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Auto Repair

Auto RepairLifeStyle

How Well Do You Know Your Car?

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How well do you know your car? No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario of either an accident or a vehicle break-down on the road. Taking simple precautions now can go a long way in helping to avoid accidents and costly repairs in the long run.

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Auto BodyAuto Repair

U.S. Drivers Lack Trust in Auto Shops

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Bad news for auto repair and collision centers around the U.S.—it seems most U.S. drivers don’t trust you. According to a study done by AAA in late 2016, two out of three U.S. drivers do not trust auto repair shops in general.

While the study was focusing specifically on the auto repair industry, industry experts were quick to point out that the majority of drivers don’t know the difference between auto repair and auto body, and the statistic could be applying to both.

While insurers reimburse at least 70 percent of auto body business, general mechanical labor is predominantly out-of-pocket by the motorist. This could be why AAA focused its study on the auto repair side of the industry specifically, versus both auto repair and auto body.

AAA said the reasons for the mistrust broke down like this:

  • 76 percent: recommending unnecessary service
  • 73 percent- overcharging
  • 63 percent- negative past experiences
  • 49 percent- concerns that the work will not be done correctly

Despite those negative statistics, the study also found that 64 percent of U.S. drivers have singled out an auto repair shop they actually do trust. So what can repair shop owners do to change that relationship? Below we’ve listed out a few ways to begin rebuilding trust:

  1. Know your current customers and where to find new ones.
    According to AAA, baby boomers are twice as likely than younger generations to fully trust auto repair facilities in general, with one-in-five reporting they “totally trust the industry.” When you break it down statistically, 76 percent of Baby Boomers have selected an auto repair shop they trust, versus just 55 percent of Millennials and 56 percent of Gen-Xers.

    It’s crucial for shop owners to continue to invest in their older, loyal customer base. However, they must also be willing to branch out into social media and review-based platforms to connect with younger customers. Word of mouth is no longer enough. Millennials and Gen-Xers want to find their businesses where they spend most of their time—on the Internet.

  1. Join a review platform and urge customers to leave feedback.
    With the level of mistrust found in relationships between driver and auto repair shops, it’s imperative that shops have a presence on a review platform. With com, each review is validated with a repair order, making it impossible for fake reviews to spam your account.

    These validated reviews give peace of mind to both the business owner and the driver. They know they are reading real reviews from real people, and can then make an educated decision on where to take their vehicle. With 78 percent of customers turning to a review site to find a business, this is a step that cannot be overlooked.

  1. Be mindful of your digital presence throughout the Web.
    While managing your reputation by joining a review platform is a great first step, your reputation can be made or broken in other areas of the web, too. Making sure you’re aware of what is being said about your business all over the Internet is a must.

    Take Yelp, for example. A recent poll on Repairer Driven News found that most auto body shop owners either looked at their Yelp page just “once in a while” or never at all. Whether you’re allowing positive feedback to go unnoticed, or negative feedback, whether true or false, to start gaining traction, you’re only hurting your business by not paying attention to what’s being said about you online.

With so much information at customers’ fingertips, it is easier than ever for them to decide what shops can and cannot be trusted, and where to take their business. In order to begin repairing the relationship between customer and shop owners, the industry leaders must begin to invest in their online reputation, and provide peace of mind to their current and potential customer base.

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Auto RepairHow-To

Tips to Communicate With Your Mechanic

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When your car isn’t running well, it’s easy to get frustrated, angry or irritated. After all, most people are completely dependent on their car to function in daily routines. Knowing how to communicate with your auto expert will help you get back on the road quickly with a positive experience and quality work.

DESCRIBE THE PROBLEM
Details will help your repair expert pinpoint the source of the problem and accurately assess the issue. Take notice of strange sounds, rumblings or unusual feelings behind the wheel, when driving. Explain the vehicle’s symptoms, but avoid the diagnosis. Let the experts be experts.

