There is an auto mechanic shortage going on in the USA for the past several years. Auto dealerships and manufacturers have been doing everything they can think of to encourage people to become mechanics. They go to job fairs, start their own recruiting programs and pitch students at technical schools. But, what does all of this mean to the average car owner?
The auto mechanic is now the hotly recruited commodity. Their name used to be Grease Monkey. Today their name is Mr. Mechanic. Everybody wants the trained, experienced mechanic these days. What this means to you is that the labor hourly rate at the car dealership is skyrocketing. It is going up because mechanics are cashing in on being in demand. They are now making upward of $100,000 per year, because the dealership is desperate.
The average auto shop isn’t all that affected from the shortage. The independently owned auto shop is still owned by a mechanic and what he gets to take home is the profit of his shop. If the shop owner does hire any other mechanics then usually they are somewhat new to the industry. New mechanics are not going to have the training the dealership is looking for. So, your local mechanic is going to be an even better deal for you now.
As more and more car owners are discovering that the dealerships are usually charging far more than the auto mechanic on the corner, they are going to the auto shop like A1 Performance Auto Repair. The neighborhood mechanic is now the hero and busier than ever with all the new business. When a shop takes good care of their customers and charges a fair labor rate, they have all the business they can handle.
Shopping for a car mechanic can be very frustrating, especially if you are new in town. How do you know who to trust? Is this mechanic experienced enough to work on your car? Usually, you can ask local friends, but if you have just moved to the area, how do you know who is good and who to stay away from?
One way to check out a car mechanic is to look them up on Yelp.com. If you are in a large city then this will probably answer most of your questions. People in the city depend heavily on a review site like Yelp and they voluntarily do reviews to help others. It is sort of a community support website.
It is a little old fashioned now, but the Better Business Bureau is still used to help unhappy customers get satisfaction with a company they feel wronged them. Go to the BBB.org website and look up the car mechanic that you are thinking of using. If you see numerous recent complaints that are unanswered by the auto shop then you should think twice about using them. All businesses do get complaints. That is a normal part of doing business, because you cannot please everyone. Some customers are just unreasonable or looking for free services and they’ll report the business to everyone until they give in. However, if the auto shop is ignoring complaints then that is a red flag.
One of the best ways to find out if the mechanic is well skilled is to look to see if he is Diamond Certified. This is an independent organization that gives mechanics tests so they can prove they know their business. Those car mechanics that have passed their rigorous testing will have a sign or sticker in their window displayed.
Auto repair is the category in which A1 Performance recently won an award. The Best Businesses of Sunnyvale Award Program selected A1 Performance Auto Repair for their excellent business practices for the year 2015.
This was the first time A1 Performance Auto Repair was given the award by the organization. Owner, Cliff Do, has been so proud and excited ever since he was notified. He will proudly point out the plaque that hangs in the shop. He is so happy that all of his hard work and his mechanics have been recognized.
Auto repair can be a tough business. It is difficult to find great mechanics and it is the mechanic that is the foundation of an auto shop. You need auto mechanics that are not only courteous, but are able to get the job done right the first time. This is why Cliff’s shop participates in the ASE certification program. There is always at least one mechanic on duty that has passed the rigorous testing in automotive repair by ASE.
Diamond Certification is another way A1 Performance Auto Repair lets their customers know that they are an honest Sunnyvale auto repair shop. Diamond Certification is an award for a high level of customer satisfaction. Auto repair shops have had their customers called by the nonprofit organization, American Ratings Association. The customers are asked many questions and rate the service they received by the business. After 400 of the shop’s real customers are surveyed, the auto repair shop is rated. Only the upper 10% receive the Diamond Certification award.
Not all mechanics at auto repair shops are equal. Cliff Do works hard to fix his customer’s automobiles and makes sure his staff has the same goals. This is why A1 Performance Auto Repair wins awards like this one from the Best Businesses of Sunnyvale Award Program and has such happy customers.
An entry level car should be known for its reliability, safety and have a price tag from $10,000 to $18,000 and it shouldn’t show up on the hottest car theft lists. With a little research you can find a great choice of car for the first time driver.
Entry Level Car
An entry level car should have a good safety record. Not only should it not be known for causing safety problems, it should do a good job of protecting drivers. Teens and other new drivers get into a lot of accidents, unfortunately. So, you want a car that will insulate the driver and passengers in common accidents. The IIHS HLDI is a good place to check vehicle makes’ safety records.
