Is Your Automotive Service and Repair Shop Certified?

2 08 2018

Dale BertramIn a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop you use have certified technicians?” The vast majority said they assumed that they were.

The shop you use may have certified people, but the reality is there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop. This is one part of our industry that I would like to see reviewed. A professional that cuts hair or fingernails is required to be state certified, but a mechanic who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training or any tools to do so.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At my shop, I require all staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well. ASE tests are all written tests and it does not necessarily mean a person is competent to work on a car.

AAA Approved auto shops must have ASE certified technicians employed as well as have a minimum set of tools for the cars they work on. I recommend using an AAA approved shop due to their tough standards, and you have a voice through the arbitration system, should you have a concern with the service or repair.

In these uncertain times, saving a few dollars is always something to consider. But don’t get caught up with a low price that will cost you more later. Have a knowledgeable certified technician perform the service or repairs on your car; it will save you time and money in the long run. Before you agree to have any work performed, ask if the technician working on your car is certified. If you wonder sometimes why someone is lower in price than everyone else, there’s usually a reason.

 

 

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Never Assume

26 04 2018

Dale BertramIn a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop where you take your vehicle employ certified technicians?” The vast majority answered that they assumed that they were certified.

Sadly, this is not the case! Someone who cuts hair or does manicures is required to be state certified and take continuing education classes, but a mechanic, who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training nor are they required to have the proper tools.

The only certification system we have in the automotive repair industry is strictly voluntary and is administered by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) which offers a series of written tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At Fairway Auto Repair, I require all the staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well.

I recommend using an AAA Approved auto shop because they require ASE certified technicians and those technicians must have a minimum set of tools for the cars they work on. AAA approved shops have tough standards and you, the consumer, have a voice through the arbitration system if you feel something went wrong with your car repair.

In these uncertain times, saving a few dollars is always something to consider, but don’t get so caught up with a low price that you get poor service/repair.  This will cost you more later. Have a knowledgeable certified technician perform the service or repairs on your car; it will save you time and money in the long run. Before you agree to have any work performed, ask if the technician working on your car is certified for that year, make & model.

 

 





Finding An Auto Repair Shop You Can Trust

8 12 2016

Dale BertramAAA just did a survey and found that two out of three U.S.A. drivers do not trust automotive repair shops!  Why?

The top reasons that U.S. drivers do not trust repair shops are:

    • Recommending unnecessary services (76 percent)
    • Overcharging for services (73 percent)
    • Negative past experiences (63 percent)
    • Concerns that the work will not be done correctly (49 percent)

The survey also noted that older drivers trust auto repair shops’ more.  Why?

    • Baby Boomers are twice as likely than younger generations to fully trust auto repair facilities in general, with one-in-five reporting they “totally trust” the industry.
    • Baby Boomers (76 percent) are also more likely to have a chosen auto repair shop that they trust compared to Millennials (55 percent) and Gen-Xers (56 percent).

What does this survey tell us?

  • It takes time to find a great repair shop…many times through trial and error.
  • Due to this, older, more established adults have found a shop they trust and they stick with them.
  • Driver’s happy with their repair shop aren’t “repair shop hopping” based on coupons, but stick with the shop they know will do a good job at a fair price each and every time.
  • The 75 million drivers who haven’t found a trusted repair facility need to ask for recommendations from those who have.

What does AAA recommend?

  • Find a shop you trust before you are in breakdown mode.
  • Start off your search by having a shop do small items first such as oil changes, tire rotations and filter replacements.

There are a lot of great shops out there.  Today it has never been easier to find one you trust!  Read reviews and ask friends, family and neighbors.  It pays great dividends in the long run.

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Fairway Auto Repair





The Ever Changing Car – What You Need To Know

1 09 2016

Dale BertramAAA Findings – The technology of our cars is constantly changing supposedly for the better…yet AAA recorded a record number of breakdowns in 2015 (32 million) despite all the advances. This isn’t just with older vehicles but vehicles that are under five years of age.  Why is this happening?  According to AAA, they are seeing a lot of battery, tire issues and key problems.  The electronic key and ignition systems drain the battery.  The elimination of a spare tire to get better fuel economy is also being felt.  The inflator kit can’t fix everything.  What is another surprising problem?  Over half a million drivers ran out of gas last year!