KEEP RECORDS
Write down and keep a record of all repairs to your car. This helps your repair expert with preventative maintenance, which will save time and money.

STICK AROUND
Once you find a trusted mechanic, stay with them. The better your mechanic knows your vehicle, the easier it is to help keep it running well and diagnose problems.

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
GarageFly shops are locally owned. When your mechanic has done great work, tell people you know! Reviews and referrals are the lifeblood of local business and sharing your positive experience can help others looking for a quality shop, but also helps locally owned shops grow their business.

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Auto RepairSafetyTrending Automotive News

5 Tips to Keep Your Tires ‘Summer Safe’

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The scorching summer months in the southwest can turn any perfectly paved roadway into a heat street with potentially dangerous results for you and the only part of your vehicle that touches the road.   Heat related tire blow-outs and flats are the cause of more than 11,000 crashes per year, a number the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says can be reduced if drivers properly care for the tires on their vehicles.

Taking cues from the NHTSA, Here are some simple maintenance measures that can go a long way to protect your safety and those sharing the road with you.

Inflation
Check air pressure when tires are not hot. Let your car sit for at least 3 hours out of the sun, in the early morning if you don’t have a shaded parking area or when the car has been driven less than a mile. Keep it inflated to the recommendations for the car listed in the manual.

Tread
Tires should be replaced when less than 1/16th of tread is left. Remember that front tires of a front-wheel-drive vehicle will wear more quickly than those on the rear axle.

Road damage
Remove foreign objects imbedded in the tire. Glass, gravel and other debris can work deeper in to the tread and cause a flat. But, if you find a nail or other sharp object stuck in your tire, have a professional remove it and seal the puncture.

Valve and rim
Each valve stem should have a cap to keep out moisture and dirt and to keep the valve core from being accidentally depressed, thus leaking air. Also check valve stems for cuts and scrapes which could cause leaks. Check the rim for dents and rust which can lead to leaks or blowouts.

Spare tire and tools
Be sure the spare is properly inflated. The temporary tire should not be used at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour and its tread life is only about 3,000 miles. Be sure all the parts for your jack are in place and you know how to use them.

Keeping your tires in good shape can be good for your wallet too. Proper tire maintenance can increase gas mileage and decrease wear and tear to your tires and car. If you need to purchase new tires, some of our GarageFly shops sell them. A look through shop detail pages can let you know if a shop near you offers this service.

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Auto RepairHow-ToTrending Automotive News

5 Tips to Check Your Oil

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Oil keeps your vehicle’s engine running smoothly by reducing the friction. Proper oil levels will help you get a smoother running engine. Check it regularly, as often as once a month, to prevent future problems.

Here’s how to do it on most cars:

  1. Check in the morning when oil has completely drained from the engine.
  2. Lift your hood. Locate the dipstick. (Unscrew it, if necessary.) Have wiping towel ready. Pull dipstick out.
  3. Wipe the dipstick clean and familiarize yourself with the markings. There should be two marks; one for minimum and one for maximum oil levels.
  4. Completely reinsert the entire dipstick so you get a good reading.
  5. Pull out the dipstick a second time. Compare the oil level to the marks. The oil level should be at or near the maximum oil mark. If the oil level is near or below the minimum oil mark, schedule and oil change.

If smells like gasoline, it should be changed. But, just because oil looks dirty doesn’t mean it’s not doing the trick. Here’s how to know if it needs to be replaced. Rub a little between your thumb and index finger, and if it leaves a dirty smudge, it probably needs to be changed.

When it’s time to schedule an oil change, finding a mechanic is easy through GarageFly.com.   And once you’ve gotten the work done, don’t forget to help other drivers looking for a trusted auto expert, by writing a review.

