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Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance Checklist For The Holidays

If you’re thinking of visiting relatives during the holidays, especially those who are out-of-state and involve a longer journey, you’ll want to be sure that your automobile is ready for the trip. The last thing you want to mar your holiday experience is to have a breakdown either on the way to your relatives’ location or on the return trip home. A few simple car maintenance checks can avoid many of the mishaps which might occur while driving and provide you with some peace of mind about getting there and back safely.

Car Battery

In cold weather, car batteries draw more energy and that means your battery is more likely to die during winter than during any other season of the year. Most repair shops will check your battery for free and tell you whether or not it needs to be replaced. If you have a membership in a reputable auto repair shop, this would be a good way to have your battery strength tested, without having it cost you a lot of money.

Tires

Your vehicle’s tires are some of the most important features of the entire automobile, and of course, they’re also among the most expensive. You’ll not only want to check your tires for safety, but you’ll want to be sure they are properly inflated so you get reasonable gas mileage on your journey. The first thing you should do regarding your tires is to give them a good visual check to make sure you don’t see signs of wear on any particular portion of the tire.

Most states require you to have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread on your tires, and you can check the wear bars which are on your tires for this. These wear bars will warn you whether or not your tires have the required 2/32 of an inch of tread. If you can’t determine this from checking the wear bars, you can conduct a simple test on your own which will accomplish the same thing. If you place a penny into some of the tread grooves across the tire, and you can see that part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, then you have the necessary 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining.

Lastly, make sure to measure the air pressure in your tires, ensuring that they are inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. A simple tire gauge will tell you what the actual tire pressure is, and whether or not you need to add air to any of the tires. If you find that any of your tires are drastically low on air, there may be a problem with that particular tire which you should have checked out by a car maintenance expert.

Oil Level

Your car’s oil must be changed regularly on any car maintenance check because if you overlook this, there’s a potential that some serious damage could be caused to your engine, especially if impurities have somehow gotten into the oil. It’s also true that the longer you drive, the more your oil will break down, and that will lower its viscosity. When oil loses its viscosity, it’s less capable of lubricating your engine, and that means parts of the engine might come in direct contact with each other and cause friction or wear.

If your engine becomes worn because of improper lubrication, an expensive engine repair process may be needed to restore it. When you had your last oil change, you would probably have been given some indicator of when the next oil change should be conducted, usually a certain number of miles, possibly between 3,000 and 6,000 miles.

If you know you have traveled those number of miles since your last oil change, you should definitely have the oil changed so that any viscosity breakdown can be accounted for and fresh oil can be emplaced. You should also check your oil level before starting on your journey, to make sure that you have adequate oil for engine lubrication. To do this, simply take the dipstick out of the oil reservoir and make sure that the oil level indicates a safe level on the stick.

Coolant

You might not think your car needs coolant during the wintertime, but your car will get just as hot driving for several hours in the wintertime as it would during the summertime. If your car doesn’t have adequate coolant, it can cause damage to the head gasket or the engine block, and in a worst-case scenario, it could even cause the engine to seize up. Make sure you’re using the right coolant for your vehicle so that it doesn’t negatively impact your engine. You can find out exactly which type of coolant is best for your vehicle by consulting your owners manual, and if you lack this, you can usually find out by consulting your auto manufacturer’s website.

Miscellaneous Checks

It’s a good idea to make sure that your windshield wipers are operating well, in case you get caught in a rainstorm and your visibility is affected. Navigating through a heavy downpour is the wrong time to find out that your wipers are not effectively clearing your windshield. If you have any unexplained noises or smells associated with your vehicle, you should have them checked out by car maintenance professionals. Any rattles or other sounds that might indicate loose objects or things that are insecure should be dealt with before any long journey.

If you’re driving through an area, or to a location that is typically very wintry, you should make sure that you’re prepared for winter travel. This means you should have a scraper that will remove ice from your windows and a snow brush which can remove snow from windows and other parts of the car.

