one place if possible and this does not include specialty shops either. They specialize in just one or two things, and can’t do everything your car needs. Specialty shops are just not trained to give you all that your car requires.

I recommend going to the same repair shop for everything.

Think about it for just a second, isn’t it great going someplace where they know you? Isn’t the service always just a little bit better than if it’s your first time? I know that in my experience, I love being a “Regular.” When I go to a restaurant a few times and get to know the wait staff, the manager or even better, the owner, the service is always better. The food even seems to be better than the first few times.

We have a couple of local restaurants, (no, not chains) that we go to and are considered “Regulars.”

The owners will try to seat us themselves and if they’re busy when we come in, they always come over to our table to greet us. We don’t even look at the menu. Usually it’s a short greeting and they will ask us what we are in the mood for. Most of the time they whip up something that’s not even on the menu and it’s always incredible! Now what in the world does this have to do with your car?

Being a “Regular” in a repair shop works the same way. If you only come in once or twice you will get good service. Come in several times and you get better service.

If we know that you bring your car to us for everything you are one of the reasons that we get up in the morning.

When you have issues, they become our issues. Our best clients have my personal cell number. I don’t ever want them to worry about being stuck without wheels.

It’s simply human nature. We want to take care of the people that take care of us.

Take a look at our website for information about “Finding a Good Repair Shop”: http://www.theautoshop.com/main/auto_repair.html

Now that you have found “your” repair shop, bring your car into that shop at least 3 to 4 times per year. Get the oil changed every 3,000 – 4,000 miles. While it’s in the shop, ask them to look at your car to see if anything else needs to be serviced. Usually this can be done while at the same time so you don’t have to bring it back, especially if you scheduled an appointment for the service and told them that you wanted them to take a look for required maintenance.

We keep all of the service history in our computer. We track everything so you don’t have to.

That’s important because, sometimes if you take your car into several different shops for maintenance you might get the idea that they are all trying to sell you stuff that you don’t need or even worse, stuff that you have already bought. It may be that they are only looking at the mileage recommended services and not actually going over your car.

Again, one of the advantages of being a “Regular” is that the shop knows your car and everything that they have done to keep it running for you. Some of the best news is there is actually huge savings to be gained by simply doing what it is considered regular maintenance to your car.

The numbers work out to this:

“Pay me now.” - With regular maintenance you can expect to spend between $0.08 to $0.12 for each mile that you drive your car on maintenance and repairs.

Or “Pay me later.” - Without regular maintenance you can expect to spend between $0.22 to $0.35 for each mile that you drive your car for repairs.

Please schedule your next auto service now, save some money, and find out why people call us

“The Shop You Trust.”

Have a safe drive home,

Jerry

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