Don’t get us wrong, we love welcoming new clients into our shop. We love “new to us” vehicles as well, even though they can be challenging to deal with. Why challenging? Well, if we’ve never seen you or your car before, we have no service history, no knowledge of previous repairs. We don’t know what’s been recommended to you in the past or if you, the owner, are even aware of your vehicle’s overall condition.
When your car or truck rolls into our bays for the first time, we tend to spend a little more time on its vehicle inspection. Not to say that we don’t perform thorough inspections on vehicles belonging to our regular clients, it’s just that we know those clients. We know those cars. We have a better idea of what’s been repaired and maintained and what will need to be repaired or maintained in the future. We know their story.
We want to know the whole story (or as much as we can read into anyway) about your car. Truthfully, you as an owner need to know as much as you can as well. It’s your car, your investment. If something is seriously wrong, you need to know about it. Majority of our new clients claim to take very good care of their vehicles and tell us they’re in excellent shape.
Even so, the number of new customers’ vehicles we see in rough, yet reversible, condition is staggering. The repair costs for these vehicles is also troubling, as one neglected service after another gets compounded into one large repair estimate. This leads us to a question; How do these vehicles get to this state of disrepair? What is misleading these customers into believing their vehicle is in such great shape?
We often see this scenario with vehicles that frequent ‘rapid oil’ type maintenance facilities. Of course, these facilities have their place in the auto service industry, and they do perform inspections on their customers’ vehicles. However, the difference lies in their inspection itself, which is more focused on fluid and filter services rather than items that are safety hazards. Because they’re not in the business of fixing cars, their technicians are not trained or equipped to recognize and repair vehicles the way a ‘normal’ repair shop should. These technicians do not have the knowledge or experience to give their customers the ‘big picture’ about their car.
The fact is, you as a consumer are probably uneducated when it comes to the overall condition of your vehicle… but it’s not your fault. If you don’t know a service or repair needs to be performed on your car because it was never brought to your attention, you won’t do it. As far as we’re concerned, it’s in your best interest to know what condition your vehicle’s in, good or bad, so you can make better informed decisions about its required service and maintenance. The truth may be hard to swallow sometimes, but you need to hear it.