People hold onto vehicles longer but are failing to maintain them

People hold onto vehicles longer but are failing to maintain them – This article featured Macs Auto as an authority for this topic, we are proud to share this with you.

(IJR NEWS 4/26/2013) Motorists are holding on to their vehicles longer, and are very interested in saving money on their second biggest investment, but are they compromising their intent?

Macs auto - Larry GaffSelecting the right service dealer is important, and avoiding costly dealership service is becoming trendy.  IJR NEWS spoke to one of the top reviewed dealer services in Orange County,  Macs Auto, and spoke to Larry Gaff about ways to do your own inspections and when it is time for service.

Larry Gaff recommended the same suggestions we found by the Car Care Council. The Macs Auto owner told us that these inspections can be done on the driveway or in the street.

  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

Larry told us, “Recently read a report that said over 50 Billion dollars in vehicle maintenance and upkeeps(repairs) go unperformed each year, and the reasoning behind this is because consumers don’t know what needs to be done or why it’s important. Even on a basic oil change we perform certain inspections that can indicate a potential developing problem that we can show and inform the customer about.”

Dealer service facilities are prominent yet IJR NEWS suggests using caution when picking the dealership.  People get taken advantage of when they don’t know what their talking about and have to put their trust in a professional in that field.  It is always a good idea to look at the reviews and credible sources for recommendations in these service repairs.

Vincent Jenkino – Consumer Report Advocate

Auto Specialist – guest journalist IJR NEWS

Jenkino@ijrnews.com

http://www.carcarenewsservice.org/category/media-themes-and-categories/selecting-service-dealer

 

 

 

People hold onto vehicles longer but are failing to maintain them

People hold onto vehicles longer but are failing to maintain them – This article featured Macs Auto as an authority for this topic, we are proud to share this with you.

(IJR NEWS 4/26/2013) Motorists are holding on to their vehicles longer, and are very interested in saving money on their second biggest investment, but are they compromising their intent?

Macs auto - Larry GaffSelecting the right service dealer is important, and avoiding costly dealership service is becoming trendy.  IJR NEWS spoke to one of the top reviewed dealer services in Orange County,  Macs Auto, and spoke to Larry Gaff about ways to do your own inspections and when it is time for service.

Larry Gaff recommended the same suggestions we found by the Car Care Council. The Macs Auto owner told us that these inspections can be done on the driveway or in the street.

  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

Larry told us, “Recently read a report that said over 50 Billion dollars in vehicle maintenance and upkeeps(repairs) go unperformed each year, and the reasoning behind this is because consumers don’t know what needs to be done or why it’s important. Even on a basic oil change we perform certain inspections that can indicate a potential developing problem that we can show and inform the customer about.”

Dealer service facilities are prominent yet IJR NEWS suggests using caution when picking the dealership.  People get taken advantage of when they don’t know what their talking about and have to put their trust in a professional in that field.  It is always a good idea to look at the reviews and credible sources for recommendations in these service repairs.

Vincent Jenkino – Consumer Report Advocate

Auto Specialist – guest journalist IJR NEWS

Jenkino@ijrnews.com

http://www.carcarenewsservice.org/category/media-themes-and-categories/selecting-service-dealer

 

 

 

MACS Auto featured in National News

Consumer Warnings issued regarding Dealer Service Technicians

Consumer Warnings issued regarding Dealer Service Technicians

Consumer education and accessibility to information has cut profit margins on many car dealerships, but has this come at the expense of quality technicians at these dealer service locations?

With less new cars being sold and populations keeping their cars longer, higher priced dealer service repairs are being offset by less qualified mechanics (technicians) at the expense of both new car buyers and owners of cars out of warranty.

