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Positive Auto Repair Reviews are Few and Far Between

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid The other day I was speaking with another repair shop owner. He was complaining about Yelp! and similar online review sites, saying that positive auto repair reviews are few and far between. I told him that it depends a great deal on the shop’s capabilities, the mechanic’s knowledge and the level of customer care. Then I asked him: What is your customer service like? What, if any, perks do you offer your customers? Do you offer discounts/coupons? Do you make yourself available to answer existing or potential clients’ questions? When he asked why I was inquiring, I said: “All these things add value to the customer’s experience.” Our Customers Love AutoAid! Our crew at AutoAid gets excited every time there is a notice of a new review. We rarely receive a negative pos ... read more

Is It Better to Buy a New Car or a Certified Pre-Owned Car? Ask Your Repair Guy

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Has your car seen better days? Or do you just want to upgrade sooner rather than later? Either way, it’s time for a change. Is it better to buy a new car or a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle? There are pros and cons to both. Our advice at AutoAid is always to ask your repair guy or gal first. We keep up with our industry news and can explain about electronic, computer-based or model changes, and what they will mean to you both on the road and in the repair shop. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to buying new or certified pre-owned. New Cars: What to Know There is nothing better than purchasing a new car or truck and trying out all the latest technology installed in it. And nothing beats that new car smell! Other benefits include: You get what you want. When you purchase a new car, yo ... read more

After It's Repaired: What Should Consumers Ask Before Leaving the Shop with Their Car

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid You’ve just had your car repaired. It had been a while since you took it in for maintenance. The brake pads needed changing, and so did a couple of belts. But it was the rotors that really cost you. You had a list of questions you wanted to ask the technician when you picked up your car, but quickly forgot after signing the paperwork. You realize you didn’t see the parts that had been replaced (and you had asked when you brought the car in) nor did anyone review the final bill and associated costs with you. What do you do? Call the automotive repair shop, and ask for the needed information. Both these items are required under California’s Automotive Repair Act of 1974. If for some reason you can’t do this, either because they are out of the area or you feel too embarrassed to go back, call AutoAid. Our family-owned and operated business believes that educati ... read more

Which Car Repairs May Not Be Worth the Trouble

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid One of the most frequently asked questions I get from AutoAid customers who have older vehicles is, “Is my care worth fixing?” And every time I’m asked, I have a different answer for my customer. It’s not because I don’t know what to say. Each and every car, or truck is different due to age, condition or the part that has to be replaced. Typically, most older cars need $1000 a year in repairs and maintenance. I always suggest that people consider the following before making a decision on fixing an older car. You can start by assessing the current condition of your car’s: Еngine Тransmission Cylinder head gaskets Timing belt These are all parts which are either expensive to replace in and of themselves or, as in the case of a timing belt, can damage other systems in the car. The mileage, the vehicles utility value to the owner, and the customer’s age all p ... read more

5 Car Fluids You Need to Check to Stay Safe on the Road

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Just as we maintain our health by eating right, exercising and making sure we drink lots of water, there are certain things that we must do to keep our cars and trucks in good health, and keeping a close watch on the fluid levels is one of them. If you’re driving a newer automobile you need not worry too much about this as your dashboard panel will alert you to any fluids that may be low or when regularly scheduled maintenance is required. There are five primary fluids you need to check to stay safe on the road. They include engine oil, power steering, brake, transmission, and radiator fluids. I was just talking about this with a long-time customer the other day. Her grandson had recently gotten his driver’s license, and she had surprised him with a slightly used car. “One of the first things I said to my grandson was ‘Please go t ... read more

You Just Bought a Car and Have No Idea How It Works

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid I had to laugh last month when an older gentleman stopped in and asked if I could help him figure out the “bells and whistles” on his new Cadillac CT6. He had heard from a friend that Jack, David and the team at AutoAid can figure anything out when it comes to automobiles, whether it is maintenance or repair, and that we even have repair financing if needed. I told him it was true that we can review the functions on his car with him, and asked if he consulted the car manual before coming in. It’s something I ask our customers. His answer was “no, I know how to drive a car. I’ve had Cadillacs all my adult life,” he explained. “I figured what could be so different about this one? The salesperson gave me a brief tutorial but once I pulled ... read more

Common Reasons for Car Break Downs

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Sometimes I get the wackiest calls. A woman called me several months ago and told me about a scary incident she had after her car battery died on a deserted road. She was able to get help but felt vulnerable and didn’t like that feeling. I felt for her, but then she asked me to promise her something no one in their right mind would agree to do. She inquired if AutoAid could fix her car so that it would never break down on the road again. I knew she didn’t mean NEVER, but I understood her fears. I told her that AutoAid has some of the most qualified automotive mechanics in the industry and by doing regular maintenance can catch a great deal of the issues that might sneak up on car owners. But nobody in their right mind is going to guarantee to fix your car so that it never breaks down, because life happens. I explained this all to her and said “Look, cars are machines ... read more

Your Car’s Health Check In the Palm of Your Hand

Your Car’s Health Check In the Palm of Your Hand

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid If you’re like most of us, every few months you receive a report from your healthcare provider giving you an update on your test results, or suggestions on how to improve your overall health. AutoAid prepares a similar report that we text or email following our Car & Truck Courtesy Check, which looks at 38 vehicle points including the wipers and washer system, exterior lights, air conditioning, and battery, filters, oils and fluids, belts, hoses, tires, brakes, steering, and suspension. Our dedicated team of technicians then prioritize the maintenance or replacement of parts based on their diagnoses of your vehicle. Your car’s health report is one of the many value-added perks that we give our customers throughout the greater San Fernando Valley area. How We Evaluate Your Car’s Health We’re not th ... read more

Why Women Prefer Going to the Dentist Over Visiting an Auto Repair Shop

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid To keep up on the current automobile industry trends, I read a lot of trade magazines. Recently, I came across an article that caught my eye, and I don’t know how I missed it earlier. It referenced a 2014 AutoMD.com survey that asked consumers about their experience with car repair shops. Many of the responses sounded familiar, people believed they were overcharged or not treated well by the mechanic, but what really surprised me was that most women prefer going to the dentist over visiting an auto repair shop. Purchasing a car at a dealership (another often painful experience) ranked just below the dental office visit. Ouch! I knew that many of the women I had come across over the years told me that their visits to other auto repair shops were disappointing. Their typical experience started with ogling as they walked into a shop, followed by a mechanic who talked down to them and then proceeded to tell them some mumbo jumb ... read more

Getting a Second Opinion on Your Car Repair is the Smart Thing to Do

By Jack Bulko, AutoAid Auto repair prices vary depending on the shop, the knowledge of the mechanics, the type of car and other factors, and that’s why getting a second opinion on your car repair is the smart thing to do. Sometimes we are hesitant to ask for another mechanic to look at the car because we believe we are wasting their time, or that the price will be the same or more; however that is far from the truth. By asking someone else to inspect your vehicle or review the pricing you received from a dealership or another shop, you are just gathering information that will allow you to make a more informed decision, just as you would before you undergo surgery, repair your home or purchase an item such as an insurance policy. Second opinions take on even more importance when you don’t have a regular mechanic with whom to consult, or are traveling for business or attending college far from home. It’s just another way to help you make a safe and financially sound ... read more

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