Auto Repair Quotes

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auto repair quote process

The bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten – Benjamin Franklin

Every customer that comes in is entitled to a written or verbal auto repair quote (based on the customer’s preference) prior to performing any repairs on their vehicle. We will never just perform a repair and then give a customer the bill without their approval. That just wouldn’t be ethical.

That being said, we can only quote prices for repairs when we know exactly what will need to be done to properly address the customer’s concern. It’s impossible for us to accurately quote any repair unless we know what part(s) need to be replaced and how long it will take. Our policy is to provide you with our best possible price using only the top quality parts, skilled and trained Technicians performing the repairs, and we using all of the latest state of the art equipment to ensure this is a seamless process so the job is done properly the first time. Then we back that up with our 2 year/ 24,000 mile warranty and 12 month roadside assistance.

Vehicles are much more complex than they were years ago. They require expensive tools and a myriad of ongoing training so that our Technicians can stay up to date on the latest technologies and features. In short, we trust our Technicians and their expertise. All of our repairs start with one of our Technicians verifying the customer’s concern then following a strict diagnostic path to get to the root of the problem. By skipping this process or altering it, we could end up quoting and/or performing repairs that most likely wouldn’t fix the customer’s concern.

We will not provide quotes to fix a vehicle unless we have diagnosed and/or verified the customer’s concern first. We want to be positive that what we’re quoting is going to help the customer by resolving their concern, not waste their money and time. – James

Sometimes parts fail only due to the failure of another part (subsequent damage). There’s simply no way for us to know the extent of the repair we’re quoting for your car unless it’s properly diagnosed by one of our staff first.

(See our survey results below to get little more insight)

Why we charge for diagnosis when properly making any Auto Repair Quotes:

From time to time people will come in and tell us what is wrong with their car and that they had it “diagnosed” by a local part store, their “other Mechanic” told them what’s wrong with it, or their “friend researched common problems online”. The fact of the matter is that none of these scenarios assure us that the repair you’re requesting us to quote so you can make a decision whether to come to us or not will fix your concern. The other problem here is that there isn’t a part store around that can properly “diagnose” a vehicle, there are no websites that can pinpoint through the internet exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle, if your “other Mechanic” knew how to diagnose it properly then he should be able to fix it, and there isn’t a single piece of diagnostic equipment on the market today that will tell someone exactly what’s wrong with their car without performing tests (if there was such a thing then we would buy 2 of them….).

When you have a Check Engine Light or any other MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) lit up on your dash the computer related to that system has stored a sequence of numbers (Data Trouble Code, aka Code). This code only tells the Technician a troubled area in the system that has a problem. In no way does it tell us exactly what part failed or more importantly WHY it failed. Only a trained Technician can properly figure that out and make the proper recommendations. What part stores do is pull these codes and give the customer a list of common issues for the given code. From there they expect the customer to purchase parts and install them one by one on their own until “hopefully” the problem goes away or the customer gets lucky and corrects the issue. This is not only very time consuming but it’s very expensive and frustrating for the customer.

Our average professional diagnosis takes about 1 hour to get to the bottom of any given concern. It also comes with a complimentary 55 Point Precision Inspection and a Factory Scheduled Maintenance Check. Prior to recommending any repairs that will address your immediate concern we need to know the overall health of the vehicle. We feel that our customers need to know 100% of what’s going on with their vehicle 100% of the time (whether good or bad). What that means is that all customers are going to know exactly where their vehicle stands in terms of addressing their initial concern(s) and anything else costly that may be on the horizon. Because let’s face it, everyone has a threshold of what they’re willing to spend on their vehicle and you can’t make an informed decision if you’re not given all of the facts..

Wouldn’t you rather have a professional assessment of what will fix your immediate concern and where your vehicle will be in 6 months, rather than spending your hard earned money today only to find out later that you have other major issues that you were never told about? If your answer is “No” then our service is simply not for you and we’re more than happy to make a recommendation to a shop that will be more to your liking.

