What You Need to Know from Your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Service Advisor
Jun 11, 2017
Lancaster drivers may feel intimidated when they take their vehicles to a service center. They have questions but aren't sure how to ask. They don't want to feel embarrassed about their lack of knowledge. They don't want to make the service technician feel that they don't trust him.
If your service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley uses a term you don't understand, just ask him to explain. Remember, they are the auto service experts. If they came to your place of work, they probably wouldn't understand the jargon, either. When you take your vehicle in to be serviced, make sure you understand the financial issues up front. Ask about payment policies, warranties and, of course, the cost of the work being done.
It helps to understand basic services your vehicle needs. Know the difference between a quick check-up and a thorough inspection, which you are getting and which you are asking for. Understand that diagnosing a problem takes time, and time isn't free. If you have concerns about cost, negotiate your limits before service is done. Don't be afraid to ask your service advisor for auto advice on how to keep your vehicle on the road within your budget. He can help you prioritize your vehicle's needs. Some repairs are for the safety and future health of your vehicle. Others can wait. Your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can help you set up a plan to get all the work done as you can afford it.
It may be tempting for Lancaster drivers to save money with budget parts. Your service advisor can help you to sort through the options to work within your budget. High-quality parts are always preferable for any auto repair. Your service advisor will make sure the parts used won't compromise the safety of your vehicle.
Don't leave your Lancaster service center without your paperwork, either. Ask about warranties for parts and labor. You may need these for claims or if there is a problem in the future. Get detailed explanations of the work done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of repairs, service and warranties.
Those records may also help close a deal when it comes time to sell your vehicle. After all, the biggest concern most people in Lancaster have when buying a used vehicle is that they are inheriting someone else's problems.
Records of repairs and service are a good picture of your vehicle's condition and performance and what problems a new owner can expect. People are always happier to purchase a vehicle they know has been well-maintained. Whenever we climb into a vehicle, we are entrusting our health and safety to it. Perhaps it's time to take our vehicles' health a little more seriously. Open up; ask and learn.
How Does The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Know What to Recommend?
Jan 01, 2017
When you drop your vehicle off at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, they don't just poke around under your hood looking for stuff to do. The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley professionals have lists and procedures they follow for different types of service. First of all, your Lancaster service center will note the mileage on your vehicle. They'll then check to see what inspections and services the vehicle manufacturer recommends for a vehicle of your make, model and mileage. If you are a regular customer, they will also check your vehicle's history.
If the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations go beyond the services you've ordered, they'll let you know. They'll also indicate whether those services are urgent or if you can wait a while to take care of them. The The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley pros won't do work that you don't agree to.
They will, however, perform inspections while they're servicing your vehicle. They'll check belts, filters and fluids. They'll check your windshield wipers for wear. They'll let you know if there's an urgent problem that needs taken care of, and they'll give you a heads-up about problems that might be developing. If repairs or services are in order, you are given options based on driving needs and budget.
You can think of it like a trip to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist will check if you've had x-rays recently. If not, he'll get your permission to take new ones. Then the hygienist will clean your teeth and check your gums. At the end, the dentist comes in and inspects your teeth. You'll be told if you need any work done, about problems that are developing, and if anything is urgent. You'll be given different care options and recommendations on where to get work done that is beyond your dentist's usual purview. Then you'll be sent to the front desk for appointments and paperwork.
These procedures make sure your teeth are in good working order and that you are apprised of any problems. Then you can make a decision as to what work you want done and when. The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster operates the same way. They want Lancaster drivers to be able to make informed decisions about their car care.
Preventive auto maintenance is a lot like dental check-ups. Small problems can quickly develop into big ones. A cavity becomes a root canal. A dirty filter becomes engine damage. Skipping check-ups for either your teeth or your vehicle can lead to repairs.
The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley follows industry guidelines. A part is replaced only if it can no longer perform its function, no longer meets its design specifications or is missing – or if you ask for upgraded performance. Your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor will recommend a part be replaced if it is showing signs that it will soon fail.
Dentists often offer services that go beyond routine care, such as teeth whitening. Service centers also offer Lancaster drivers help with upgrades to a vehicle. They'll know what parts are needed and how to perform the work so that safety and performance aren't compromised. You can rely on the pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for good auto advice.
The next time you're headed to the dentist's office, think about the vehicle you're riding in. Is it time for it to get a check-up, too?
Speak Up: Talking with Your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Service Advisor
May 16, 2016
About 80% of the vehicles on Lancaster roads today are behind on their preventive maintenance schedules. That translates to about 160 million vehicles in the United States that aren't performing as well as they could be - thousands right here in California. Some of the maintenance issues are minor. Others represent serious safety concerns.
