It is the phone call that every college parent dreads.
When your 18-year old daughter call from college to tell you that she is alright but she has been in an accident that has caused substantial damage to her car, you want nothing more than to magically transport yourself to her location. When that daughter is 12 hours away at school, however, getting to her immediately is impossible.
Obviously relieved that she is okay, you begin to think about the car repairs that will be needed. Even when the other driver is at fault an has been ticketed, the thought of finding a quality auto repair shop so far from you can seem overwhelming. The insurance representatives from both drivers, of course, indicate that they can help you in the process of finding a quality auto repair shop, but you want to find a way to get some more objective recommendations as well. Short of flying or driving to your daughter’s college, how do you navigate the sometimes complicated auto repair services industry from afar?
Auto Service Center Maintenance and Repair Is a Complicated Business Requiring Referrals and Recommendations
You do not have to be involved in a car accident to understand the stress that can be involved with car maintenance and repair. The process of finding a quality auto repair shop can be both stressful and confusing. For most vehicle owners who purchase a car new, returning to the dealer for regular maintenance is often an option. If the dealership is far from home or their service department is difficult to deal with, however, finding a quality auto repair shop is especially important for new cars.
Owner’s manuals and car maintenance reports indicate that finding an expert service option is important to the life of a car. When they are properly serviced and maintained, a car can last for years and thousands of miles. Without proper service and maintenance, however, even the best cars will suffer. Consider some of the most important maintenance issues that must be addressed:
- Tire alignment should be checked at least every 6,000 miles.
- Oil changes every 3,000 miles are still recommended by most top mechanics.
- Brakes can last anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles, but need to be checked at every oil change to monitor any unusual wear.
- Tire rotations should generally be done every 7,500 miles, or more often if the car manufacturer recommends.
- Timing belts are typically replaced between 60,000 and 90,000 miles, or more often if the car manufacturer recommends.
Unfortunately, neglected vehicle expenses cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion every year. If you want to make sure that you are getting the most value out of your vehicle and that you are avoiding unnecessary expenses down the road, finding a reliable and knowledgeable mechanic is essential.