Car technicians in general come at three levels, entry level, mid-level, and master technicians.  According to our IJR NEWS investigation – many higher end dealers are opting for the entry level techs -as the dealer service mother company pays for warranty repairs.  For example, a Lexus brought in for a service repair under manufacturer’s warranty will ultimately come at the expense of Lexus not the Lexus dealership. Because of this many dealerships are hiring unqualified technicians to fill financial profit voids created by decreased profit margins of automobiles and the slower economy which turns around less new cars.

 

Automotive service technicians are those who have been automotive technicians for at least two years. They hold at least one, and perhaps several, ASE certifications in different specialized areas, such as brakes, electrical/electronic systems, and engine performance. (“ASE” refers to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, an independent organization that certifies the skills of professional technicians and also certifies the quality of automotive technology programs offered by high schools and colleges.) Automotive service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair automobiles and light trucks, such as vans and pickups. In the past, these workers were called “mechanics,” however, today’s level of technology in the modern automobile makes the term “technician” more appropriate.

In the most modern shops of automobile dealers, service technicians use electronic service equipment, such as digital multimeters (DMM), 5-gas exhaust gas analyzers, hand-held diagnostic scan tool computers, and personal computers (PC) along with PC-based diagnostic tools. These electronic service tools diagnose problems and make accurate measurements that allow precision adjustments. It is the technician’s job to perform reprogramming of the vehicle computer using the hand-held scan tool with new programming downloaded from either large computerized databases.

During routine service, technicians perform diagnostic inspections and repair or replace parts before they fail.  Technicians usually follow a checklist to ensure they examine all the right components. Belts, hoses, fuses, spark plugs, brake and fuel systems, and other potentially troublesome items are among those that are closely watched. Service technicians use a variety of tools in their work, including power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches to remove bolts quickly, machine tools like lathes and grinding machines to resurface brake rotors/drums, welding and flame-cutting equipment to remove and repair exhaust systems, and jacks and hoists to lift cars and engines. They also use common hand tools like screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches to work on small parts and in hard-to-reach places.

Mid-level technicians possess advanced automotive knowledge about a manufacturer’s proprietary systems and can diagnose and repair problems efficiently with minimal supervision. Mid-level technicians can interpret and read computer and scan tool codes and data as described in the service manual. They perform factory-approved repair procedures and diagnose, remove, and replace system components.

It usually takes two to five years to acquire adequate proficiency to become a mid-level service technician, able to perform quickly the more difficult types diagnosis and repairs. Below IJR NEWS shows salary data that dealer service centers evaluate when rendering decisions on repair service.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median hourly wage-and-salary earnings of automotive service technicians and mechanics, including commission, were $16.88 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.44 and $22.64 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.71 per hour. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of service technicians were as follows:

* Local government, excluding schools: $20.07
* Automobile dealers: $19.61
* Automotive repair and maintenance: $15.26
* Gasoline stations: $15.22
* Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores: $14.90

Required education for mid-level automotive service technician jobs, employers look for people with strong technical, communication and analytical skills who possess a depth of knowledge about the proprietary systems available on the cars and trucks sold by that dealership.

Entry Level technicians are usually straight salaried employees, however, many experienced technicians employed by automobile dealers and some independent repair shops receive a commission related to the labor cost charged to the customer. Under this system, weekly earnings depend on the amount of work completed. Employers frequently guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary. Some employees offer health and retirement benefits, but such compensation packages are not universal and can vary widely.  For this reason, car dealer services from automotive dealers have a financial incentive to place unskilled technicians on jobs that should be done by mid-level techs and master techs.  For example, they can then place entry-level techs on factory warranty jobs that guarantee payment.  This type of environment obviously could lead to the “technicians with the most skill and experience”, leaving dealerships as out of warranty repair come few and far in between because of profit margins dealer service centers deal with.  Independent repair shops would therefore be a natural move as there is more opportunity in this economy we are in.

