By on February 6, 2019

It’s an eventuality of car ownership. The odometer rolls around to a certain figure, a special orange light on the dash tells you there is an issue, or you hear a pow bang from somewhere underneath your automobile. Often, one or more of these is accompanied by a feeling of dread.

Today we talk horror stories from the often unpleasant experience everyone has in common: taking a car in for repairs.

(Read More…)

By on August 4, 2017

model car mechanic

Mechanics at roughly 130 new car dealerships in Chicago went on strike Tuesday morning. According to the Automobile Mechanics’ Union Local 701, nearly 2,000 grease monkeys threw in the towel before also tossing a wrench into dealer maintenance schedules — leaving customers to fend for themselves.

On the first day of the strike, Mark Bilek, senior director of communications for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, issued a statement that most affected dealerships would remain open with partially functional service centers. “They may not be performing complex repairs, but oil changes, stuff like that, it’s business as usual,” said Bilek in a statement.

However, the union stated that wouldn’t last for long if demands were not met.  It has been bargaining with the New Car Dealer Committee since June, citing uncompensated time, unacceptable schedules, unsatisfactory pay, and no opportunities for career progression as its chief complaints. Deadlocked since negotiations began, the union decided to halt all work at the beginning of August — despite Bilek’s assurance that customers could still get their oil changed or tires rotated.  (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2017

Auto Repair

According to the American Automobile Association, one third of drivers in the U.S. cannot pay for an unforeseen vehicle repair without going into debt.

AAA says the average trip to the shop will set you back between $500 and $600. So, what does that mean for the 64 million American drivers who can’t afford an unexpected repair bill? (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2010 Subaru Outback Rear 3/4, Image: Subaru

Nigel writes:

I own a 2011 Subaru Outback that just reached 107,000 miles. The past four bills I’ve received for it have cost anywhere from $300-580 a pop (two were for maintenance, plus the timing belt and new brakes up front).

Should I get used to high bills for it, or am I just getting ripped off by the dealership?

(Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015

TeslaRepair

Tesla Motors has been proud to state its focus is on selling cars and not trying to make profit from their service centers — but the real world results prove otherwise.

I stumbled on a thread where a Tesla owner with a failed part was able to purchase a replacement from the EV manufacturer. However, and this is key, Tesla would not supply instructions for installing it.

Tesla’s direct sales structure and independent nature allows it to bypass almost all regulations and agreements currently in place relating to service information and repair software. These regulations and agreements exist to allow owners and independent shops to have the same information and diagnostic tools as dealers so they have the ability to perform repairs properly on their own.

Tesla wants no part of it.

(Read More…)

By on May 7, 2014

celica

I grew up not knowing the difference between a V6 and a V8.

Cars were a mystery to me. Motor oil could have been the same thing as cooking oil right up until my 16th birthday.

Then I caught the bug. We all get it. A nasty incurable fever known as, “First-car-itis”.

I wanted a car in the worst possible way. I knew that if I just grabbed my hands on every magazine, book and repair manual I could find, that first car would become mine for a long, long time.

I didn’t expect a steep learning curve.

(Read More…)

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