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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2000, 06:35 AM
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picking a repair facility

In the past couple of months,i've heard some horror stories here.Bad repair shops.I have to ask,are you price shopping?It doesn't sound from any of the stories,that you have a place you trust, and/or are your regular repair place.If i may,here are some suggestions to find A place.
1)quit price shopping,the lowest price is not necessarily a bargin.
2)Do they employ ASE,or factory trained techniciains?Do they have any training at all?you would not go to the "home diploma"doctor,would you?
3)Look at the shop,is it clean,new equipment?Are they up to date on information?Ask if they have alldata, or michtell information systems.Books are out of date the day they are printed anymore,factory revisions and updated repair procedures occurr daily!
4)When you go for regular maintenance,(oil change,ect.)do they do a inspection?Yes,they are looking for more work,but that is also a record of whats been done and what needs to be done.
5) stick with one shop,you will know them and they will know your vehicle.If its a repair they cant handle,they will tell you and offer a shop they trust to keep their customer happy(so they come back!)
6)Warranty,do they cover parts and labor?how long?
7)do they listen when you are telling them whats wrong with your car?Be as complete as possible with symptoms.does it happen only at start up?after heat soak?ect.
8)All of the above costs huge!Talent is not cheap(do you work for cheap?)the price range in parts is huge also,cheap is just that,quality parts cost more,but i can stand behind them and offer a real warranty.once again,the lowest price isn't a bargain!
9)Quit shopping over the phone,let me see your car before i give you a price.Mabey its not the waterpump,just a bad hose clamp,or mabey there are broken /rusted bolts that will affect the price of the repair.Wouldn't you rather know that up front?
10)Trust,thats the most important part.if i hand you a crank sensor and tell you that was your problem,do you even know what your looking at?is it even off your car?face it,your going to have to go on trust sometime,so why not get to know your repair people and give them a chance to earn that trust.
there is few things to look for,i'm sure Aaron , dave, and others can add some more to the list(please do!)
Matt


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support capital punishment,guarantee no repeat offenders
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2000, 10:37 AM
Nickmil
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Re: picking a repair facility

Excellent advice! The one thing I would add is about the Alldata and Mitchell. A good shop should have
both service manuals and updatable computer systems. Alldata only goes back to '82 for service info.
A good shop should also have info on vehicles before then. Would you take your 1978 vehicle to a shop that
only has info going back to '82? Big differences in service info. If it is a shop close to home look and see
if the vehicles there sit for long periods (meaning they may belong to the employees) or if they rotate
frequently. Good to see the same vehicles back from time to time (over a long period of time) though as that shows customer loyalty. nickmil.
Nickmil.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2000, 10:52 AM
 
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Re: picking a repair facility

Very good advice Matt.
I move very often, due to my proffesion. So it seems that just when I find someone that will perform good work and often even loan me the after hours use of a hoist and such, then I move and start over.
I have found that for me its easier to go to the 4x4 shops, and get in with the local guys for a trail run. Then they will usualy clue me in on who does good spring work, axle repair, good bolt houses,or CB shops, etc. I always end up making good freinds with the local 4x4 shop mechanics, just due to our similar interests, and i will often buy my parts and tires from them even if they are more expensive then the big mail order places. This is easily off set by the shop favors and their attention to the details when working on my rig. I cant tell you, the favors Ive very appreciatively received, from local shop owners in Monterey Ca,Fresno Ca,Oakhust Ca,Reno Nv,Medford Or, Eugene Or. and more. Ive already met some guys who have helped out a lot here in Vegas.


Jeff
89 Wrangler
I take my Jeep "On the Rocks",usually "With a Splash of Addrenalin"
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2000, 08:59 PM
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Re: picking a repair facility

A thing or two i never thought about,but as luck would have it,a yj came into the shop friday.Raulf got the job, and started to comment on how this guy had all the"wrong"parts on his truck!!Both the nutter bypass and tr upgrade(Aaron,dude,you'r famous!!!)6 mounths ago,i would not have known of these,and did same as my co worker!Point is,tell the service writer(usally a guy that don't know a socket from a slide hammer)'bout any "upgrades"you've made!General service shops are just that,general service,and not in tune to custom riggs.A 95 Dodge intripid,no problem,a 67 cj,full boat rigg,wrong place to be!Not that the tech. lacks any skill,just not his gig!!Look for a 4x4 shop,or talk with the TECHS.make sure they know what their workin on
Matt

all laws only affect the law abiding
support capital punishment,guarantee no repeat offenders
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-15-2000, 01:03 AM
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Re: picking a repair facility

I am ASE certified, as far as I am concerned it means nothing. It takes about an hour to take the test, and I believe you need a minimun of 3 years fulltime experience. It looks good on my Resume, and would probably get me hired over someone who isn't certified.

Some of the best mechanics I have ever met have extremally messy shops. I do not hesitate sending customers there, because I know they will get treated well. I can't say the same for some of the bigger (spotless) shops.

Thanks, Ray

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