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

Struts

Struts and More – Macs Auto – Newport Beach Struts – OC Struts

Your automobile’s suspension system needs to be able to absorb bumps smoothly and steer properly, which in turn requires a fully functioning suspension system with  proper wheel alignment. Whether your vehicle has a conventional suspension system with shock absorbers or a strut-based system typical of many front-wheel-drive cars, you can trust Mac’s Automotives experienced technicians to service them both.

Maintaining proper wheel alignment extends the life of your tires, provides a more comfortable ride, and provides significantly better gas mileage for your vehicle. Typical symptoms of a car that requires suspension or alignment services are excessive or uneven tire wear, an off center steering wheel, a general feeling of wandering or looseness while driving, the car feels like it’s pulling to the left or the right, or a shimmy or vibration in your steering wheel.

There are two common types of wheel alignments performed on today’s automobiles; all wheel thrust angle alignment and, for vehicles with adjustable rear suspensions, all wheel full adjustable alignment.

Mac’s Automotive offers a complete computerized wheel alignment service using the latest state-of-the-art equipment to ensure precision and accuracy. Our ASE certified technicians perform a complete steering and suspension system inspection with every alignment. By replacing worn suspension parts you regain steering control and handling, keeping your car ride safe and smooth.

 Alignment Intervals

• Every 8,000 miles or 6 months Alignment is recommended after the first 2,000 miles for new vehicles:
• After a purchase of new tires
• After a collision or accident
• After hitting a large pothole
• With installation of new suspension or steering parts
• Following a transaxle repair on front-wheel-drive cars

 Mac’s Automotives Alignment Services Include:

Alignment Check

• Inspect steering and suspension system including tire condition and air pressure Put vehicle on alignment rack, mount and compensate sensors Print out alignment readings

Standard Alignment

• All-wheel thrust angle or full adjustable alignment
• Inspect steering and suspension system including tire condition and air pressure
• Put vehicle on alignment rack, mount and compensate sensors
• Print out initial alignment readings
• Adjust alignment angles to manufacturer’s specifications
• Print out final alignment readings to verify alignment is within specification
• Road test vehicle

 Plus Alignment

• Standard alignment service
• Perform a four wheel tire rotation
• Balance all four tires on our state-of-the-art computerized balancing equipment

   Replace worn steering or suspension parts as follows:

• Ball joints
• Bushings
• Sway bar links
• Center links
• Idler arms/Pitman arms
• Rack and pinion units
• Tie rod ends/sleeves
• CV joints/boots
• CV axle half shafts
• Shock absorbers
• MacPherson struts/cartridges

Mac’s Automotive provides automotive suspension repair and wheel alignment services for residents in the greater Southern Orange County California area.

Brakes

Brakes in the OC – OC brakes – Newport Beach Brakes – Macs Auto Brakes

Your automobile’s suspension system needs to be able to absorb bumps smoothly and steer properly, which in turn requires a fully functioning suspension system with proper wheel alignment. Whether your vehicle has a conventional suspension system with shock absorbers or a strut-based system typical of many front-wheel-drive cars, you can trust Mac’s Automotives experienced technicians to service them both.

Maintaining proper wheel alignment extends the life of your tires, provides a more comfortable ride, and provides significantly better gas mileage for your vehicle. Typical  symptoms of a car that requires suspension or alignment services are excessive or uneven tire wear, an off center steering wheel, a general feeling of wandering or looseness while driving, the car feels like it’s pulling to the left or the right, or a shimmy or vibration in your steering wheel.

There are two common types of wheel alignments performed on today’s automobiles; all wheel thrust angle alignment and, for vehicles with adjustable rear suspensions, all wheel full adjustable alignment.

Mac’s Automotive offers a complete computerized wheel alignment service using the latest state-of-the-art equipment to ensure precision and accuracy. Our ASE certified technicians perform a complete steering and suspension system inspection with every alignment. By replacing worn suspension parts you regain steering control and handling,  keeping your car ride safe and smooth.

Alignment Intervals

 • Every 8,000 miles or 6 months Alignment is recommended after the first 2,000 miles for new vehicles:
    • After a purchase of new tires
    • After a collision or accident
    • After hitting a large pothole
    • With installation of new suspension or steering parts
    • Following a transaxle repair on front-wheel-drive cars

    Mac’s Automotives Alignment Services Include:

    Alignment Check

    • Inspect steering and suspension system including tire condition and air pressure Put vehicle on alignment rack, mount and compensate sensors Print out alignment readings

    Standard Alignment

    • All-wheel thrust angle or full adjustable alignment
    • Inspect steering and suspension system including tire condition and air pressure
    • Put vehicle on alignment rack, mount and compensate sensors
    • Print out initial alignment readings
    • Adjust alignment angles to manufacturer’s specifications
    • Print out final alignment readings to verify alignment is within specification
    • Road test vehicle

    Plus Alignment

    • Standard alignment service
    • Perform a four wheel tire rotation
    • Balance all four tires on our state-of-the-art computerized balancing equipment

    Replace worn steering or suspension parts as follows:

    • Ball joints
    • Bushings
    • Sway bar links
    • Center links
    • Idler arms/Pitman arms
    • Rack and pinion units
    • Tie rod ends/sleeves
    • CV joints/boots
    • CV axle half shafts
    • Shock absorbers
    • MacPherson struts/cartridges

    Mac’s Automotive provides automotive suspension repair and wheel alignment services for residents in the greater Southern Orange County California area.

Shocks

Shocks in Newport Beach – Shocks in the OC – Shocks in Costa Mesa

Mac’s Auto carries some of the industry’s finest shock absorbers sold at prices that are easy on the pocket. Because we are aware of the importance of these auto components when it comes to maintaining a smooth and hassle-free run on the road, we only source our products from esteemed and established brands.

We’ve got plenty of choices to ensure you get the right shock absorber for your car. We also guarantee your installation.

For reliable and affordable shock absorbers, come see us today!

Shocks

Shocks in Newport Beach – Shocks in the OC – Shocks in Costa Mesa

Mac’s Auto carries some of the industry’s finest shock absorbers sold at prices that are easy on the pocket. Because we are aware of the importance of these auto components when it comes to maintaining a smooth and hassle-free run on the road, we only source our products from esteemed and established brands.

We’ve got plenty of choices to ensure you get the right shock absorber for your car. We also guarantee your installation.

For reliable and affordable shock absorbers, come see us today!

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