“Pay often is based on speed or commission, that is a recipe for disaster if you bring your car to many dealer services locations” says Larry Gaff, of Macs Auto in Costa Mesa, CA. “Every repair shop should have at least one master tech / mechanic on the floor at all times, this is rarely the case at dealerships because of the luxury of guaranteed payment by the car manufacturer.  If I have a new BMW and bring it in for service and the entry level tech doesn’t fix it right, the customer can bring it back again.  It doesn’t cost the dealership anymore money so why would they pay a master or mid-level tech to repair that car?  Every day people come to our repair shop with complaints of repairs done numerous times that we correct with one shot.  We do it right the first time because we don’t cut corners.”

 

Macs Auto is a highly recognized and reviewed auto dealer service repair center that has been around for over three decades, IJR NEWS appreciates their contribution to this article.

 

Nadia Awalia –

KBB Investigative Journalist – IJR NEWS independent journalist

ContactIJRNEWS@gmail.com

 

September 27, 2012 Posted by IJR NEWS

MACS Auto featured in National News

Consumer Warnings issued regarding Dealer Service Technicians

Consumer Warnings issued regarding Dealer Service Technicians

Consumer education and accessibility to information has cut profit margins on many car dealerships, but has this come at the expense of quality technicians at these dealer service locations?

With less new cars being sold and populations keeping their cars longer, higher priced dealer service repairs are being offset by less qualified mechanics (technicians) at the expense of both new car buyers and owners of cars out of warranty.

Car technicians in general come at three levels, entry level, mid-level, and master technicians.  According to our IJR NEWS investigation – many higher end dealers are opting for the entry level techs -as the dealer service mother company pays for warranty repairs.  For example, a Lexus brought in for a service repair under manufacturer’s warranty will ultimately come at the expense of Lexus not the Lexus dealership. Because of this many dealerships are hiring unqualified technicians to fill financial profit voids created by decreased profit margins of automobiles and the slower economy which turns around less new cars.

 

Automotive service technicians are those who have been automotive technicians for at least two years. They hold at least one, and perhaps several, ASE certifications in different specialized areas, such as brakes, electrical/electronic systems, and engine performance. (“ASE” refers to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, an independent organization that certifies the skills of professional technicians and also certifies the quality of automotive technology programs offered by high schools and colleges.) Automotive service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair automobiles and light trucks, such as vans and pickups. In the past, these workers were called “mechanics,” however, today’s level of technology in the modern automobile makes the term “technician” more appropriate.

In the most modern shops of automobile dealers, service technicians use electronic service equipment, such as digital multimeters (DMM), 5-gas exhaust gas analyzers, hand-held diagnostic scan tool computers, and personal computers (PC) along with PC-based diagnostic tools. These electronic service tools diagnose problems and make accurate measurements that allow precision adjustments. It is the technician’s job to perform reprogramming of the vehicle computer using the hand-held scan tool with new programming downloaded from either large computerized databases.

During routine service, technicians perform diagnostic inspections and repair or replace parts before they fail.  Technicians usually follow a checklist to ensure they examine all the right components. Belts, hoses, fuses, spark plugs, brake and fuel systems, and other potentially troublesome items are among those that are closely watched. Service technicians use a variety of tools in their work, including power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches to remove bolts quickly, machine tools like lathes and grinding machines to resurface brake rotors/drums, welding and flame-cutting equipment to remove and repair exhaust systems, and jacks and hoists to lift cars and engines. They also use common hand tools like screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches to work on small parts and in hard-to-reach places.

Mid-level technicians possess advanced automotive knowledge about a manufacturer’s proprietary systems and can diagnose and repair problems efficiently with minimal supervision. Mid-level technicians can interpret and read computer and scan tool codes and data as described in the service manual. They perform factory-approved repair procedures and diagnose, remove, and replace system components.