2015 Survey of customers that reinforce the reason for not quoting repairs unless we have diagnosed or verified the customer’s concern

Between January 1st of 2015 and October 30th of 2015 we asked 100 “New” customers to participate in our study. The participants were chosen at random and not compensated in any way. This study was set up to find an answer to 1 simple question:

How many customers knew the actual cause of their concern prior to coming in based on their research, their “friend’s” opinion, the local part store’s advice, they’re mechanic experience, or their “other Mechanic” ‘s experience?

Results

All 100 of these people came in and knew “exactly” what was wrong with their vehicle and literally insisted that we replace the part they “knew” would fix their concern. The 100 consisted of:

  • 51 people that had their car “diagnosed” at a local part store – 2 of the people were correct in their diagnosis
  • 17 people claiming to be “Mechanics” that “don’t have the time” to fix it themselves – Not one of this group was correct. Not even 1…..
  • 23 had a “friend” that is a Mechanic tell them what’s wrong (but the friend was too busy to fix the car 18 times and the remaining 5 didn’t have the proper equipment) – 1 was correct in their diagnosis and it happened to be one of the people that didn’t have the equipment
  • 9 researched the issue through online forums – 3 people were correct: 1 of which impressively provided very detailed information pertaining to a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that was actually covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Well done!

Of the 100 people surveyed, only 6 were correct. That’s right, 94% of the people that INSISTED we perform a repair they “knew” would fix their concern were wrong. Should we have performed the repairs as requested by the customer, we would have had 94 very upset people.

2016 Survey Auto Repair Quote Survey

Last year was our first year for this survey and we had a large amount of people reaching out to ask us to show this survey year after year. You asked for it so here it is.

To be clear, the people we include in this survey are not the everyday person calling and looking for answers. These are people that in most cases are downright mean and borderline viscous. The one thing they all have in common is that they absolutely insist that we give them prices to replace parts they want to bring in with them. Parts that based on the description of their concerns are not going to do anything more than waste their time, money, and give them false hope that they will have a resolution to their problem.

This year we took a slightly larger sample of new customers than last year. We also broke up the category of “Mechanics” into 2 different categories. The first is people that said they in fact are Mechanics and the second is people that have their “Other Mechanic” but don’t want to use him/her. 2016 brought in a measurable rise in the “Other Mechanic”.

Results

All 140 of these people came in and knew “exactly” what was wrong with their vehicle and literally insisted that we replace the part they “knew” would fix their concern. The 100 consisted of:

  • 57 people had their “other Mechanic” diagnose the issue – 5 of this group were correct, that’s just sad
  • 54 people had their car “diagnosed” at a local part store –  6 were correct. Please note that 4 of these 6 were faulty batteries
  • 32 people were actually Mechanics themselves but “didn’t have the time” to do the work  – Once again, not one of this group was correct
  • 7 people researched the issue through online forums – 4 were correct, 3 were WAY off

Of the 140 people surveyed only 15 were correct. That means that 89.3%/ 135 people INSISTED we fix their car incorrectly.

Best Part Promise

Your vehicle was built by the manufacturer using only the highest quality parts that were made to keep your vehicle safe and reliable for years of worry free driving. Here at Precision Auto Repair we find no exception to that rule. We pride ourselves on using only top quality parts and have our trained and certified Technicians install them using the care and knowledge we use on our own family vehicles. With that said, there are multiple “grades” or quality levels for parts that can be put on your vehicle. We only use the factory grade or higher (if available). Just because a part listed online says “OEM” doesn’t mean that it’s the correct grade. In most cases it simply means that it will fit.

Under no circumstance do we install ANY customer supplied parts. The reason for this is that we simply can’t provide our warranty on a part that you provide. We also don’t know the grade of the part you’re providing or if it’s even the correct part at all. If we can’t stand behind it 100%, we won’t waste your valuable time or our Technician’s time trying to install it.

Sometimes there are options

We are big advocates of advising our customers. We can present the pro’s and con’s of performing any repair and let the customer decide what’s the best course of action for them. Sometimes on larger and more expensive repairs options include installing “used” parts. Specific instances include engines, transmissions, lighting, windows, and differentials. In all cases (when the options are available) the customer is presented with options including new, re manufactured, and used parts that come with a variety of warranties. The customer is given the features and benefits of all choices allowing them to make an informed decision.

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