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Auto RepairSafety

3 Fluids to Keep Your Car Running

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Whether it’s your body or your car, fluids keep you in good shape. Regarding your car, there are three main fluids to really keep an eye on with your trusted mechanic.   These fluids help your brakes and engine tremendously. Here’s an overview of the top three fluids to keep your car in good shape:

Brake Fluid
A key component to safe braking is proper brake fluid. If your car is low on brake fluid, not only will the performance of your car be compromised, your safety can too. Hydraulic braking systems use fluid to perform, so keep this in mind when you schedule maintenance.

Motor Oil
If there is one fluid that trumps them all, motor oil is it. It is perhaps the most important fluid to keep your engine running. It’s used to lubricate your engine when its running, helps keep the parts moving in it and keeps your car running longer. The two things to keep in mind are levels and frequency. You want to make sure you always have enough oil and you change it as often as your manufacturer recommends.

Antifreeze
Antifreeze is another vital car fluid which is mixed with water and added to your car’s cooling system.  Antifreeze is able to prevent your engine from freezing up during very cold weather. To maintain the performance of your car, you should be sure to check your antifreeze levels regularly.

Our GarageFly partners can help you check and maintain all of the fluid levels in your car. To find the shop closest to you, click HERE.

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Auto RepairHow-ToTrending Automotive News

Tips For Finding a Good Mechanic

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It’s never convenient. Ever. When your car breaks down there’s a dreaded shuffle to keep life moving. But, with the proper prep, it doesn’t have to leave you stranded and scrambling.  A little advance work now can help you eliminate some of the immediate stress later.

Here are 6 recommendations from GarageFly shops, to help you find a trusted mechanic.

  1. Check online reviews. Reviews offer an insider’s opinion of their experience. But, keep in mind not all reviews sites can be trusted. Validated reviews that confirm the review is based on an actual repair give you a reasonable opinion. Also, look for an overall impression of the experiences and their confidence in the team and their service over the driver specific.
  2. Consider various automotive certifications. Many good auto mechanics will be ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified. What this means a consumer is they have certification indicating what areas he is proficient in.   But, use your intuition. A shop could not have certification but still have decades or generations of automotive experience. This is when when reviews can support the good work and offer peace of mind.
  3. Balance price and convenience.  Any mechanic should work honestly, effectively, efficiently and avoid big surprises on cost or time. Going to bigger shop alone doesn’t guarantee anything and by the same token, a smaller scale shop doesn’t mean inferior service.
  4. Test the relationship first.  Before you’re in a need of major repair, test the relationship by taking your car in for an oil chance to see how you like the shop, its employees and your overall experience.
  5. Ask about warranties.  Warranties can vary between shops. Do your due diligence and ask this question in advance of the work. Know what you’re agreeing to, to ensure your best chance at satisfaction.
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Auto BodyAuto RepairTrending Automotive News

Truth in Online Reviews

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Online reviews are critical piece of the consumer puzzle. At the core of it is an unspoken interest in the truth of another’s experience.   General assumptions are made by consumers that the review they are reading is based on a personal knowledge…an authentic road testing of the product or service. You could call it a consumer mindset of the Golden Rule.

But, with emerging news that thousands of Amazon reviews were found to be fake, some consumers are questioning the online review process and left wondering if it’s wise to consider buyer feedback before making your final decision.

Read more about Fake Reviews on Amazon here.

At GarageFly, we have always understood the need for truth in the process and strategically developed our business model around ’real reviews by real people’ that have done business with a GarageFly shop. There are other popular review sites that don’t have those practices in place. As such, they are able to generate a great deal of reviews in a short period of time with no proof that the review is ‘legit’.

As a consumer you can have confidence in this:

Every single review you see on Garagefly.com has an actual repair order to coincide with it.

We verify reviews with shops to ensure the customers posting reviews have had an actual experience to report on. Furthermore, if there are ever any areas of dissatisfaction with your experience, we help in bridge the gaps of communication between you and the shops to help everyone have a positive experience to walk away with.

How can we do this?

It’s easy. We’re local. Because we’re local, we are able to build on relationships with our Garagefly shops and reviewers. That’s all there is to it.

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