You might also want to include a couple of blankets which could be extremely important in the case of a car breakdown, or in case you get stuck somewhere in a snowstorm and are unable to move. This happens fairly often in the Northeast section of the country, and travelers have been known to be stranded in snowstorms, with no possibility of moving forward or of receiving assistance. The better prepared you are to make a journey during the holidays, the less likely it is that you will experience some traumatic event that will put a damper on everyone’s spirits.

auto repair

The Most Expensive Auto Repair Fixes And How You Can Prevent Them

All the auto repair processes listed below are extremely expensive, and they will quickly swallow up your savings, and possibly force you to skip that vacation you were planning for this year. By far the best thing you can do to avoid all these potentially bank-draining repairs is to carry out regular maintenance on your vehicle, so you can immediately identify issues before they become problems.

In any good auto repair shop like Showcase, we encourage you to point out any signs of potential wear and tear, so it can be addressed before it becomes a major issue. And, it will still be a whole lot better than suddenly finding out you have major repairs to do at once, which can cost you thousands of dollars.

Head Gasket 

When your car blows a head gasket, it will probably spray oil and coolant all over the place, and you might even see smoke billowing from the engine because it’s overheated. There aren’t too many things which can go wrong with a car which will produce a bigger mess than a blown head gasket.

The head gasket seals engine cylinders and prevents oil and coolant from leaking out. That gasket itself is a fairly affordable component to replace, but the labor is anything but cheap, and that will probably end up costing you about $2,000 if you should experience a blown head gasket.

Camshaft 

You may not have heard much about the camshaft of your vehicle, but it’s actually a very important component of your car. It’s responsible for managing how the engine takes in air, and if it becomes dirty or plugged with debris, it can develop a serious problem. Your camshaft is normally cleaned when you have an oil change or have valve cleanings done. If it’s not regularly cleaned in one of these ways, the camshaft will probably break eventually, and that will end up costing you somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000.

This high cost is not really due to replacing the parts, but the auto repair cost will be extremely expensive because a great deal of labor is involved in replacing a camshaft. The best way to avoid a really expensive auto repair job like this is to make sure that your car is regularly tuned up and that you have regular oil changes.

Whenever you have a check engine light pop up on your dashboard, you should have it checked out to make sure it’s not a problem with the camshaft. If you overlook this important indicator, it could end up costing you some major bucks.

Airbags 

Airbags just might be the single greatest safety invention in the history of motor vehicles. However, once they have been deployed for usage, they almost always need to be completely replaced, and that will amount to a considerable expense. It’s also possible that the glove box and the steering wheel might need to be replaced after airbags have been deployed.

Altogether, it might cost you as much as $2,500 or up to $4,000 in order to get your car back in good running order after airbags have been deployed. They certainly do save lives, and for that reason, they are one of the most valuable components of your vehicle. But they also make a considerable mess of your vehicle, and it will undoubtedly be a major expense.

Suspension 

You probably don’t notice the suspension of your vehicle very much, but it is still a very important part of any car. The suspension is what prevents you from feeling all the bumps and dips which might be included on any road surface you’re traveling. The suspension system itself includes the shocks, springs, struts, tie rods, and control arms.

If just one of these components fails, it may not be too expensive, but when it’s necessary to have a complete overhaul of your suspension system, you can count on a major expense somewhere between $2,000 and $3,500. This is because the parts will cost you tons of money, and the labor can be quite expensive because it’s not an easy job to replace all these components. If you are told that you need a complete suspension overhaul, it might be worth your while to get a throrough evaluation, because otherwise, you will likely be paying thousands of dollars for repairs.

Transmission 

If you happen to encounter a transmission problem with your vehicle, you can pretty much count on having your vehicle out of service until it’s fixed. Without a properly functioning transmission system, your vehicle’s wheels will not be able to turn. If it’s necessary to replace the transmission assembly on your vehicle, you can count on that expense running as high as $4,000 or $5,000, and it might even be more depending on how serious the problem is.

