Posts

How honest mechanics get paid

As a mechanic, teamed up with a service advisor, it is part of my job to help customers make some tough choices. Something that come up a lot is deciding to fix all of a cars issues, or break the repairs up over time.

From a very selfish place, I would say always fix it all at once. I mean, that is how I get paid! 🙂 Truth be told, there are some advantages to getting everything repaired in one shot.

If you get multiple repairs at the same time, there will most likely be some overlap in jobs. For example, if I am replacing a timing belt, it will most likely be cheaper to replace the thermostat as part of that job, rather than a second repair.

There can be a savings in materials. Take that same timing belt job, if I replace the water pump AND the thermostat at the same time, it will save on buying coolant twice.

The shop might help you out. My dealer works really hard for all our customers, but someone doing a lot of repairs might just get a better deal. From parts prices, to labor costs, the big jobs allow for some flexibility.

Those are the big 3 reasons for getting all the repairs knocked out all in one shot. The negative is, of course, COST! Cost is usually the deal breaker on repairing you car that way. Sometimes you just can’t break the bank to pay for repairs!

There are some benefits to spreading out repairs too. This would be if you have 10 thing wrong, and fixed 1 every month.

Fixing your car this way will allow you to budget for future repairs. You can save up and get the big things fixed first.

The shop still might help you out. If the car is in a few times for repairs, the shop might still try and save you some money.

The big negative to doing repairs little by little is, things might pop up between repairs. This is actually really common. Nothing worse than planning out repairs, and something else go wrong. To be fail, that could really happen either way you go.

The best advise I could give is, make sure you have a great mechanic, and great service advisor(do not underestimate a great service advisor). They should be able to help you gauge the best approach to fixing you car!!

What do you guys think, am I out of line? How would you do it if you were faced with a large repair bill?

failed wiper blades

Today I want to give everyone 5 things that they can check on their own cars.

These are really quick and easy checks. With some practice, it will take about 5 minutes to complete. Consider doing these checks when filling your car up with fuel!

TIRES
Checking tires is pretty easy. I recommend turning your steering wheel all the way to the right or to the left(it doesn’t matter which way). This will allow you to check the condition of both front tires. You will be looking for any strange tire wear. The colors on the tires below show what it should not look. Be sure to check your tire pressure. The tires should be cold to get an accurate reading.

20120118-151937.jpg

WIPER BLADES
This one is easy. If they do not clear the windshield properly, just replace them! Please do not wait until the look like this!

20120118-152252.jpg

LIGHTS
I recommend doing this with your car running, so you will not drain the battery. Just turn the lights on, take a walk around the car and make sure they work! Be sure to look at the license plate lights too. You can check the turn signals inside the car. If they blink at normal speed, they should be fine. You will need a helper to check the brake lights!

20120118-154117.jpg

FLUIDS
This is the part that you might get a little dirty. Make sure you have a clean towel or a paper towel. Most cars coolant(antifreeze) can be judged by looking through the bottle. If you have a VW, it is pink and the bottle it is in is clear. To check the oil, be sure your car is on a level surface. Remove the dipstick, clean the oil off, and reinstall the dipstick. Now, put the dipstick back in, remove it again and look to see how much oil is on the stick. There will be indicator marks on the stick to tell you where the level should be.
Also, check the brake fluid and power steering fluid. Please make sure that the windshield washer fluid is correct for the season.

WINDOWS AND MIRRORS
This one is pretty important. Always make sure your windshield and rear window are clean. It will totally make driving at night better. It also goes with out saying, make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted and clean.

Side note, if you are my customer, just bring it to me, I will do it for you!

Is this stuff everyone checks? Post up what you think in the comments!!

Oh, another side note, I wrote this whole post including pics on my phone. If the format is goofy, that is why. I am still working out the kinks, but I wanted to get this post up for you guys!