You may have heard it from us or another shop when you’ve had your car in for repair. You have the car in for a transmission repair, and we recommend another service “while we’re in there.” That isn’t our way of selling more work. In fact, we do it to SAVE you money, and possibly save a life. I know, additional work sounds like it couldn’t possibly save money, but let us explain why it does.
We often recommend services and repairs on your vehicle “while we’re in there” because it is something that needs to be done, and it will actually save you time and money to have it done now rather than later. For example, if you are having a transmission rebuilt, we may advise new engine and transmission mounts because the rubber bushings are worn, and we either already have them out, or have extremely easy access with the transmission out of the way. Same goes for replacing hoses and thermostats with radiator replacements.
Replacing a hose or a thermostat while the car is apart is one thing, but what about a big service like a timing belt or timing chain? Those can be expensive, surely it isn’t SAVING money, is it? Actually, you would be surprised. Many cars have timing belts that need to be replaced every 60-100,000 miles. This maintenance service is critical, because the engine could be destroyed if the belt fails, but often will cost $1000 or more on its own, and the car could be at the shop for a couple days, so add a rental car onto that.
Timing belts are usually expensive repairs because of the many things in the way that must be removed before we can get our hands on the belt. If we have your car in for a transmission repair, chances are good that we have to remove a lot of those things anyway, which can cut your labor time in half. Having this service done while we have your car apart for other repairs could save you $500 or more versus coming back later for the job. Even if you aren’t quite due yet, you might be better off having us just knock it out early. When doing a timing belt on most cars, we also have your accessory belts off, and we have easy access to the water pump, so we can usually replace those for just the cost of the parts, and no more money for labor. Add in the fact that you already have your car in the shop, so you won’t have any additional rental car expenses or towing, and the savings keep adding up.
Here is another, and possibly the most important reason we might say, “while we’re in there.” Sometimes we are fortunate enough to see a problem that is about to happen, and can fix it before it becomes a catastrophic failure. We might just be replacing brake pads on your car, and our technician notices that one of the ball joints is worn and near failing. If that ball joint breaks at 65mph on the interstate, it could cause a deadly crash.
To put it in perspective, imagine you are at the doctor for a case of the flu, but the doctor notices an irregular heartbeat that could cause a heart attack. Are you going to tell him you don’t want the heart medication, because that isn’t what you came in for? Of course not. Don’t take the same gamble with your car, because it could also be your life.
The moral of the story is, when we say “we can do this while we’re in there,” it is because we believe in doing the right thing for our customers and want to save you time, money, and potentially danger. In fact, not doing the job today, and having you come back in 3 months when it is due would be what would cost you more money. I also can’t tell you how many times customers have asked us if they should have something replaced while we have the car apart, and we actually said, “That looks great right now, we wouldn’t recommend you spend the money today.” We would rather earn your trust, save you money, and have you recommend us to your friends and family, than to make a little extra money today.