Your transmission experiences more wear and tear than virtually any other part of the vehicle because it’s exposed to the twin forces of heat and friction caused by a large number of moving parts. Before your transmission goes completely defunct, you might notice a dragging clutch, gears slipping, and either a burning smell or a humming noise, when your car is actually in a parked position. The sooner you identify any transmission problems and have them repaired, the less money it will cost you.

Hybrid Car Battery 

While you might be really excited about the possibility of purchasing an electric car that operates on a battery rather than on gasoline, you should be aware that those batteries can be pretty expensive. In fact, it can cost as much as $6,000 or more to replace a battery in a hybrid vehicle. Most rechargeable batteries will slowly lose their ability to retain a charge over a period of time, and this includes all the batteries which are used in hybrid vehicles.

Virtually every hybrid car battery on the market today will be completely dead prior to having the owner get 10 years’ usage from the vehicle. You should also be aware that replacing the battery will mean a corresponding replacement of your car’s computer system, and that might cost you another $6,000. The tremendous cost of replacing batteries and computer systems is one of the reasons that hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles have not quite caught on with the public.

Collision Damages

Showcase’s Guide To The Most Common Collision Damages

Even experienced, safe drivers will sometimes need to have their automobiles repaired, because there’s no way to prevent damage which might occur when the other guy makes a mistake and collides with you. Your vehicle might even sustain collision damages when it’s safely parked somewhere in a parking lot or along the roadway.

Fortunately, all of these types of collision damages can be efficiently repaired by a competent collision shop, and your vehicle can be restored to its original sparkling condition. Below are listed some of the most common types of auto body damage, and how these are handled by a good collision shop.

Simple Dents and Dings

These are generally caused by flying objects like small pebbles hitting your vehicle while you’re driving. However, even a small-sized pebble can leave a pretty good-sized dent if you’re traveling at a rapid rate of speed. In some cases where the paint isn’t affected, paintless dent removal can be accomplished.

For dents that are larger, it will be necessary to drill a small hole adjacent to the dent, and to insert a special tool which can be used to pull the dent out. Then the hole will be completely filled up and repainted.

Paint Scratches

Most paint scratches occur in parking lots where a car next to yours scrapes your vehicle, either when pulling in or pulling out. Depending on how big the scratch is or how long it is, a number of different techniques might be used to fix the scratch. Small scratches might be eliminated by simple rubbing, but for larger scratches, it will probably be necessary to use body filler and computer-matched painting so as to eliminate the scratch.

Damages Caused by the Weather

When you think about it, most vehicles spend at least half their time out in the open, so it’s not surprising that the weather can cause so many different kinds of damage to your car. Even the hot sun can cause damage to the surface of your vehicle, but it’s more common to have damage from rain, snowy winters, storms, and hail, to cause more severe damage.

Over a long period of time, whether elements can combine to dull the paint job on a vehicle, and they might also cause rust to form around the edges. Some of these types of damage can be corrected by sanding and repainting the affected areas. In the case of rust which has gotten a little out of control, the affected area will have to be completely cut out, replaced with brand-new metal, and then repainted to match the color of the vehicle.

Direct Collision Damages

Damage that your vehicle sustains as a result of some kind of collision with another vehicle will usually be the most severe type of damage you will encounter. In some cases, there can even be extreme structural damage which requires extensive repair work in order to restore the vehicle to its original condition. At the least, any collision will always cause at least a few dents or dings to appear in your vehicle surface, and these will have to be treated on a case-by-case basis.

Unless you just got tapped by another vehicle, the damage caused is likely to be much more severe than dents though. Whenever the frame of your vehicle gets bent or twisted, it can be an extremely dangerous situation, because that will have a major impact on the structural integrity of your vehicle. In cases like this, it will often be necessary to use computer-aided machines that can detect the extent of any damage, and which can assist in pulling the frame back into its original position.

Dents that are both large and small can be pulled out using the technique described above, and when all the frame and structural damage has been repaired, it will be necessary to completely repaint the vehicle. In situations where severe damage has been done to your vehicle, it will also be necessary to run a computer check of operational systems to make sure that the vehicle is still functional.

