When something goes wrong in your vehicle, what do you do?
If you are mechanically inclined, you fix the problem right at home — or, do the light maintenance that you can do. However, our inclination is to take it to the shop. It could be the dealer’s service bay or an independent garage that’s right in your neighborhood, or specializes in the brand of your vehicle.
Most likely, dealing with maintenance and repairs can come with challenges. These challenges include time, money, or the severity of the issue. There are other challenges, as well. Some shops might not want to service us because of the car we drive, or the fact that we’re GLBT, or some sort of discriminatory reason. Luckily, we have places that will service our vehicle, be an advocate for its health and our sanity.
In search of finding one to help understand the complicated mess of automotive service and maintenance, I had a chance to talk to Tim Suggs, Owner of Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive in Northeast Minneapolis to find a way to ease all of our pains at the service bay.
For the record, Suggs’s shop works on all makes and models. “Anything Automotive truly means we will work on anything automotive,” said Suggs. “We do everything from oil changes to transmissions, head gaskets to brakes, you name it we do it. We have the most recent scan and diagnostic tools offering a much cheaper alternative to bringing your car to the dealership. Our techs are highly skilled and experienced so we can handle just about any job that comes through the door.”
This is great, but I had to probe more from Suggs.
What are the most common complaints customers have with their vehicles?
Tim Suggs: The most common concern we hear from customers is that their car is making a funny noise. It’s important to get those noises checked out because we often see that those noises are coming from the brakes, muffler, engine, or suspension. The safety concerns we have with those noises vary but it’s best to find out where that noise is coming from. Our simple diagnostic fee is $20, well worth the peace of mind.
What are the biggest misconceptions about car maintenance and repairs?
TS: The biggest misconception we hear about car repair is that mechanics are not trustworthy. We want to debunk that myth! We want folks to feel comfortable with the work we are doing on their cars so we do our very best to explain what repairs are necessary vs. those that are suggested, going so far as to show our customers where on the vehicle the repair is needed. We are in the business of helping people and we want folks to walk away feeling comfortable with the work that they’ve paid for, back to enjoying their cars again.
How do you ensure a customer that their vehicle is being serviced with the greatest of care?
TS: We have a welcoming atmosphere and treat all of our customers and their cars with respect. We also try to treat each vehicle how we would treat our own, keeping them clean by using floor mats and offering car washes and details as a service as we are able.
What are your best suggestions on making sure a vehicle is properly maintained?
TS: We see too many transmissions fail because of simple neglect. You want to make sure you flush your fluid before it gets dirty, not when it is dirty! When it’s dirty is too late. We suggest flushing or doing a drain and fill every 30,000 miles and replacing the filter (if your vehicle has one) every 90,000 miles. It’s the cheapest insurance you can do to keep your transmission working in good order.
Any other tips you want to pass along to our readership in hopes of making them more comfortable with the process of car care?
TS: Find someone you trust and feel comfortable with to work on your car. Ask around to see who your friends, family, and community are going to, check out the reviews, and get price quotes to make sure you’re receiving quality repair at a reasonable price from folks that respect you, your budget, and your decisions. Don’t be shy, ask questions and learn a few things when you come into the shop. It will make you feel more empowered and in the know about what’s happening with your car. Finally, enjoy driving! Remember the freedom and privilege you have to drive a car so have fun and be safe!
To learn more about Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive, go to www.turbotims.com.