On a daily basis we are often ask many car related questions that we repeatedly have to respond with similar answers. The following list is just a small example of what we are often asked and what we say.
Your car is a machine that can last a lot longer than you would think. If a major breakdown occurs and you don’t want to spend the money to fix it, then off to the junk yard it goes. On the other hand, every summer you see cars that date back to the early 1900’s because people love their cars and willing to spend time and effort on them. Parts can be replaced as they wear out which leads to the question of how much TLC you are willing to give it. Our business is to keep you going as long as you are willing to spend the necessary dollars to keep it running.
Without a doubt, if there is only one thing you do on your car, it’s a simple $40-$50 oil change. Oil is the blood of you engine and having clean oil is vital to its operation. We recommend replacement every 5000 kilometers or 4 months whichever occurs first. It’s also a chance for us to check tire pressures, lubricate certain joints, and check belts and hoses and top up fluids to keep breakdown to a minimum.
Unfortunately sometimes it is. A vehicle is a luxury and all luxury items cost money. But if you want to keep it running you need to spend the required dollars. That’s when you have to use your own judgment and common sense. For instance if you are a carpenter that need your truck for your work, it’s part of your business expense and a cost of doing business. You have to fix it to move along.
We don’t really know as car sales is not our business. The best place to start is opening a copy of the local newspaper such as The Buy and Sell. That’s where you can do some comparison of what similar vehicles are asking for. You can also obtain the latest black book on car values from a local bookstore for your part of the research. Asking opinions of other people in the car sales business is another option.
Currently $96 dollars and hour but it is just a guideline. We often have packaged deals and volume discounts that brings this figure way down. It also depends on customer loyalty and referrals will also gain you added customer service. In addition, corporate discounts are also available, just ask for details.
I need to bring my new car back to the dealer for maintenance and other services for warranty purposes, true or false?
Well that’s what the dealers would like to make you believe. But realistically if you can prove by keeping receipts that you have been faithfully maintaining your vehicle according to their recommended schedule, they have to honor whatever warranty issues you may have.
All new cars appear good. Whether they stand the test of time is another matter. Further to question 6, The dealer have given you this magical perception that you must take it back for service because of warranty issues, factory trained technicians, this, that, and the whole song and dance. And you know what? It works for them till the warranty runs out. Once the warranty runs out, the love affair with your now “old car” usually runs out too when you have to pay over $100 per hour and every nut and bolt they use. This is the time when we start seeing your vehicle and to know there inherited problems which is about 3-5 years later. The exception to this is when there is a long running production vehicle with known problems that are never corrected or upgraded properly such as transmission issues with some american car manufacturers.
My car is new and I went back to the dealer for a routine maintenance and oil change and it cost me several hundred bucks. Why?
Why? Because they need to pay for advertising and to pay for their high price technicians, make sense? The first 35,000 kilometers should really be oil changes, washer fluid top ups, tire rotation and lubrication which cost next to nothing as the car is still very new. With the exception of some fluid changes around 50,000 kilometers and maybe a set of brakes it should trouble free for the first 80,000 kilometers if not more. To pay hundreds of dollars to the dealer each visit is ludicrous and unjustifiable in our opinion.
Yes, very much so. We highly recommend it due to so many lemons and lack of maintained vehicles out in the marketplace. In addition, we can help identify problems and potential problems to help you negotiate a lower price when you are making the deal. With that consideration, our price of $100 is cheap insurance and can save you hundreds if not thousands of headache free dollars. Our inspection form is prescribed by BCAA and a very similar to the inspection they offer.
Yes we do have “computers” which are called scanners but they don’t tell you exactly what is wrong. It takes time to diagnose a engine light on situation and not always easy. For example they usually give a trouble code that lead us to the direction of the fault. From there we have to follow up on, and ensuring the basic requirement of combustion are present such as fuel, compression, heat and spark. On some engines it’s much easier said than done. The we have to worry about sensor operation and the wiring and circuitry that run the power to these components. So it’s not as simple as just plugging in and solving all your problems. Electrical parts are non refundable and often cost hundreds of dollars so you just can’t guess at replacing a part or you’ll soon go broke if you made a bad guess.
Well perhaps it is, but an engine has many different sensors, switches and other components attached to it that are reused during an engine replacement. For instance if your vehicle has 300,000 kilometers and you replace or rebuild the engine, that is probably what you received. All the other parts on you car still have 300,000 kilometers, therefore, it doesn’t mean you get a whole new vehicle.
My car does funny things or act up in certain ways sometimes and no one can figure it out. Can you help me?
Whether it’s a strange noise or a engine running condition, intermittent problems are the most challenging to find. In most cases, if we are present when the symptoms occur, we can usually determine in a reasonable time the source of the problem. In other cases, we may need to have our test equipment strategically attached and wait for the problem to arise so it requires patience on everyone’s part. Unfortunately sometimes you may have to wait till the problems gets worst before it gets better.
We certainly hope that this answers some of the questions you have in mind. Please come back often to see updated questions and answers or feel free to call us during business hours at (604) 872-1650 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with whatever you car concerns you may have.