Some collision damages are not immediately visible to the naked eye, and can only be detected by computer analysis and actual test driving. When all issues have been detected and repaired, the damaged vehicle would then be restored to something close to its original condition, and it will be virtually impossible to tell that it was ever involved in a collision.

Collision Coverage

If not for collision insurance coverage, the cost of repairing damages to your vehicle might well be unaffordable. Collision coverage is applicable whether you collide with another car, or whether you run into some kind of inanimate objects like a telephone pole or a fence. In most states, having to purchase collision coverage on your car is not required, but it’s a very good idea to have this type of coverage because any major accident could literally put your vehicle out of commission.

If you had no insurance coverage to handle the repairs which are necessary, you would simply be minus your vehicle with nothing to show for it. Even though collision coverage might be quite affordable, it’s well worth it when you consider the alternative, which is that you probably couldn’t afford to pay for the work necessary to restore your vehicle.

Full-service Collision Work in Sterling Heights and Warren, MI 

When we say that Showcase Collision & Auto Repair is a full-service collision and repair shop, we mean that virtually every kind of damage or problem your vehicle might have can be handled right here. Our two central locations in Sterling Heights and Warren, MI provide a broad service area for those in need of our services.

We can provide all the normal auto repair services for your vehicle, as well as minor and major auto collision repair, hail and storm damage repair, refinishing, windshield and glass replacement, detailing, and complete restoration if needed.

Contact us for all your automotive needs, and let us show you why we are the best full-service auto repair shop in Michigan.

Autobody Repair

What Does Autobody Repair Entail For Your Car?

There are some similarities between being an auto mechanic and an autobody repair professional, at least insofar as both are directly related to restoring vehicles to good operating condition. However, most of the similarities end there, since an auto mechanic is much more concerned with vehicle operation and efficiency of all the parts which make up a motor vehicle.

An autobody repair specialist, on the other hand, is much more concerned with the aesthetics of a vehicle, since most vehicles coming to a repair shop will have been involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident. In some cases, the exterior damage is relatively mild and doesn’t require a great deal of effort, but in other cases, severe damage will have been done to the body of the vehicle.

Several techniques will be necessary to restore a vehicle to its former condition, for instance removing dents, repairing internals, and repainting or refinishing to achieve a look that is close to new. In some cases, auto body repair is necessary for vehicles that have been neglected over a long time, and which may have rusted out in certain areas.

Generally speaking, however, an autobody repair technician will be responsible for repairing the alignment of the vehicle as well as its body panels, and then refinishing it when bodywork has been completed. To make the vehicle look like new again after having been damaged, it’s often necessary to apply sand, filler, and fresh paint to restore that original look the vehicle had. Some kinds of auto body repair work are done on vintage or classic cars, and this can be just as painstaking as any other type of car, especially since these kinds of cars are often displayed in shows and other events.

Differences between Autobody Repair and Auto Service

For the most part, automotive service technicians, or car mechanics as they are popularly known, will be responsible for handling mechanical issues which usually aren’t visible, but are very noticeable when a car is not functioning correctly. This could be anything from repairing and installing brakes to changing spark plugs and tuning up an engine so that it can run smoothly.

There are also tons of potential problems that could arise under the hood, given the fact that there are so many moving parts there that could fail. For example, there are several belts, motors, and other systems that could fail at any time, resulting in either degraded performance or a non-operational status for the vehicle.

It’s also necessary for a car mechanic to be familiar with computer systems, even though diagnostic machines tend to remove all the guesswork from electrical systems that have issues. Since computer systems play a large role in the operation of virtually all modern vehicles, it’s necessary to at least have a familiarity with which operations they influence.

At times, it may be necessary for an auto body repair specialist to have some of this same knowledge, especially if any of these internal systems are impacted when a vehicle has undergone a collision. There are many situations where the damage done to a vehicle in a car crash reaches deep inside to affect internals, and these all have to be checked during the examination process.

