This week Anthony Santore from Tech Auto Service in Springfield joined us to talk about some of the changes to the Mass State Inspection process. We earned a little more about how it affects and helps the consumer. Check it out below.
On a daily basis customers bring cars in concerned that their Check engine Light is on. So Check engine light repair is nothing new to us. While there is no computer on the market that can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with a car just by plugging it in (which some people seem to think..), our Master Technicians have the tools and training to get to the root of the problem in a timely manner. What makes this particular Audi Check engine light unique is what we found.
Outstanding Customer Service
A few months back we received a call from a new customer. She was concerned that her Audi Check Engine Light had come on and felt that every shop she went to was “ripping [her] off” (she had been to 4 other shops….), but she heard great things about us from friends and co workers. Her ultimate goal was to get the Check Engine Light fixed as “cheaply as possible” so that she could get an inspection sticker and insisted that she already knew what was wrong and that we give her a price on an “Audi Mass Air Flow Meter” (spoiler, this wasn’t the problem).
Tip: Now this may sound like a simple issue and in some cases it really is. But we don’t know what will fix the car when we’ve never seen the it. Diagnosing an issue takes on average about 1 hour. Not to mention the tools, training, and software that goes into it. While vehicles do have “common” issues, that doesn’t mean that a common issue applies to every single situation. The only way for us to know what’s going to be needed to repair a vehicle and how much it’s going to cost is to properly test until we find what failed and quote accordingly. Without following these simple steps, we would be guessing and anyone that quotes over the phone without ever seeing the vehicle is doing just that. Feel free to read more about our case study on how much you actually save by having a professional properly diagnose issues on your vehicle rather than guessing.
She called us back a few times and was very persistent about getting a price to replace the “Mass Air Flow Meter” or look at her car for free. We declined and she went elsewhere. Over the next few months she would call every few weeks (this story does have a silver lining) asking us to give her information about the Check Engine Light as it was still not fixed even after spending “Thousands” elsewhere. We took the time to educate her about the difference between having someone “pull a code” (process of having someone pull a sequence of numbers from your car’s computer that leads to a problem area in the vehicle) and properly diagnosing an issue (figuring out exactly what part failed and why).
Tip 2: Think about the difference between pulling codes and diagnosing an issue like this. Let’s say I needed directions to 11 Main Street in St Paul Minnesota. Pulling codes / “Just drive to St Paul Minnesota, you’ll find it…”. Diagnosis / (insert exact directions to the doorstep here). See the difference? Puling codes will lead to a troubled area, but there are a lot of parts in that system and not all of them are necessarily bad. The other issue is that sometimes you can have a code for one area but the problem is in a completely different system. Save yourself time, money, and aggravation by leaving it to trained professionals.
Finally after a few months and 7 or 8 phone calls she made her way in with an expired Mass State Inspection Rejection Sticker on her windshield and a batch of fresh baked cookies in hand. One of our Master Technicians took her vehicle for a road test (to get milk… j/k) and quickly verified that the vehicle was running a little bit rough and that her Audi Check Engine Light was in fact on. Fortunately for this customer it didn’t take long to spot the problem.
The first issue was that the Secondary Air Injection pump was filled with water and completely seized internally. The shop(s) that she brought the vehicle to before us must have found an issue
with the Audi Combination Valve and tried to “fix” it rather than replace it. This valve is an essential component in the Secondary Air Injection System (in short, it helps with emissions) . Rather than replace the valve they tried to glue the faulty piece of the valve back together which caused a blockage in the supply vacuum line going into the valve. Why such an obviously faulty part(s) wasn’t seen is baffling.
We ended up replacing the faulty valve, pump, and cleaning all of the lines. The total repair took about 2 hours (including the diagnosis). Then we went ahead and got her a valid Mass State Inspection sticker so she wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. If we would have taken her suggestion about replacing the Mass Air Flow Meter we would have wasted about $500 of her hard earned money on a part that was fine.
Now I promised a silver lining and here it is. Not only did the customer get her car fixed that day and leave with a valid Inspection Sticker. The customer is also an AWESOME baker!!! She brought in cookies the day of the repair and stocked us up on all sorts of homemade cookies, pies, and treats. Who doesn’t love cookies, pies, and perfectly running vehicles…..?
I know that not everyone can do an Audi repair so when I started having issues with my – new to me – Audi I freaked out. I called everyone but there aren’t many shops that work on Audi and I was lost. I had a few people tell me that James is awesome and that Precision is where I need to go but I guess I was fixated on knowing the total cost prior to bringing my car anywhere. After a few lengthy conversations with James and David I felt that they were really trying to help and seemed very honest. I was definitely surprised with how quickly they took care of my car. I was back on the road in only a few short hours. Their waiting room is nicer than my living room so I was very comfortable and everyone was accommodating. In total at other shops I spent $2,400 and roughly 3 months taking it back and forth to them. When I wised up and went to Precision they fixed it that day and in a few hours. The bill was also much less than I had initially anticipated. If you want your Audi fixed right the first time by guys that love cars, cookies, and helping people. Precision is the place for you.