automotive sleuth


Get the Best Service at Your Auto Repair Center

Posted on May 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

My mother, who lives in Phoenix called me about her recent vehicle repairs. Since I own a used car lot and sold her the car, a PT Cruiser, I did feel bad that her experience at a well-known auto repair chain went so bad. First, and I agreed, she paid too much for a basic tune-up and was told her oxygen sensor was bad. So she shelled out some bucks to get her car back. While she did pay too much for her repairs, as I’ve always told her, she could have achieved a better price if she would have worked with the technician and service writer.

In my opinion, all technicians get a bad rap for trying to sell auto parts you don’t need and most consumers complain about their hefty labor time charges. I am still stymied at why this is? Not many occupations offer up this unique experience of always feeling like you’re a crook. People will pay home repair experts if their hot water tank is leaking or their furnace isn’t working, but often, no very often, complain about the amount of their vehicle repairs–even if it’s just required maintenance like a lube-oil-filter or full-service check-up. There are ways to work with your technician to achieve results that make you happy and won’t leave your auto repair guy feeling like a crook. Use these tips every time you visit your auto repair center whether it’s a franchised dealership, auto repair chain, or just a plain old independent repair facility:

1. Make a list at home before you visit your mechanic and be specific about repairs or checks you want done.

2. When you arrive at your repair center, ask if you can communicate directly with your mechanic. Most service writers should be happy you request this. If they don’t or refuse, find another repair center.

3. Explain exactly what your problem is and try and be specific about what the vehicle is doing or not doing. No mechanic is a crystal ball reader and all vehicles are different so don’t just drop the vehicle off and expect them to figure it all out on their own.

4. Insist and go on a test drive before your technician begins the repair process especially if your vehicle is making a noise you can’t describe or identify. My 80 year old father-in-law bought a new vehicle and took his vehicle to the repair facility a whopping ten times for a sound he heard repeatedly but could not identify. Instead of insisting on a pre-repair test drive, the mechanic tried his best to find the cause of the noise to no avail. Once I suggested a pre-repair test drive, the noise he was hearing was his automatic door locks that were performing as required–locking at the 17 mile-per-hour mark. Not only was my father-in-law’s time wasted, the mechanic’s time was as well and further, the mechanic was most likely not paid for anything other than the first visit and each time he looked at the vehicle, the repair facility where the mechanic worked probably looked at each visit as a “comeback” so he made no money on those repeated visits.

5. Understand how technicians are paid. People complain about the cost of labor. First, all good repair facilities utilize labor time guides that are given to the repair facility by the vehicle manufacturer or from an independent source such as All-Data. For example, if a labor guide says it should take one hour to fix a water pump on a specific vehicle–that is all the mechanic gets paid for. Even if it takes the mechanic two hours to fix the water pump, they only get paid for one hour of work–this is called a flat-rate hour. So, your mechanic and repair facility are not ripping you off, they are going by the guidelines provided to them that is utilized nationwide by all auto repair centers. Don’t be so quick to complain about nationally recognized labor time guides.

6. Most mechanics achieve some sort of ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification in all or specific areas of auto repair. If your auto repair shop has an ASE Master Technician–that means they’ve been through grueling tests–and passed. Tests offered by ASE are not easy, so keep that in mind if your tech is ASE certified.

7. If your auto repair center is a manufacturer franchised facility, say a Ford dealership, when your vehicle is brought to the mechanic with problems and no clear solutions, all franchised dealerships rely on a computer or telephone system that connects them with the manufacturer technicial department. These departments are full of tech experts who work with the technician to fix one of their vehicles. Often, it’s not your mechanic whose running the show, it’s this technical department–so don’t always blame the mechanic.

8. Negotiate – Yes you can ask to speak to the owner of the repair facility if you feel your repairs and the amount you owe are unfair. If you do this, remember to keep calm and discuss what you feel went wrong. Be fair when speaking and ask questions. There’s a good chance the two of you can come to a negotiation that you both feel comfortable with.

9. Keep up regularly scheduled maintenance. You can ask your mechanic or read your owners manual–something most people never do. Your owner’s manual will let you know when it’s time for varied tune ups such as 3,000 mile checks, 30,000 mile checks, and what should be completed at each check.

10. Don’t blame the mechanic if your vehicle fails and you didn’t keep up with any regularly scheduled maintenance items. If you haven’t changed your oil within recommended times and your engine fails, ask yourself who is at fault? It’s not your mechanic so don’t blame them.