However, for the most part, the responsibility of an auto body repair technician lies in the restoration of the external framework and structure of the vehicle, rather than internal operating components. When a vehicle has been involved in a collision, one of the first things that an auto body technician will work on will be the car’s framework.

Generally, a laser frame diagnostic system will be used to determine what exactly needs work, and once this has been identified, it will generally take several days to accomplish the work. After this, all the metalwork on your car will be evaluated and analyzed to make sure that the mechanical repairs are in sync with factory standards.

This will guarantee that the frame has structural integrity for driving and that the chassis is straight. Then it will be necessary to check wheel alignment and the suspension so that it can be determined whether or not you have appropriate maneuverability, and that your vehicle is capable of safe operation on the road.

If it becomes necessary to repair internals, an auto mechanic specialist may have to be called in to handle that, while exterior needs are handled by the auto body repairman. Generally, after a vehicle has been involved in an auto collision, it will be necessary to analyze the structural integrity of the vehicle.

It will also be necessary to ensure that the vehicle has proper alignment and that the body panels are still in good shape. It happens fairly often that some kinds of damage are not visible to the naked eye at first glance, so many specialized tools have to be used to determine invisible damage, and to diagnose the vehicle’s true condition.

The Work Environment for Auto Repairs

Auto body repairmen will always work in an environment known as an auto body shop, and this area will be equipped with much different machinery than you would find in an auto mechanic repair shop. This is understandable, given the fact that the two types of repairs being carried out by these two individual specialists are generally much different.

One of the biggest differences between the two working environments is that auto body shops will generally have extensive painting facilities, which you would not see in a typical auto mechanic environment. When working in an auto mechanic setting, you would normally see all the tools and facilities which are necessary for the repair of a vehicle’s internals, for instance, the engine, the brakes, and all the moving parts.

There are also a great number of specialized tools that you’d find at an auto mechanic shop, which are just not necessary at an auto body repair workshop. The tools which you might expect to see at an auto body repair shop are those used for hammering out dents, and for filling damaged areas with appropriate material. You would also find painting equipment such as spray painters and protective equipment which the painters would use during the painting process.

Auto Collision Repair

Interesting Things You Must Know About Auto Collision Repair

Anytime you’re involved in a roadway accident, it’s always a tremendous hassle getting your car back on the road again. It will be necessary to file insurance claims, you’ll have to arrange for a police report, and there may be injuries resulting from the accident that requires treatment or further testing. On top of all this, the damage to your car has to be repaired, so that you can continue with your normal life and maintain your livelihood. If you’ve never dealt with Auto Collision Repair operations before, there are some important things you should know about, so you don’t get surprised by what comes after an accident.

Find a Skilled Auto Collision Repair Appraiser

In some cases, an insurance company will send their own appraiser to assess any damages which may have occurred to your vehicle, but you are always better off working with a very skilled appraiser whom you have confidence in. A knowledgeable appraiser will be able to identify all the damage which has been done to your vehicle, whether that damage is visible or whether it’s somewhere among the internals of the car. Your appraiser needs to convince the insurance company about all legitimate damage, otherwise, they won’t be interested in footing the bill for it. When you’re looking for an experienced and knowledgeable appraiser, make sure that he/she knows their business and can accurately assess all kinds of damage to your vehicle.

Choose the Right Repair Shop

Some insurance companies already have pre-established relationships with specific collision shops in your area, and those are likely to be the shops they prefer you to send your car to. Keep in mind that you are not required to have the work done at these recommended locations and that you have the right to choose any collision shop you want to. It’s very often in your best interest to find a collision shop other than the one recommended by the insurer, because you may have greater confidence in them, or because they can do a good job more quickly than another shop.

Avoid Body Filler

Ideally, you should avoid having the usage of body filler by any Auto Collision Repair shop which does the repairs on your vehicle, because body filler is simply sub-standard, compared to the original components your vehicle is made of. In years past, you could always determine a car that had been in an accident by running a magnet all over the surface area, because it would quickly adhere to the metal components within the body filler. Some cars are directly manufactured today with body filler which is used to conceal imperfections that might exist with the metal components of the car. Nowadays, there are paintless dent techniques that make it possible for a body shop to do repairs without using any kind of sanding or body filler in the process. Make sure you inquire with your collision shop about whether this is their practice, and you should insist on it to be sure.

