We hear about recalls all of the time, but have you ever heard of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) or a campaign? How do they differ from recalls? If a recall or TSB is issued for your car, do you have to pay for the repairs?
Over the holiday break, I finally had enough time to do the little chores I’ve been putting off. My car was utterly filthy, and so cleaning it was on the top of the list. I generally use this one random brand of soap my father has in his garage, but this time I put my big boy shoes on and went to the store to purchase my own.
I am a pretty sensitive person. I have allergies to animals and dust. My threshold for pain is low. I am the pickiest eater you will ever meet. My eyes can barely tolerate sunshine and a loud noise is enough to make me jump out of my seat. Because of this, you can understand why taking a trip to Denver over the holidays left me feeling a little apprehensive.
As we begin 2012, I am reminded how our cars have become more and more complicated with each passing year. This added complexity can make repairs very difficult for our service technicians. When I began working on cars in the 1970s, they were pretty basic. Each passing year has added a level of complexity and there seems to be no end in sight. This places a huge burden on entry level technicians and the schools that train them.
This week, AP writer, David Pitt, offered some tips on how to find a great mechanic in an article that appeared in the San Francisco Examiner and MSN Money, among other outlets. Pitt interviewed RepairPal CEO, Art Shaw, and the article speaks to many of the issues important to RepairPal, including fair estimate prices and finding quality shops.
Do our cars have too many warning lights? A lot of us may think so, but for years, warning lights were the best way vehicle designers had to inform the driver of a potential fault.
Let me assure you ladies and gentleman, this is America and we do have a choice when it comes to maintenance. If you look at your maintenance schedule—you know, that book buried underneath all of the junk in your glove box—you will know exactly what maintenance you need and when you need it.
I recently came across a very interesting article that stated that California is preparing a campaign to encourage motorists to wait longer than the “recommended 3000 mile” oil change. If you recall the other week, one our fellow bloggers discussed this very topic.
In August 2010, in Missouri, a nineteen-year-old pickup truck driver traveling at 55mph crashed into the back of a tractor truck, which caused a deadly chain reaction. After striking the tractor truck, the pickup truck was then rear-ended by a school bus, which was then rear-ended by another school bus. Among the casualties were the pickup driver and a fifteen-year-old student. Another thirty-eight people were injured.
When you get right down to it, the reason car repairs are so expensive is because everyone involved is trying to make a living. The parts supplier must manufacture the part. The parts distributor must inventory and supply the repair shops. The repair shop must charge a labor rate that will allow them to remain in business. The technicians must be paid a hourly wage that reflects their investment in training, certifications, and tools.