GDI Engines – Gasoline direct injection engines or GDI increases our vehicle’s fuel economy and controls emission levels…however…it also causes carbon build up on the intake valves which hurts our fuel economy and causes our ride to be sluggish.  Currently, all gasoline will leave a deposit.  The engine is located in the combustion chamber where the temperature is over 500 degrees, and under a great deal of pressure, resulting in carbon buildup.  If your vehicle has a GDI engine, it is important that it have a complete fuel system cleaning to remove these deposits.

Refrigerant – In order to help reduce global warming from air conditioning refrigerant, the USA is starting to phase out R-134a refrigerant by 2021 in new cars.  Some manufacturers are already phasing in the replacement, R-1234yf.  It comes with some challenges, however.  Apparently, R-1234yf can be a fire hazard.  Daimler says it will add an under hood fire extinguisher that will spray the lines to keep leaking refrigerant from igniting.

Coolant – Using the correct coolant is vitally important to your car’s health.  Use the wrong type for your car and it can cause serious damage over time.  Low coolant levels can also cause a lot of distress for your car.  Did you know that 95% of water pump failure is due to never flushing/exchanging the coolant in your car?  Even clean looking coolant can collect abrasive particles that cause damage.  It starts by eroding the water pump seal…then the impeller.  Then it starts on the radiator/heater core.  Next up is the head gasket.  Even with all the additives to give coolant long life…over time the additives will fail.

Vehicle Inspections – Why do we like to inspect your vehicle when you visit…even if you are there for “just an oil change?”  We want to keep your car going for miles to come. The technicians at Fairway Auto Repair are experts in keeping your car healthy and they know what to look for.  To find out more about how Fairway Auto Repair is helping Phoenix drivers on the road, visit our website at www.fairwayautorepair.com.

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Fairway Auto Repair





Privacy And Your Car

6 02 2014

Dale BertramAAA says that automobile manufacturers are capable of collecting huge amounts of data as cars get more and more advanced. If you are in the market for a new car, read the fine print of your contract. More than likely you will be asked to sign a document allowing the manufacturer to accumulate not only your location when you are driving but how many times a day you get behind the wheel and when.

In light of the Driver Privacy Act AAA suggests manufacturers at least offer some transparency into what data they are collecting and why. To protect drivers’ privacy AAA asks for the following information to be given to the consumer:

1. Provide transparency about what data is being collected and how is it being used.
2. Allow the consumer to choose who they are sharing the data with and why they are being asked to share it.
3. Make sure the data is secure.

Some manufacturers were planning on selling their collected data to third parties. Thankfully United States senators put a stop to that. In light of all the recent breaches to security it is making consumers uncomfortable and many get the feeling that privacy is a thing of the past.

The Driver Privacy Bill was recently introduced as a bi-partisan bill to the senate. This bill’s purpose is to protect our Fourth Amendment rights. AAA conducted a study last fall that revealed that 79% of consumers felt we had a right to choose whether or not our auto data is shared and who it is shared with. 68% are very concerned with their privacy and security when data is shared.

Let’s take this a step further. If you sell your car or trade it in, does the data collection stop and the purchaser of your vehicle get to decide if they will allow data to be collected or does it just keep on collecting without the new owner’s knowledge? Currently so much data is being collected that the manufacturers aren’t even sure what they going to use it all for but certainly this scenario needs to be considered to protect the privacy of those purchasing used cars.

Some of the reasons data is being collected is to help accelerate emergency response time and to help maintain traffic so drivers aren’t delayed. At least one manufacturer (and of course more will quickly follow) has the capability of sending software updates to vehicles wirelessly to address problems and enhance performance.

A few years ago we might have thought such issues were only in the minds of science fiction authors but it is the reality of today. We will have to see where it leads us.

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Fairway Auto Repair