Doing Warranty Work

Don’t let your insurance company tell you that they won’t cover repairs if you go to a collision shop which they don’t recommend, because the warranty will be invalid in that case. This is completely untrue because warranties are covered by the collision shop rather than the insurance company. Make sure to choose a collision shop which offers a written warranty, and which also provides a guarantee of your satisfaction with all work carried out by their specialists.

Research your Collision Shop

You must make sure all repairs are done by a reputable collision shop, which puts your needs first and which uses only high-quality replacement materials when they are necessary. Make sure also that they offer warranties and guarantees of your satisfaction, in case you should end up unhappy about any work which is done. It’s always prudent to do extensive research on any collision shop, and to read online reviews by other customers so you’ll know exactly what to expect of that organization.

OEM Parts Are Pretty Important

When it is necessary to use replacement parts in the repair of your vehicle, you should insist on original manufacturer parts (OEM), because these are quite often made to a higher standard of quality than aftermarket parts are. OEM parts are those which are originally made for the vehicle you own, and which have been patented by the car-maker. In most cases, aftermarket parts may indeed be compatible and functional for your vehicle, but it’s entirely possible that they won’t be as high-quality or as high-performance as the OEM parts are.

Totaling your Car

A car is only considered totaled by an insurance company if it costs more to repair the vehicle than the current book value is for the vehicle. That’s why an older car is much more likely to be considered totaled than a newer car because its book value is generally far less than a newer car would be. If your car is relatively new, you would have to have major damage to it, for it to be considered totaled by your insurance company.

 

 

The right Auto Collision Repair can Restore a Car

It used to be that a car that had been involved in a collision seldom if ever returned to its former state of operational excellence. However, today’s collision shops have become far more sophisticated, and it is now possible to restore many vehicles to their original condition after they’ve been involved in a collision. The key to this is making sure that all repairs performed on the vehicle are done correctly so that the car has the same sound structure, functionality, and the same beautiful appearance which it had before the collision. If your vehicle has been involved in a highway accident, make sure to find the right appraiser, and to choose the right collision shop, so that your vehicle can be just as efficient and good-looking after an accident, as it was before the collision.

auto repair shop

How To Get The Best Service Out Of An Auto Repair Shop

Auto repair mechanics are essential individuals who deserve respect like other specialized personnel such as teachers and doctors. They take multiple exams, training as well as 2-year work experience before acquiring ASE certification. A reputable auto repair shop employs competent and licensed personnel to offer satisfactory services. They should, therefore, be treated with respect if you want to reap excellent repair services.

You are likely to come across multifarious and high-tech automobiles on highways. Mechanics undergo training on different and modern vehicle services to prevent any lapse in vehicle repair that carries an extra cost to the owner.

They also have excellent knowledge of multiple automobile parts that are currently available in the market. Vehicle owners lack sufficient knowledge about automobile parts; they have to rely on auto mechanics’ capability. When visiting an auto repair shop, the following information will help you acquire excellent repair service.

 

What You Shouldn’t Say To Your Mechanic

 

‘Can You Reduce the Price?’

Can you ask your dentist to reduce the cost of replacing your tooth? Although you might ask, you won’t get a favorable answer. The mechanic also needs to earn income, and it’s challenging to find an auto repair shop owner flying in private jets! Vehicle technicians are blue job workers earning blue job salaries, and they have to pay for other expenses in the shop.

The mechanics also use quality parts that come directly from your vehicle manufacturer, and their experience and training are essential in fitting these parts. The vehicle parts also have a warranty, so trying to bargain the price won’t be fair to the shop.