It usually takes two to five years to acquire adequate proficiency to become a mid-level service technician, able to perform quickly the more difficult types diagnosis and repairs. Below IJR NEWS shows salary data that dealer service centers evaluate when rendering decisions on repair service.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median hourly wage-and-salary earnings of automotive service technicians and mechanics, including commission, were $16.88 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.44 and $22.64 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.71 per hour. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of service technicians were as follows:

* Local government, excluding schools: $20.07
* Automobile dealers: $19.61
* Automotive repair and maintenance: $15.26
* Gasoline stations: $15.22
* Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores: $14.90

Required education for mid-level automotive service technician jobs, employers look for people with strong technical, communication and analytical skills who possess a depth of knowledge about the proprietary systems available on the cars and trucks sold by that dealership.

Entry Level technicians are usually straight salaried employees, however, many experienced technicians employed by automobile dealers and some independent repair shops receive a commission related to the labor cost charged to the customer. Under this system, weekly earnings depend on the amount of work completed. Employers frequently guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary. Some employees offer health and retirement benefits, but such compensation packages are not universal and can vary widely.  For this reason, car dealer services from automotive dealers have a financial incentive to place unskilled technicians on jobs that should be done by mid-level techs and master techs.  For example, they can then place entry-level techs on factory warranty jobs that guarantee payment.  This type of environment obviously could lead to the “technicians with the most skill and experience”, leaving dealerships as out of warranty repair come few and far in between because of profit margins dealer service centers deal with.  Independent repair shops would therefore be a natural move as there is more opportunity in this economy we are in.

“Pay often is based on speed or commission, that is a recipe for disaster if you bring your car to many dealer services locations” says Larry Gaff, of Macs Auto in Costa Mesa, CA. “Every repair shop should have at least one master tech / mechanic on the floor at all times, this is rarely the case at dealerships because of the luxury of guaranteed payment by the car manufacturer.  If I have a new BMW and bring it in for service and the entry level tech doesn’t fix it right, the customer can bring it back again.  It doesn’t cost the dealership anymore money so why would they pay a master or mid-level tech to repair that car?  Every day people come to our repair shop with complaints of repairs done numerous times that we correct with one shot.  We do it right the first time because we don’t cut corners.”

 

Macs Auto is a highly recognized and reviewed auto dealer service repair center that has been around for over three decades, IJR NEWS appreciates their contribution to this article.

 

Nadia Awalia –

KBB Investigative Journalist – IJR NEWS independent journalist

ContactIJRNEWS@gmail.com

 

September 27, 2012 Posted by IJR NEWS

Top Car Dealer Gimmicks to know before buying a car

 

Car Dealer Gimmicks all consumers should know

September 6, 2012 by  | Leave a comment

The Greatest car dealer gimmicks everyone should know – Top Ten Car Gimmicks to expect when purchasing a car.

9/6/12

How to beat the car dealer sales gimmicks (This article is sponsered by MACS AUTO, located in Orange County)

by CarInsuranceQuotes.net Staff Writer

 

Purchasing a new car is a nerve racking and sometimes extremely long experience.

It’s an enormous gamble — you could be dropping $20,000 on something that’ll last 150,000 miles, or something that’ll spend a portion of its lifetime in the shop, costing you more money in the long run. And nobody likes to deal with the salesmen — their high pressure tactics, emotional appeals and, at times, outright lies can hinder you from getting the optimal deal. As with shopping for car insurance, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the details of a possible transaction, as well as the process (negotiations, in this case) that gets you there. Here are nine tired gimmicks used by car salesmen and the simple solutions for beating them.

  1. Huge advertised discounts and rebates

    Salesmen, regardless of what they’re selling, make their livings on embellishing the truth. Since their first objective is merely to get you in the door, they often advertise large, tempting discounts and rebates containing obscure deals that only apply to a few potential customers. For example, a dealership in the Houston area advertised $4,000 off an $18,000 car, but only the fine print specified that $3,000 of it came from an in-state clean air rebate targeting low-income drivers, and the remaining $1,000 came from a rebate for AARP members.

    How to beat it: Read the ad’s fine print.

