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 decision.
In the past few weeks, I realized just how valuable another perspective can be and how pricing can vary. Sol, a Van Nuys resident, walked into AutoAid and asked me to look at his truck.
“I need a second opinion,” he said. “The guy I had been taking my car to in Mission Hills for the last 25 years decided to retire and move to Arizona. I don’t know who to go to or who to trust. He was my go-to guy for quite a while. While I was driving last night, I heard a knocking in my engine. I don’t remember hearing that sound before. I stopped at a shop a few blocks from here. He looked under the hood and then told me it was going to cost $3000 to fix. I know it’s an older car, but I’m not sure it’s worth putting that kind of money into it. I told him I’d think about it. Can you take a look?”
I introduced him to David, my son and partner, and he got one of our mechanics to perform our Car & Truck Courtesy Check, which looks at seven major areas of your vehicle including more than 39 separate points. Here are just some of the areas we look at:
While his car was being inspected, I invited Sol to sit and relax in our Customer Service area. He told me he had never seen a car repair shop that was so orderly and clean. I think we impressed him.
It turned out Sol really did have a costly problem with his engine, and although our costs were slightly under what he was quoted, Sol decided it wasn’t worth the expense. He thanked me and told me he was going to recommend me to anyone who would listen.
He wasn’t kidding. A few weeks later Sol called and asked me to speak with his grandson, Josh, who was attending school at a local college and had a relatively new car. He noticed his brakes were sticking and took it to the closest car dealership. Josh panicked when he heard the $1500 price tag. He didn’t have that kind of money to fix it. He called Sol, who suggested he bring the car into our team at AutoAid. We inspected Josh’s car and determined that we could fix the car for significantly less than the dealer’s estimate. It was still going to cost more than Josh had on hand, but I told him about AutoAid’s zero-interest financing plan, which helped ease his concern. Josh felt like he could breathe again and Sol was a happy grandfather. I also told Josh about our Car MD videos that would help him better understand how his car functioned, and suggested he check our specials before coming in to save some additional money.
I always suggest that if you are given a quote to get a second and sometimes a third opinion. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it could save you a significant amount of downtime and money.
We want your business, but more than that we want to know that we have been an integral part of keeping you and your vehicle safe on the road. Located in the heart of Van Nuys , we are here for you whether you need a second expert opinion on your repair or you want to bring your car in for repair. You can reach us at (818) 305-6632 or make an appointment online . AutoAid is a AAA Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award Winner , regularly earning a 100% Customer Satisfaction Evaluation Score. We wouldn’t think of doing anything to jeopardize our status and our customer’s well-being.