 

‘There Are Other Places With Better Deals’

Although this can be true, you would have gone there in the first place. If you feel the mechanic is not giving a reasonable price or service, you can consult someone else’s assistance. However, there is no reason to handle the issue from a negative aspect. Sensitive matters such as car and money problems and stressed mechanics and clients can culminate in poor service delivery.

Do what suits you, if a local technician on the street who charges cheaply is your option, then go for it at your own risk. Professional mechanics need years of training and experience to handle various vehicle issues adequately, ensuring you make the right choice for your car.

 

‘Do Whatever It Needs’

This leaves the car owner open to a costly repair. The mechanic can identify a plethora of issues in the car. Repairing all of them may cost you a fortune that didn’t plan for.

 

‘Do I Have to Fix That?’

Even when driving a few miles, a surfeit of drivers will eventually trade or sell their automobiles. The buyer will research all the vehicle details, and the discovery of poor conditions because of inadequate maintenance will reduce the owner’s credibility. Note that all vehicle issues will eventually require repair.

 

‘I Want to Bring My Parts’

Bringing your parts creates an overall profitability and liability issue. In case the sourced part is defective, the auto shop will have to face lawsuits and lose its reputation. The court understands auto shops to be better-informed and will deliver hefty punishments for ignorance and negligence.

 

‘But My Uncle Told Me This Was the Problem’

Your uncle is not an expert, and some vehicle issues require an expert eye to diagnose. Unless your uncle physically inspected the vehicle and identified the problem, you can’t rely on their opinion.

 

What You Should Do

 

Let the Mechanic Do their Job

No one likes being rushed or supervised as they conduct their responsibilities. Although you can stick around while the mechanic explains the issue, it’s dangerous and distracting. Leave your car with the mechanic or use the waiting room as the technician performs his/her magic.

 

Carry Vehicle Records

Identify all the records necessary in marinating your vehicle. Well-kept paperwork can be beneficial in diagnosing a car issue in the first instance. Incomplete vehicle documents may culminate in unnecessary vehicle repairs that waste your funds and time. Vehicles with proper repair history show the mechanic that the owner values top-notch service, and they have completed their section of maintaining the car in excellent shape.

 

Select OEM Parts

When replacing the vehicle parts, opt for legit OEM components rather than aftermarkets. Sticking to the original manufacturer recommendations is vital in reaping optimum performance. Although aftermarkets may seem like a cheaper alternative, their low-grade material construction inhibits vehicle longevity.

 

Conduct Research

After identifying the ideal auto repair shop, conduct homework on what your vehicle requires. Understanding the issue will indicate the extent and approximate repair expenses, thus improving your communication with the mechanic. Use online platforms to see if other drivers have experienced the same problem. Try also to discern the repair process.

 

Discuss the Expenses Involved

The mechanic will inform you about the total repair costs. In case the vehicle requires multiple repair steps, it will fetch high repair costs. Ensure you request for an estimated breakdown to understand every facet of the repair.

Auto service experts like Showcase understand that most car owners avoid splashing money on repair costs; thus, you can ask the technician to prioritize necessary repairs.

 

Ensure the Car Has Gas

Vehicles require a test drive to get more insight into what the customers are complaining about. The test drive is also necessary after repairs, and in case they need to stop for fueling, it wastes time and results in fee accumulation.

 

Keep the Car Clean Before Repairs

In case you need interior repairs such as electrical wiring or replacing the heater cores, ensure your vehicle is clean before repairs. It gives them ample mechanic space to work on the problem without the need to rush.

 

Be Available

Ensure you leave your contact details where you can easily be reached. The mechanic requires your approval to begin the repair, and you will also want to know the cost of the service and if the repair is complete.

 

Leave the Lock Key

In case of tires rotation or brakes examination, you should leave the lock key in an easily accessible spot to avoid wasting time.

auto repair shops

Finding An Auto Repair Shop That You Can Trust

The best way to keep a vehicle in excellent condition is through regular service. However, it may be difficult to know where to go to receive quality service. Choosing auto repair shops near home or work is critical if drivers want their cars to last as long as possible. Use these tips to find the right auto shop, to get repairs done quickly, and to have every service completed in a timely fashion.