The cost to insure a vehicle can be surprising. Cars that are not sports cars can potentially have outrageous insurance rates for reasons that you would not guess. Call your insurance agent and ask which entry level car choices should be avoided where you live.
Of course, you don’t want to spend nearly $20,000 and end up constantly in the shop getting it repaired. While every car is unique, some makes and models have known reputations for breaking down. With a used car you might or might not have lemon law protection, so buy wisely. There are lots of reviews sites on cars and the cost of their maintenance, so check many of those sites to narrow down your used car choices.
Some of your entry level car choices are also going to be the #1 choice of thieves. Nobody needs that hassle of the disappearing car. Many of the older Honda Civics and Accords are very easy to steal. Avoid the models that are over 15 years old for these cars. But again, ask your insurance agent’s opinion if you want to buy a Honda.
A1 Performance Auto Repair
Bring any car by A1 Performance Auto Repair for an inspection before you buy. We’ll help you make sure you purchase an entry level car that has no visible major problems.
Here are some real car tips on how to avoid being taken by unscrupulous auto dealers. There are a lot of hurricane and flood damaged cars that were totaled in the past year or so. Unfortunately, these cars bring in big bucks for those who illegally put them back into the marketplace. Here are things to look for so that you’re not taken in these scams.
Real Car Tips on Flood Damaged Cars
If you are in the market for a used car and come across a newer car with an incredibly low price tag, question the seller as to why. Your number one real car tips: If there is no believable reason a 2014 Camry is being offered for sale for only $10,000, then you need to check for the telltale signs of flood damage.
The Signs of Car Water Damage
- There is mold, rust or mud under the carpet.
- The interior of the car smells musty or moldy after it sits with the windows rolled up for 10 minutes or more.
- Mud is found in crevices under the hood or inside the trunk.
- There is rust on screw heads in interior places like inside the door jams or under the hood.
- Water or debris is found under the spare tire in the trunk.
- Paint is bubbling in areas on the inside of the car.
- Fog is found in the instrument panel on the dashboard.
- Use a flashlight to check under the dashboard for debris or stains.
How Flood Cars Make It to Market
Criminals will purchase flooded cars for salvage and then sell them as regular cars. The best way to avoid being taken in these scams is to get a car history report. Using CarFax will reveal that the title was salvaged at some point. Real car tips always advise to avoid those cars. If you are ever in question if the car you’re thinking of buying is a good car, stop by A1 Performance Auto Repair to have our certified mechanics check the car before you buy.
Sure, there are car problems with any make of car, but some problems are little more prevalent with certain car makes. Here are some of the top problems with certain cars.
BMW Car Problems
The top BMW car problems kick in around 70,000. It is around that time that you might start seeing things like:
- Stalls while driving. Average repair cost: $7,000.
- Failed power steering. Average repair cost: $1,275.
- Electric water pump failure. Average repair cost: $1175.
Acura Car Problems
Honda has a very consistent problem with 1,500,000 models in years 2008-2013. It starts sucking up oil at about 1 quart per 1,000 miles. American Honda did settle in court over the issue. Acura year 2010 was not included, but consumers say it should have been. Average repair cost: $7,100.
Other issues include:
- Transmission failure around 112,000 miles. Average repair cost: $2,900.
- Engine failure at 17,500 miles or thereabouts. Average repair cost: $7,500.
Nissan Altima Car Problems
The Nissan Altima has about 3,367 complaints reported on CarComplaints.com, far more than any of the other Nissan models. You might want to scroll through the lists of car problems if you are thinking of purchasing one of these cars.
- CVT Shuttering, Vibration around 28,935 miles. Average repair cost: $3,050.
- Excessive Oil Consumption around 96,200 miles. Average repair cost: $3,301.
- Failure of Steering Wheel Lock around 83,950 miles. Average repair cost: $935.
Toyota Car Problems
- Car problems with the 2007 – 2009 Camry models are many, but show up after about 73,000 miles.
- Excessive Oil Consumption around 86,000 miles. Average repair cost: $4,333.
The most common car problems with the Prius are excessive oil usage, but the fix is inexpensive at only $428. Other problems include:
- Headlight turns off randomly or malfunctions after about 90,000 miles. Average repair cost is $303-$600.
Repairing Your Vehicle
A1 Performance Auto Repair keeps abreast of common car problems with your make, model and year of car. This makes it easier to diagnose the problem you’re having quickly and get it repaired. Stop by today for an oil change to get to know us.