There are many reasons Lancaster drivers neglect their routine car care. Some of the more common ones are complacency, lack of confidence, lack of trust and budget issues.
Modern vehicles are amazingly reliable compared to their older counterparts. They can run for years without any repairs, and we sometimes translate that to mean they don't need any maintenance. The trouble is that without maintenance, parts in the vehicle are gradually wearing out, fluids are getting dirty, oil is developing sludge — a lot of stuff is happening that we can't see, and it is destroying the vehicle. The first time we learn there is a problem, we have a major repair bill on our hands.
Older vehicles just couldn't keep going without frequent maintenance; they broke down without timely vehicle care. Modern vehicles are designed to keep running even when they're not fully healthy. Unfortunately, that convenience has led some of us to become complacent and ignore vehicle care — until we have to fix something. And fixing something today takes a whole lot more than it used to.
Some people in Lancaster just don't feel comfortable taking their vehicles to their local Lancaster service center. They don't know much about engines or auto mechanics, so they don't know what questions to ask. They don't want to appear foolish or ignorant.
Your physician doesn't expect you to understand what a ligament is or how it works. But if you have a problem with one, she's going to explain to you what it is, what's wrong with it and how it can be fixed. It's in her best interest as well as yours to do so. You'll both feel more comfortable with the treatment.
That's what you can expect from the pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. They have to be highly trained and work with a lot of complex, high-tech systems. They don't expect their Lancaster customers to understand car care. So ask questions. You need auto advice from a service specialist, just as you need medical advice from a doctor and financial advice from a financial advisor.
Which brings us to the next concern: trust. A lot of rumors fly around Lancaster about auto repair scams. You may have heard about some local auto shops taking advantage of customers and replacing parts that weren't broken. Frankly, this is just bad business practice. Lancaster auto service centers won't stay in business long if they're engaged in this type of activity.
It's in the best interest of Lancaster service centers to diagnose a problem correctly and fix it right the first time. That's how they keep their businesses open.
Trust must be earned. But just as it took time for you to establish a relationship and rapport with your doctor, it will take time to build a relationship with your service center.
Also, realize that when your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley recommends routine maintenance, he is generally relying on your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. In other words, your trust lies both with your service advisor and your vehicle manufacturer. You'll find that most of the service recommendations from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley you receive coincide with what's in your manual.
Those recommendations were set up by the engineers who designed your vehicle, not The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. The team at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley is just offering you a friendly reminder — a helpful reminder really, since most of us don't post our owner's manuals to our calendars.
Money is behind most neglect of vehicle maintenance. First, they worry that they can't afford it. Second, they worry that they're being overcharged.
The simple truth is, car care is like health care. We can't afford not to have it. Preventive maintenance is cheap compared to repair work. It extends the lives of our vehicles and saves us money on fuel. It also makes our vehicles safer to drive, which can prevent accidents. Putting off preventive maintenance can be very expensive.
Lancaster area service centers have to be competitive. Like any business, they can't afford to overcharge customers or they go out of business. But vehicle care today does cost more in California than it used to. Vehicles are more sophisticated, complex and high-tech. That means technicians have to be better trained. They have to purchase high-tech diagnostic equipment and tools. They have to keep up with the latest advances in vehicle engineering and subscribe to computer databases. Like any business, they also have labor costs, insurance, rent, utilities, taxes, office supplies, etc.
If you are strapped for cash, The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can offer auto advice to help you keep your car running safely and manage your budget. For example, let's say you need new brake pads, transmission service and a new cabin air filter. A technician can't ethically recommend you delay brake service: that creates a safety hazard for you and other Lancaster drivers. You need to get that done now. But they can let you know if the transmission service can wait a month and how long you can put off changing the cabin air filter. They can also estimate what these services will cost. That gives you the time and information you need to save up for the other services.
The key to modern car care is preventive maintenance. Our modern vehicles are safer, more fuel efficient and more reliable than ever before. But to keep them that way Lancaster drivers have to be more proactive about caring for them. It's good to know there are knowledgeable professionals at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley who can help us do just that.
What Lancaster Customers like About Us at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
Feb 23, 2016
A big part of the service we provide at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for our Lancaster customers is education. We want you to feel confident with your service decisions.
And we're always open to questions from our valued Lancaster area customers. Even though we try to be proactive in our The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley automotive education, we sometimes get busy fixing vehicles and need a reminder. Please, just ask.
We've found our Lancaster customers like the service reminders. They've grown to trust that our recommendations are based on the vehicle manufactures’ published maintenance schedules and that The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley is not just pulling them out of the air.