  2. Expiring specials

    When it comes to those specials that are legitimate, don’t fall for deadlines imposed by the salesman or the dealership. According to them, a $2,000 discount, for example, may expire the day after you negotiated a final price, but your hesitation to purchase the car before that date shouldn’t prevent you from getting the same deal a day or two later.

    How to beat it: Refuse to buy the car without the discount. As the buyer, you’re always in command — the onus is on the salesman and dealership to make the sale. Use that against them, and stick to your guns.

  3. Offering to pay off your trade-in

    For starters, a dealership may not be trustworthy enough to actually follow through with its promise to pay off the loan on your current vehicle. If it goes out of business, for example, and thus fails to pay off the loan, it’s your problem. Secondly, in most cases, the amount of the new car loan includes the existing loan balance depending on how the dealership valued your previous car, so you’ll still pay for it in the long run.

    How to beat it: If it’s feasible, wait until your car has been paid off. If not, seek out a dealership whose trustworthiness has been verified by the Better Business Bureau.

  4. “How much can you pay per month?”

    Securing a low monthly amount doesn’t mean you’ll pay less in the long run. Taxes, financing and additional fees — some necessary, some not — factor into the final price, and the effects of them can be diluted by spreading payments over an extra year or two.

    How to beat it: Never disclose how much you’re willing to pay per month. You can estimate roughly what you would pay by adding 15% to your desired total price and dividing it by the amount of months in which you wish to pay it off.

  5. Offering a “generous” amount for your trade-in

    In reality, that “generous” amount may be well-below what you would receive from another dealership. At the same time, an amount that is truly generous could be used to sucker you in to a bad deal altogether.

    How to beat it: Research the trade-in value from trusted sites such as Blue Book and Edmunds, and keep in mind that dealerships typically offer less than the prices those sites specify because they need to maximize their profits. Beware of lowball offers or offers that seem too good to be true.

  6. Long-lasting warranties that cover everything

    In recent years, because of reliability concerns from consumers, the much-maligned American car companies have offered extended warranties included with the purchase of their cars. However, in most cases, they don’t cover every aspect of the vehicle. For example, Chevrolet includes a 5-year, 100,000-mile warranty on its 2009 and 2010 cars, light-duty pickups, SUVs and crossovers, covering only certain parts of the powertrain. Salesmen may imply or even claim the warranty covers everything, causing the customer to learn the truth the hard way when they experience their first car troubles.

    How to beat it: Read the fine print and question your salesman about the details. Make sure everything is truly covered so that you won’t end up unnecessarily overspending on repairs.

  7. A “low,” rigid interest rate

    There’s incentive for a dealership to stand firm with a relatively high interest rate — the higher the rate, the bigger win for the dealership. Salesmen will often claim the initial rate they offer is the best one, knowing that your income, housing status and payment history are each respectable.

    How to beat it: If you’re uncomfortable with a rate, ask for a better one. But your best bet is to secure financing beforehand from your credit union or bank, both of which may offer special rates for customers. It may end up being the best deal, or it may serve as a negotiating point.

  8. Emotional appeals

    You should never rely on a salesman to provide you with information that could influence your decision on whether or not to purchase a car. If you drive off the lot in something new, the decision should’ve been purely practical, and based on research and the price you were able to negotiate. It’s the salesman’s job to say anything to get you to buy the car, which is why they often try to trigger emotions to induce irrational thinking.

    How to beat it: Don’t allow yourself to become attached to the car you’re targeting. Don’t envision yourself driving off the lot. Don’t have any expectations aside from a desired price.

  9. Last minute options

    It’s a common tactic. When you’re preparing to close the deal and sign the papers, the salesman urges you to add additional options — such as rust-proofing, paint sealant or an alarm system — that you seemingly wouldn’t be able to live without, sometimes even indicating that they’re already included in the deal.

    How to beat it: Comb through the final paperwork to ensure the final price adds up correctly. Make them explain any charges they didn’t previously mention, and don’t agree to any add-ons just because you’re tired and want to leave.

 

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