If you’re like many savvy shoppers, you want to make sure you’re getting the most for your hard-earned dollars, whether you’re shopping for groceries, clothes, or auto repair services.
If you’ve ever compared the cost of services from one auto shop to another, you’ve noticed that they don’t all charge the same amount for their services.
Why is that?
Not all auto repair shops are equal, and the owner of the shop has a lot to do with the pricing of the services. Dealerships and franchise auto repair shops have traditionally taken a band-aid approach to auto repair. You bring your car in, they fix the issue you came in for, and you drive off thinking you’re problem-free.
It’s only later, when the strange noise comes back, the jitters start up again, or the funny smell returns that you wonder whether they completely fixed the problem.
The answer, in many cases, is no.
The practice of fixing the symptom rather than the root cause doesn’t only apply to franchise auto shops and dealerships. Many individually-owned repair shops operate the same way. A lot depends on the owner and his or her philosophy when it comes to taking care of customers.
You’ll often find these “band-aid” shops quite affordable when it comes to repair services, while the dealership heavily relies on their perceived expertise.
Let’s say you bring your car in and you’re told that you’re due for a timing belt. You’re correctly told that this a very critical maintenance item that you do not want to put off. The dealership or franchise store slaps on a new timing belt and gives you an invoice.
You pay and drive off.
All is well until you start to hear a sound a few months later. It turns out that if the shop had taken the time to perform the maintenance job completely, they would have replaced the idler pulley, tensioner, and water pump along with the timing belt. This a much more time-consuming job.
Maybe they just wanted to sell something at a lower price rather than recommend the complete maintenance job.
Some shop owners are more thorough. They take a comprehensive approach to auto repair and always check your vehicle from bumper to bumper. Cars are similar to our bodies. Everything is interconnected and interdependent, and the symptom you come in complaining about may well be part of a larger problem.
You just don’t know it yet.
It’s up to the trained technician to diagnose the issue and get it fixed before it leaves you stalled on the side of the road. These “fix the root cause” shops are the shops that often seem a bit pricey when doing comparison shopping.
But, as they say, you get what you pay for.
If you’re looking for a go-to auto shop to handle your car issues, make sure you ask questions about how each shop operates before you settle on one. You don’t want a “band-aid” shop; band-aids usually fall off.
Choose a shop that goes the extra mile to make sure your vehicle is in peak running condition at all times.
It may cost a little more up front, but you’ll be happy about it in the long run.