Unless you are a mechanic—and if we are being real, there are fewer and fewer people who grow up tinkering on their cars than there were a few decades ago—then getting car service can be stressful.
We’ve all heard horror stories of consumers being over-sold by unscrupulous mechanics or dealerships. But we all also know that not every shop is bad. In fact, it’s been our experience that most auto repair shops are run by good people trying to do the best thing for their customers. Just like you do at your job.
Most service professionals are good and honest folks. But it can be hard to know who with confidence if you are not particularly familiar with automotive technology. In the coming weeks, we’ll even post about how to figure out who’s who, tapping some industry marketing professionals experience to teach you what you are looking for when you’re trying to make sense of online reviews when it comes to auto service, oil changes, and repair.
But for now, let me just say that, contrary to how intimidating it can be to feel clueless about our cars—and hey, I was right there with you on that not so long ago—you can get a handle on getting service with just a little bit of knowing what to look for. And knowing a few basic things.
Estimate and Work Orders
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The first thing you need to know is that you have power. Especially here in California where there are laws meant to protect consumers in these things. Your power begins with the estimate or work order.
Whenever you go for service—or when we come to you, since that’s what we do—you should always get an estimate up front. We will certainly provide one every time. The estimate tells you how much the service you are getting ought to cost.
For an oil change, as an example, we will look up your vehicle by make and model and determine what oil is needed, how many quarts of it will be required, and what filter your vehicle calls for.
All of that can be determined in advance. That means for an oil change estimate, there ought to be no mystery.
However, it is a good idea to get your vehicle inspected while you have a trained technician poking around under the hood. This is where most folks start to grow anxious.
Inspections – Additional Work & Recommendations
The first thing to know is, you don’t have to buy any additional work. And more importantly, you should never, ever feel pressured into buying it.
You know how IT security people always warn you that any email, text, or phone call that starts with something threatening or scary is probably a scam? That’s basically how it works with auto services, too.
No decent, honest mechanic is going to scare you into buying auto service. They just won’t.
“But wait,” the paranoid part of your brain says, “What if there is something dangerous I need to know about?”
Well, that is possible. However, today’s cars are very reliable, and it’s not that often that something comes up that absolutely has to be fixed right now or else! Especially if you just drove the vehicle into the shop (which you don’t have to do with Oil Revo, since we come to you). However, if there is something that seems like trouble, a good, honest technician is not going to terrify you into buying anything.
If They Make You Feel Scared, They’re Doing It Wrong
If there does happen to be a significant problem, honest auto repair professionals will explain the mechanical failure involved. They will explain how that issue will make any given system in your vehicle not work properly or safely. They will tell you why they believe the part or system has failed, and they will tell you what they think ought to be done to fix it.
They will give you the price to fix or diagnose it further as well, a new estimate. They may even have more than one option for how to address the issue. Sometimes there is a way to fix problems within a tight budget, sort of a “basic” repair. But there may also be a more thorough way to do it, a more complicated approach that costs a bit more but will return that part or system back to how it was brand new. Both will be safe, but one will be a longer-term solution.
If there are two ways to approach it, a good, honest auto repair service professional will explain both very clearly so you understand each option.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reliable auto service includes patient explanations. An honest mechanic wants you to know what you are getting and why.
But no honest auto service professional will squeeze you to buy an expensive repair right now. They will write everything down, and recommend you have it fixed, certainly. But they will also make it very clear that you have time to think about it. They’ll happily encourage you talk to your spouse or whomever else you might want to talk to, and they’ll make you feel comfortable about doing that.
If it truly is unsafe to drive, they’ll help you arrange a ride. Or they’ll help you find someone to tow the vehicle if it really is that bad and you just don’t want to or can’t get it fixed at the time. But no matter what, trustworthy service professionals absolutely will not guilt or pressure you into having it fixed right then. Period.
That means, if a shop or a mechanic does pressure you or make you feel scared, you can write that shop off forever from your list. And maybe write something on Google or one of the other online review sites out there, too. We all have to work together to ferret out the bad guys. Nobody should have to put up with that.
Trustworthy Oil Change Service – Done Right at Your Home or Workplace
Oil Revo will always give you an estimate for your oil change service. We will not surprise you with hidden costs. If you would like for us to do a multi-point vehicle inspection, we will happily do so and give any recommendations we find to you in an itemized list.
Because we come to you, your car is right there where you parked it. You will never feel trapped at some shop. All the power is in your hands. If you’re looking for honest, convenient oil change service in the greater Sacramento area, give Oil Revo a call. Let us show you how easy and stress-free auto service can be.