Thursday, August 28, 2008

Common Reasons you pay too much for Auto Repair

It's easy to blame the auto repair industry for excessive car repair prices, but sometimes these extra expenses are the customer's fault. Like a computer, if we supply incorrect data, we'll get garbage. For auto repairs bad data means unnecessary and/or excessive auto repair costs.
Here's a brief example to put things in to perspective.

A customer with a headlight issue assumed that his bulb was burnt out. He purchased a new bulb and brought it to his Denver repair shop to have it installed. The Littleton auto repair shop installed the bulb, and billed the client the appropriate labor. After installing the bulb, the light still didn't work. Who's at fault?

In this case, the client was forewarned that his particular vehicle has a Xenon head lamp system and that it should be diagnosed first, as it may be a tad more complicated than a bulb.

Nevertheless, the client requested the installation, and agreed to the labor charges. When the light still didn't work, the auto shop called the client to ask if he wanted to authorize an additional hour of labor ($110.00) to diagnose the headlight issue, and pay another $55.00 to remove the bulb and install the original bulb. As you can see, this customer quickly racked up a bill (including a $358 non-returnable Xenon bulb) and his light still didn't work.

This is merely one example of the very common "customer-diagnosed/supplied part" scenario.
It gets even more complicated when customers lie, mislead, or don't provide all the facts. Now, a good auto technician won't proceed until he is clear on the client's exact issue and can reproduce the complaint. For now, let's focus on what the customer does wrong.

Top 5 Mistakes:

1) Diagnosing the problem rather than explaining the symptoms. As in the example above, the client assumed his headlight was burnt out - a $523 mistake. If you find a good Littleton auto repair shop, you will be able to put your trust in the mechanics. You shouldn't feel like you should address the problem, let them do it-thats their job.

2) Supplying your own parts. The auto repair shop installing your part has no obligation to rectify the situation or supply any type of guarantee if the part fails. Here's a real life example: customer supplied a used alternator. Shop installed it, but the used part didn't work. The customer had to pay again to have a new alternator installed - a $250 mistake

3) Lying. This should be self-explanatory, but here's an example. A customer stated that his air-ride suspension lights kept intermittently flashing. After hours of diagnostics and testing it was revealed that the client's real issue was a minor suspension squeak - no dash lights had ever come on. It turned out that the client thought that if the mechanic checked the air-suspension computers and electronics that his vehicle would be more thoroughly evaluated - a $1,200 mistake

4) Suggesting unnecessary work. This may sound strange coming from the customer, but it happens. Some Denver auto repair customers will blurt out "just tune it up" or, "change my oil" even when they know it isn't required at the time - these can be very costly mistakes - 100's, even 1000's of dollars are lost this way to repair shops all too eager to take your money

5) Assuming your Denver auto repair shop will figure it out. This type of thinking is dangerous. Your auto repair shop needs your input because, despite any lack of automotive experience on your part, you know your vehicle better than any one. Here's an example: a man dropped his car off for what he called "a loud grinding noise." Despite the best efforts from a service advisor and technician, the noise could not be duplicated, nor could any other information be gleaned from the client as to the conditions under which the noise was heard. A road test with the client did not produce the noise either. Nevertheless, the client was adamant that something was dreadfully wrong and agreed to pay to have it checked out. After a $200 inspection, the vehicle was given a clean bill of health. The client paid and happily went on his way. Ten minutes later, he walked in screaming that the noise is so obvious you'd have to be deaf not to hear it. He jumped back in the car with the service manager, simultaneously, his cell phone went off (in vibrate mode), which he kept tucked between the seat and center console - what a "grinding" noise that made!

There are a number of other ways to pay too much, but if you can spare yourself from these 5, you'll be way ahead of the game. In short, don't diagnose your own car, and avoid supplying your own parts. Don't lie or mislead. Tell the truth even if it's embarrassing. I once had a woman tell me that her boyfriend shot her radio with a hand gun. Not only did this information help with the diagnosis, but also the extent and breadth of the damage.

Remember, don't suggest unnecessary work. Stick to your manufacturer's recommendations and play an active role in helping your repair facility diagnose that pesky grinding noise, or bullet-riddled radio.

The key to saving money on you Denver auto repair expenses is finding a good Denver auto repair shop. If you find a trusted mechanic, you will not feel like you have to lie, be embarrassed about situations, and your certainly won't feel like you have to diagnose your own car problems. Denver auto repair can be spendy, don't help it be more expensive-avoid these 5 typical things and find a good Denver auto repair shop.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Denver BMW auto repair

There are many Denver auto repair shops looking to get your business but there are only a select few that you want to trust your BMW with. Denver auto repair shops vary in size, experience, and reliablity so you want to make sure that you take your BMW to an auto repair shop that excells at all three categories.

