Auto repair, why does it cost so much? If you take your car to a reputable auto repair shop their services might not be the cheapest in town, but there are some valid reasons for this. The old adage “Would you go to the low bidder for brain surgery?” really does apply to auto repair shops as well. Cheap service today may just cost you more in the long run.
6 Reasons Why You Should Pay More
Here are six attributes that you will find at a reputable, high quality auto repair shop. This may mean that you might pay more for some services at a shop like this, but there is a good reason for it and it will be worth it.
1) They will employ only accredited, talented, certified technicians. These guys are highly sought after and command a decent wage. They spend a lot on their tools and training. They also spend time on continuing education to maintain their certifications and to stay abreast of the latest industry technology. If you haven’t noticed, cars are getting more complicated just like everything else. This industry is filled with lousy mechanics that will work for cheap, but the good shops don’t hire them.
2) They subscribe to the best technical information systems. This provides them access to all of the latest service bulletins and manufacturer’s specifications. This is the only way to stay current on all makes and models.
3) They only use top quality parts. The auto parts market has been flooded with cheap off-shore manufactured imitations. A good shop is very careful about what parts they install. Quality (when it is still available) costs more.
3) They will be fully insured, so you are protected.
4) They dispose of hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner.
5) You will notice that they keep a clean shop equipped with the latest tools and diagnostic equipment. If they don’t respect their shop, they won’t respect your vehicle.
6) They pay their taxes and they make a profit. That’s right, they have to make money to keep the doors open. That way they will be there the next time you need service, and the next, and the next.
The message in this is that good quality probably costs a little more, but if you want your vehicle maintained properly so that it lasts, it’s worth it.
Why You Shouldn’t Pay More
A lot of money is wasted on automobile service. Customer’s are “sold” service their car may not really need. Many facilities employ “salesmen” as their service writers. They are trained in salesmanship and are paid according to how much they can sell. This is unfortunate because it gives the entire industry a bad name. Ask the shop if the service writers are paid commissions.
Here’s a typical example. A customer takes his vehicle to the Cheapie, Super Fast Lube Shop for an oil change. The Super Fast Super Salesman informs the customer that he needs a transmission service, cooling system flush, fuel injection service etc. etc. and the customer doesn’t remember when these things were done last so he says go ahead. Turns out he wasn’t due for those services for another 20,000 miles! Wasted money!
Another example: a customer takes his vehicle to the tire shop for new tires. The service writer knows he is not going to see this car again for a long time. He figures he better sell the customer a brake job (or something else) now, and he does. The vehicle didn’t really need a brake job for another 10,000 miles! Wasted money!
How to Avoid Over Paying
The way to avoid all of this is to find an honest, reputable auto repair service facility that can provide all or nearly all of your needs, and STAY WITH THEM! This does three things:
First, all of your service records will be kept in one place so you won’t be “doubling up” on services at multiple shops. Remember the examples above.
Secondly, when you are going to the same place for service regularly, they know your car and your driving habits. A good shop that services your vehicle regularly knows how much life is left in your brakes. They would know that the way you drive, you can travel at least another 10,000 miles before the brakes will need to be replaced.
And third, by giving all your business to one auto repair shop, you become their “Bread and Butter”. Funny thing about honest mechanics, they protect their bread and butter customers. They will bend over backwards to keep them happy. They need them. They are always providing little extras for them at no cost. You know, like replacing light bulbs and fixing little things that most people would overlook.
Your vehicle is one of your most important investments. If you wouldn’t go to the low bidder for brain surgery, then don’t go to the low bidder repair shop. You should protect your investment and take your vehicle to a reputable auto repair facility and pay an honest price for quality work.