Car Time


Motorists Beware!

The world of auto repair is all about trust. When having your vehicle serviced, you want to be able to trust the people at the facility working on it. Trust that they have the skills and experience required. Trust that they will be honest and have integrity. Trust they will use the required effort to get your vehicle back in your hands with the most convenience possible.

It is not hard to find auto repair facilities that do not live up to these examples of trust. Small local family dealerships, for the most part, are gone and have been replaced with corporate conglomerates that own multiple facilities. They sometimes care less about customer relations and more about profits. Some of these businesses pay their service staff and technicians on commission, which can translate to dishonest business.
For years, I have heard from people who agreed to repairs that were not required. I have also had customers call and ask why another facility recommended they replace their brakes much sooner than seemed necessary. I’ve asked them to come in and let our technicians at Orinda Motors re-check the brakes and often found that the brake linings had 40 – 50 percent wear remaining.
Our goal at our shop is to keep our customers safe and their vehicles reliable. We like to let our customers know the actual urgency level and let them decide how it works for their budget. If there is an option, customers should know about it. Rubber bushings with minor hairline cracks are not urgent, but some repair shops try to sell the repair to the vehicle owner or recommend a transmission replacement when only the correct fluid was needed.
Just remember that no licensed repair facility is supposed to perform any kind of service on your vehicle without your permission, regardless of whether the service or inspection is free. You are also in charge when you take your vehicle in for warranty work. Be aware of what is going on. They do not have the right to be doing inspections you do not want. Warranty work should not be the dealer’s way of getting repairs that are not under warranty. Do not be afraid to question any repairs or service suggested. As usual, be a good consumer of auto repair.
You can reach Vanek at

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