Autoworks Colorado does just that! They have been working on BMW's for 30 years and specialize in German auto repair in Denver. They have a great shop in Littleton and are looking to expand soon.
Here is a picture of their shop, as you can see it is one of the cleanest auto repair shops in Denver!
Autoworks Colorado has 8 bays for any BMW makes and model. One thing I was impressed with was Mark the owner, personally called me and told me he recomended we should replace a water pump at the same time as they were servicing another part on my car. He told me that since everything was out it would be much cheaper to do it now than in 6 months. He also said it didn't have to be done at the time and it was up to me. It would need to be replaced in 6 months so we decided to just do it then. I couldn't believe I got a phone call instead of showing up with a much larger bill without having any knowledge of it. Autoworks Colorado is one of the most reliable denver auto repair shops in the area and I would strongly recommend them to anyone with a german import or BMW.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Auto Repair Denver

Often times when you take your Mercedes Benz to a Denver auto repair shop you are skeptical about what is really being done behind the scene...if anything is being done right? Well remember you are not an expert and you have spent a lot of money on your Denver Mercedes.

Of all the Denver auto repair shops out there, ask around for others experience with mercedes auto repair. Online there are a ton of reviews of Denver auto repair shops that can be a good source of where to take your car.

Murphy's Laws: (By: Matthew Wright)

  • Nothing is as easy as it looks.

  • Everything takes longer than you think.

  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most
  • damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.

  • You never run out of things that can go wrong.

  • If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

  • If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

  • It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

  • Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
    Every solution breeds new problems.

Friday, August 8, 2008

How to Avoid Denver Repair Rip-offs

Let's face it, not everyone is as honest as we would like. What's more, those individuals who are in a position to have trust them blindly are often the ones to lie to us so boldly. Now, this isn't to say that everyone is a liar and a thief, but it pays to be cautious.

When it comes to Denver auto repairs, many new drivers or those inexperienced in dealing with garages will find the entire process frustrating and even confusing. Mechanics will often assume that drivers will know the components of their cars and how it all goes together. Doctors are often guilty of this as well. In most cases, the mechanic is not attempting to rip the vehicle owner off, to them it is common knowledge and sometimes they do forget that not everyone is as well versed as they are.

However, there are a hand full of unscrupulous Denver auto repair shops that uses such talk to their advantage. When you place your car in the care of a Denver repair shop you have no choice but to take their word as gospel concerning your car. After all, they are in a position of authority and are trained in car repair. Knowing this shady mechanics will use fast talk and technical terms to their advantage to charge you for items that you either did not need or that simply do not exist.

That is why having even a rudimentary knowledge about your car is so important. Many automobile types will have common ailments which you can easily search for online. Other car repairs are common for all types and are usually the result of the same problem. This way you can, hopefully, spot when an unscrupulous mechanic is trying to take you for a ride.
Being aware of you car's needs goes a step further when you enter that Denver repair shop. You must be precise when dealing with a mechanic in order to avoid any miscommunication.

Miscommunications do not point to rip offs but it should be avoided anyways. Many advise that you make out a detailed list of what you want repaired. This way the mechanic will fully understand what you want. In order to make sure that this list reaches the mechanics that will be working on your vehicle; you may want to tape the list on the steering wheel or the dashboard so that it is clearly visible. If you find a trusted Denver auto repair shop, this isn't always necessary. The idea is to find that auto repair shop where the communication is always there and they will give you a call to go over what they are about to repair on your car.

Before you authorize any work, at all, you should make certain that the mechanic is certified. The mechanic can be certified through either the dealer or through a special regulatory body which can vary state to state. Find out who this regulatory body is and what they require of their mechanics before you settle on a shop.

Afterwards, check out the Denver auto shop through organizations like the Better Business Bureau or some type of consumer affairs organization. If there were any complaints filed against the shop that may not necessarily mean that the shop is scamming its customers. However, if there are more then a couple and if these reports are of a severe quality then it would be wise to find another shop.

The important thing to remember as you search for a Denver auto repair shop is that not everyone is a crook. In such an industry as auto repair and car service a few bad apples really does spoil the bunch. Use caution and your gut to avoid rip offs and scams.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Denver Auto Repair

There are many Denver car dealerships out there that claim to have a great service departement but the problem is they charge so much more for labor than most smaller Denver car shops. I have had the best luck finding the smaller locally owned Denver auto repair shops where you and your car are important to the shop and they typically charge less than the dealerships and you get a better service.

If you have a German Car I would suggest going to Autoworks Colorado in Littleton. I service my BMW there and they are fantastic! They have the best Denver auto repair of imports in the whole metro area. They also have the cleanest shop I have seen and mechanics are great. The owner is there at all times and they won't work on your car without updating you the status of your car. Check them out at