Thursday, April 26, 2012

Would Your Shop Go The Extra Nine Yards? Customer Service Should Be Their Number One Concern.

We were recently contacted by one of our customers who told us that the water pump on her 2005 Saturn Ion 3 was leaking badly and needed to be replaced.  The pump had been leaking water and had gotten progressively worse.  Upon inspection of the vehicle, we found that the water pump bearing was the problem and replaced the water pump to resolve the issue.

After she had picked up the car and driven it home, she called to let us know that there was a "high-pitched" squeal comming from the engine compartment that got louder as she excellerated the vehicle.  We told her to bring the car back to the shop so we could inspect it and see if we could find the reason for the noise.

Our mechanic inspected the car and determined that the noise was comming from the timing assembly.  On this vehicle, the timing chain actually drives the water pump.  The whole situation was beginning to take shape.  Upon removing the timing assembly cover, our mechanic discoved a timing chain tensioner that was sticking and causing a severe pressure to be put on the timing chain and the water pump bearing.  Aha!  This is the reason the water pump had gone out in the first place!

Now, this particular vehicle had only 38,000 miles on it.  Really low milage for a vehicle of it's age, but, still within the warranty of the vehicle.  We documented the job, took pictures of the defective part, replaced it, charged the woman the necessary labor AND offered to help her get the work done under warranty.  Would your shop have done the same?

In these economic times, it's important to save money where you can.  Using the warranty for your vehicle is extremely important as car repairs can be expensive.  This woman's repair bill would have cost her around $900 in labor, plus the parts! 

My point here is to be sure that your repair shop is willing to work with you when it comes to items that should be repaired under warranty.  Ensure that they will back up the repairs with a letter, if necessary, explaining the reason for the repair and any information leading up to what caused the damage or need for repairs in the first place.

Customer satisfaction should be the number one priority of any shop, big or small.  Going the extra nine yards for customers is what gains respect and loyalty and when it comes to car repair, both of those should be at the top of any shops' list.  If it's not, it's time to find a new shop.  In these times, shops and customers need to work together to make sure that everyone comes out a winner. 

When it comes to buying a car, knowing your shop will go the extra nine yards there can be really helpful too.  If possible, have your mechanic check out the vehicle before you buy.  Small problems that might not be noticeable to just anyone might be found by your mechanic and save you money down the road.  Problems that need to be fixed are also great bargaining chips when it comes to negotiating the right price for a car or truck.  When it's not possible to bring the car to your mechanic, always use a good, established servcie to get a vehicle history report.  AutoCheck is the best vehicle history report available.
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This allows you to check each vehicle you look at and compare them all for one low price.  You can also take those vehicle reports to your shop and get a professional opinion of which vehicle is the best buy without having to bring the car to your mechanic or vise versa!

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Happy Motoring!

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Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you! -Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body, Gibsonton, FL.