GAH! The car went tink, tink, tink, creak, tink and stopped. Probably the UV joint that I had been postponing getting replaced, now I have run out of grace time. Fortunately, I broke down on a highway, and my insurance will tow the car when that happens. I already know I’m taking it to Fort Collins Foreign Car Service for repair, so I send the guy towing my car to their shop. I have learned to appreciate not only good mechanical skills, but a timely turn around.
If you don’t have a set car repair shop when you need a fast fix, here are some things to consider. Some shops have a long wait time, because they are slow to get needed parts, or are low on staff. If your vehicle is an import, it’s helpful to take it to an import car service repair shop, as the needed parts and tools will already be in house, or the mechanics will have access to the needed part distributors. Sometimes delays are simply a matter of finding more that needs fixing in your car than you anticipated. Overall, as a consumer you need to expect a reasonable turn around time when having your car repaired.
According to WIki how, here is the lowdown on timely auto repair;
Convenient location. It costs more to rent, or forego income by not renting out, space in a fancy or densely-populated area. But, if you live or work in such an area, taking your car here may help you get back to your other activities more quickly.
More time to talk and mitigate unexpected delays. It can sometimes take a lot of time to explain some problems with a level of detail suitable for those not familiar with cars or to deal with unexpected problems that may appear. A shop that does less business overall may have more time to explain things and may introduce less delay for unusual problems because it already has slack in its schedule. If you expect to have something complicated to ask about at a busy shop, be prepared to wait awhile; better yet, ask what times are less busy before going.
More parts on hand. Larger shops, and those that specialize in particular kinds of work or cars, can often save time with parts taken from a comprehensive inventory rather than waiting for them to arrive from elsewhere, though even that can be pretty fast near a city.
All original-equipment-manufacturer (“OEM”) or other new parts. Car manufacturers make, or obtain through their parts suppliers, and sell spare parts that should match the originals perfectly, known as OEM parts. Dealers normally use these. Other, “aftermarket” manufacturers, make new replacement parts. “Rebuilders” or “remanufacturers” take apart and clean complex used parts such as engines and transmissions, replace whatever may have broken, readjust, refit or replace whatever tends to wear out, and reassemble, lubricate, and seal them. Aftermarket and rebuilt parts typically cost much less and are often just as good. There are established aftermarket and rebuilding companies with their own reputations to protect. Junkyards, often called “salvage” or “used auto parts” companies, are particularly good for saving money on things that don’t wear out, like doors and mirrors, but the particular part to be used has to be examined and the appearance normally won’t be perfect. Independent mechanics typically use aftermarket parts, and sometimes rebuilt or salvage parts, but should ask before installing something that is not new.
An insurer may sometimes waive “betterment” charges for replacing old parts that got broken if you agree to have aftermarket parts used. Ask about this if an insurer is paying for your repairs.
Specialization. Many mechanics can do good work on all kinds of common cars. But many parts on antiques work in odd, obsolete ways, and many parts on top-of-the-line luxury cars or exotic cars can work in odd ways to squeeze out a little extra performance. And replacements can be hard to find. So if you have one of these, look for a mechanic who works with similar cars as a substantial part of his business. If the car has collector value, make sure any replacement parts are sufficiently “authentic”.
Dealerships generally charge quite a bit more for parts and labor than other mechanics, but they’re supposed to know your vehicle and be able to get the job done perfectly.
A good auto shop needs to have enough staff and tools to deal with repair as vehicles come in. The mechanics should be certified and knowledgeable. That’s essentially the bottom line. Even with specialty parts, you should expect a reasonable turn around time on your car repair. Going to a pricier repair venue won’t decrease the downtime on repairing your car, nor will bribing the mechanic. (Just kidding.)