The next time you take your vehicle into any auto repair facility, don’t be too quick to judge or think the mechanic is going to “rip you off.” Mechanics get a bad rap and they are truly educated on vehicle repair, especially if they are Master Techs. Treat a mechanic as your would your home repair expert–they are people too and really don’t need the dreaded suspicion each customer comes in with. Keeping an open line of communication and asking questions is your best bet.

Lexus Maintenance and Repair Services

Posted on May 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

The brand Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation. The company launched its first model Lexus LS in the U. S. back in the year 1989. Then on, Lexus keeps its pursuit of perfection. Today, Toyota’s Lexus lineup of luxury vehicles is marketed throughout the world and recognized as the largest-selling make of luxury cars in Japan.

When you drive one of these luxury cars, you know that the instant you pull out of the lot you’ve got a high class vehicle on-hand. However, no matter how well you take care of it, and no matter how great it was when you bought it – it will gradually begin to show signs of wear and tear just like most cars do. Hence, it is essential to safeguard the overall health of your Lexus car by taking it to a dependable auto shop and let them give it a dose of mechanical TLC.

Now, if you’re looking for a Riverside Lexus repair service, look no further than the a reputable auto shop to help you on your Lexus servicing and repair needs. Look no further than an auto shop that has all their mechanics ASE Lexus Expert and Lexus Master certified. This means that your Lexus car is in good hands. Fret not because these mechanics have passed the Automotive Service Excellence and diagnostics exams in order to prove their expertise in the different kinds of car repair services. Furthermore, it implies that you will save a great deal of time, effort and dollars as they are good at fixing the exact mechanical problems for you to spend money only on what is necessary.

There are actually two most important maintenance procedure that your Lexus car needs to keep it always up and running. These include checking it regularly and replacing the parts that have served to be already dysfunctional.

Your Lexus car should receive a tune-up after every 2 years or 30,000 miles. Tuning up your Lexus car is a relatively economical maintenance procedure that will spare you from spending more money. In tuning up your luxury car, replacement of new parts will be required. These parts include basic ignition parts, which made up of the spark plug and its wire set; distributor cap and rotor; and filters for the oil, air, fuel, PCV breather and automatic transmission.

The brakes of your car are vital in giving you a safe ride. Lexus brakes work their magic as it utilizes the latest ABS technology and servo mechanisms. However, for all their functionality, the basic components of your Lexus brake parts eventually wear, your Lexus brakes become less efficient and require immediate replacement.

The best thing about modern cars like your Lexus’ is the sophisticated computers installed on it that keeps your overall car engine in good running condition most of the time. When a problem occurs and a warning light appears, determining what the problem is and what needs to be replaced has become a hassle-free undertaking.


How to Find a Quality Auto Repair Service Shop?

Posted on May 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

Auto Repair and Service means a lot to the consumer in this fast pace world we live in. Being without transportation is an inconvenience while your vehicle is being repaired. Asking a friend, neighbor or co-worker to follow you to the shop and give you a ride home can be quite a hassle. Wondering how much it’s going to cost for the repair service is always a concern.

With all this in mind consumers want an auto repair shop that is well kept and clean where the personnel are polite and ethical. The technicians are certified and experienced. Most of all we expect to get our vehicle back fixed and in a timely manner.

How do we decide who to take our car to when it requires service?

A recommendation from a friend or family member is the best choice. They have already experienced the service and built a trust with this provider. If you are new to an area you can contact the Chamber of Commerce, check them out with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), or use the different social medias for information. Check out the auto service’s web site and see what they have to offer.

Questions you want to ask yourself are:

What types of service do they offer?

Are they going to be able to do all your required service at one location or do they specialize in a certain area?

Do they offer service in all of the following areas:

Engine repair

Engine performance







Electronic systems

Drive train



Are the technicians certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)?

Automobiles nowadays can be very complex. Technology is always advancing and the auto industry incorporates many technologies in new model cars. An auto repair shop that offers everything is going to be convenience for you.

As you approach this new to you service provider do a mental check list as follows:

Is the parking lot neat and clean?

Is the office and waiting area clean?

Are the office personnel polite and welcome you?

Is the shop area clean and neat?

Are the technicians polite and dressed appropriately?

On the other hand is the parking full of what appears to be junk?

Is the office cluttered and smells like dirty oil?

Did the office personal make you feel uneasy?

Does the shop area look like a grease pit with clutter everywhere?

Do the mechanics look like they needed a shower and clean cloths?

If the answer to any of these is ‘Yes’, don’t rule them out completely but look closer for the other points as you may want to look for another shop. All auto repair shops are different, you want the quality and professionalism that comes with experience and expertise.

Choosing the right auto repair service will benefit you in the long run as you will have the peace of mind that the repair was done right the first time at the right price.