Q. Why should I pick Motorcars International instead of the dealer?
A. The fact that you are reading this indicates that the dealer has not fulfilled some expectation or need. Most of our customers are quite frank about past repair encounters. Despite the wide range of customers and car types, many of the stories of dealer dissatisfaction are quite similar. Here are some examples:
- While car is in for something minor, customer is presented with an extensive list of other needs. These will usually include “safety” items like brakes or suspension components. If customer is reluctant to proceed, intimations of catastrophe may be used to coerce a sale.
- A maintenance service that is outlined in the service manual expands dramatically in price due to “add-on” items such as fuel injector service, fuel treatment additives, transmission flushing and other items not required or recommended by the manufacturer of the vehicle.
- Mandatory replacement of certain parts that do not need to be replaced. For example: brake rotor replacement when resurfacing (machining) is still possible.
- A general lack of sensitivity or consideration for the customer as an individual.
Q. How does Motorcars differ from the dealer?
A. When a customer calls or stops by with a question, they are often surprised at the number of questions we will throw at them before attempting to answer theirs. In addition to identifying the particular make/model/version, we will insist on answers to past service history, specifics of symptoms, types of use, variety of drivers and other things that may not at first appear to be related. If a customer arrives and states that they “know what’s wrong already” we will usually refuse to accept this as fact and say so. This may seem to be rude, but more times than not will result in a cost savings to the customer. Our systematic approach and documentation enables us to deal not only with today’s problem, but refer to records months or years later to expedite a future repair.
Our recommendations for service or repair are tailored to the individual customer and their particular situation. A customer that relies on their car for business wants high reliability and a predictable maintenance plan. The high school student that never drives beyond a five mile radius of home wants low cost. The senior citizen that never drives over 45 mph does not need “Z” rated tires. We strive to provide information and advice that is relevant.
Q. Is there a warranty on repairs at Motorcars?
A. Yes, 24 months/24,000 miles on parts and labor* (certain parts carry a longer manufacturer’s warranty).
Q. Can I get an estimate over the phone?
A. If the car is one we have serviced before, we will research prior invoices for notes or related info and give our “best guess,” but nothing can be completely certain until we can actually see the vehicle.
Q. Can I get an estimate before starting any repairs?
A. It depends — some mechanical issues will be externally obvious; others may require partial dis-assembly in order to determine the cause. If dis-assembly is needed, we will provide an approximate cost to accomplish the diagnosis.
Q. Will you install parts that I supply?
A. Yes, but we will not be able to supply any warranty on those parts.
Q. I don’t know anything about cars. How do I know if I’m being told the truth?
A. Start by reading the Owner’s Manual that came with your car. It was written by the same folks that spent millions of dollars designing and building your car. It contains lots of useful information. Search the Internet. Then ask questions. Who do you ask? Anyone, but be sure to consider their qualifications and motivations as you weigh their answers. Keep in mind that the guy at the corner parts store wants to sell you parts. The tire store wants to sell you tires. The dealer wants you to move up to the next level of new car. Your uncle Ted has the best of intentions, but in automotive terms is stuck in the 1960’s. Find a shop that is interested in you as a long term customer. One that not only sells service and repair, but one that incorporates common sense and high ethical standards too.