 

What Types Of Shops Are Available?

Searching for auto repair shops should be one of the first things that people do when they move to a new area. No one wants to try to find an auto shop when their car is broken down or doing something that it should not. It can be very stressful to search for an auto shop if the car is not performing well, and drivers should consider all these options before they select the auto shop they will use in the future.

Drivers are going to invest a lot of money and time in these auto shops, and the only way for these drivers to remain happy is to find a shop that makes them feel comfortable.

Dealers

Going to the dealer might be the first choice for most drivers because they think the dealer can handle everything that goes wrong with the car. Dealers may have access to factory parts on-site, and they can often complete the repairs quickly because every technician knows how to handle these vehicles, but it is certainly more expensive than getting serviced at an independent shop and not all of them do body repairs.

The downsides of a dealer are that the service department will have a lot of turnovers and you’ll be just another face in a crowd. Drivers who fall in love with a certain technician or technical advisor might not get to work with that person for a long period. Dealers are so busy and oftentimes so packed that drivers may not have time to form relationships with the service staff.

Independent Repair Shops

Independent shops are all over America, and people can find a shop on every corner in their hometown. Independent shops like Showcase give drivers the chance to form relationships with the owner and staff. Plus, these shops might be able to give drivers amazing deals, fast service, or make promises that a dealer cannot.

The personal customer service, however, is often worth the money for the driver. If family members or friends have gone to the same mechanic for a long time, then it might be worth going there for help.

Auto Repair Specialists

Specialists are often chosen to have repairs done because the shops are busy and these companies can have access to all the parts that people need. A specialist might only work on German cars, Japanese cars, or a certain brand. These specialists might also sell certain products that drivers need.

Going to a specialist that sells only tires might be a very good way to get other minor repairs done. A specialist that only handles mufflers or engines can help with other repairs because the mechanics are quite experienced, and the specialist might even offer custom work.

Repair Chains Or Franchises

Repair chains and franchises are volume businesses that tend to offer low prices, discounts, and deals to customers. These shops may sell tires or brakes and batteries. They often have a niche audience that they cater to most of the time, but they also help other customers because they have experienced mechanics in the shop.

Drivers can get to know the mechanics, or they might know managers or owners of these franchises. Large franchises can often store cars overnight, and they typically have more capacity than an independent shop or specialist mechanic but in turn, they can be quite hectic.

How To Evaluate These Shops

Once a driver finds a nice shop, they also need to check the company’s reviews, read testimonials, or even ask for references. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to look for reviews, and local bulletin boards or review sites might shed some light on how the company does business. Use these additional tips to evaluate the shop before going. These tiny bits of information help drivers choose the best places to go for car repairs.

  • The look of the shop—it should look nice, and it should be in a decent part of town. If the shop looks a little bit scary or dirty, drivers may not want to go there. Plus, companies that take care of their facilities often take better care of the vehicles they repair.
  • The amenities inside the shop should be nice. These shops should have magazines to read, a nice coffee bar, and maybe some snacks. The bathroom should be easy to locate, and the chairs should be comfortable. The waiting room should have a TV that is easy to see, and the waiting room should not be too hot or too cold.
  • The equipment should look like it is in good condition. Most shops will take good care of their equipment, but drivers should leave any shop that seems to be unkempt. Bad tools will do a bad job of any repair.
  • The technicians should look nice, be friendly, and answer questions. There is no need to go to a shop where the people are ruse or do not give straight answers. Also, everyone should be uniformed so that the business looks organized.
  • Do they offer a warranty? Every shop should offer some sort of warranty on their repairs. This is standard in the industry, and it protects drivers from any defects after the repairs are done.
  • Is there a seal of approval? The shop should have some kind of seal of approval from a national association or local chamber of commerce.

 

Conclusion

Searching for a random mechanic can be difficult. It makes much more sense to look for an auto repair shop that fit the criteria above. These tips ensure that drivers save money, get quality work done, and can trust the people that are repairing their vehicles.

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