We know that people in Lancaster live a busy life with a lot more to think about than wondering if it's time to replace the PCV valve on their vehicle. Part of our The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service process is checking the vehicle manufacture's schedule to make sure we don't overlook service.
We hope California drivers appreciate their courtesy inspection when they come into our Lancaster facility for service. If we find something unexpected, it's good to know, and if we don't find anything wrong, you get a little peace of mind.
You know, customer satisfaction is very important to us at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. We want to run a professional and friendly Lancaster automotive service operation. If we do, you'll keep coming back and recommend us to your friends.
We find that a lot of Lancaster drivers are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions but don't want to be embarrassed or seem pushy. Vehicles are very complicated and there's more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it's because vehicles have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn't need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.
You know, your local hospital has a Patient's Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Lancaster automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.
It's all about the communication. It's a little harder when you're trying to find the right service center in Lancaster. But once you've developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.
What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let's go back to the medical example. When your doctor's explaining something to you, it's something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don't understand or that you don't have the education and training that's foundational to understanding what she's trying to explain.
So you fall behind and get frustrated.
It can be the same with your Lancaster automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.
Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you're not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there's a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what's done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.
Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Lancaster service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.
Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.
Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that's done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.
One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.
Cars in California are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So, it's challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it's not something obvious, it's easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.
Let us at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley introduce you to something we'll call 'Customer Detective Work' – helping your technician find clues to what's wrong.
We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me; You come in to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and your car is making a funny sound...
Q: Where's the sound?
A: Around the right front wheel.
Q: What kind of sound?
A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
Q: When do you hear the sound?
A: When I turn and accelerate.
Q: Right and left? Forward and back?
Do you see where we're going? You're gathering additional information to help your technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley know where to start. Based on your car and the tech's experience, he'll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.
You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says "making a funny noise."
If the tech can experience the problem personally, he's better able to make a diagnosis and repair and then test to see if the repair solved the problem.
We're going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Lancaster automotive service and repair industry hasn't been given a pass either.
Unfortunately, every profession in Lancaster has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.
Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Lancaster automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.
If we understand what's recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we'll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It's like going to the doctor; If she's using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Lancaster service advisor too. He's so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don't know a PCV from an EGT.
If you don't understand what your doctor's talking about: ask some questions. If you don't understand what your Lancaster automotive advisor's talking about: ask some questions.
Let's go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, "Is this really necessary?" Well, here's the industry standard:
If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:
The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing
For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.
If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn't want to replace the rotor; The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley would ethically have to refuse the repair.
To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could've failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.
Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:
The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer
Based on the technician's informed experience
Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.
We've all seen drivers do crazy things while driving to or from Lancaster. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It's a wonder we even dare drive on California roads.
The truth is that all of us are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.
Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Lancaster.
Lancaster drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
Lancaster drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.
Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. It is always better to pull over and take a quick nap than risk falling asleep at the wheel. Lancaster drivers are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can Lancaster drivers do to manage these distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.
If you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving in Lancaster – you're wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive around Lancaster.
The professional here at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley wand you to remember that driving is probably the most dangerous thing you'll do all day – so don't make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel in Lancaster.
Some Lancaster vehicle owners wonder why The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and other Lancaster auto repair shops charge a fee for vehicle diagnostics.
Receiving a diagnostic charge at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise. In the Lancaster area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy California road, you pull off at the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you're having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, a The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Lancaster driver's confusion comes when the problem involves the Check Engine light. The Check Engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There's a common misconception among California drivers that the trouble code tells the The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley technician exactly what's wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that's out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the Check Engine light.
The vehicle computer's trouble code just tells the The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley technician what engine parameter is out of range, not what's causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that's causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley customers. The service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Lancaster service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming and difficult. Of course The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley wants to figure out what's wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
What Lancaster Automotive Service Consumers Should Know
Apr 14, 2011
There are some things drivers should know about Lancaster car service and repair. First and foremost, The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley cares about you and your family's safety. And we really appreciate your business. The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.
Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix vehicles. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The pros who work for The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.
The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in California, and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average consumers in Lancaster may not realize the business and environmental regulations The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley must comply with. Of course that costs money, too. Like any California business, overhead is a big factor.
When you go into your favorite Lancaster area restaurant, you don't value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you'll come back and tell your friends.
It's the same for The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, customers are happy to see them succeed as a California automotive business.
Contact The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley to learn more about our extensive auto service training. You can find us at: The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley 226 West Avenue I Lancaster, California 93534 661-949-8484 http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com
At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we love to see our Lancaster customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your friends and family to come in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep labor rates down. That's good for everyone in Lancaster.