Frequently Asked Questions
Simmons 4×4 Automotive Service Center invites you to tune in each and every Saturday morning from 6:00 – 8:00 for the “Simmons CarCare ShopTalk Show” on 104.1 FM “The Truth” to have your automotive questions answered. Jerry and Mike will be on hand to provide you with DIY car care and repair tips, the latest news from the automotive industry, and answer any questions you may have about your vehicle.
Please read through the following information:
Have you ever head the phrase “junk in equals junk out?” That’s very true in the automotive repair industry. We are only as good as the information you provide to us when trying to repair your vehicle.
When you tell us you have a water leak, and ask us “where is it coming from?” all we can do is guess unless we have our eyes on the vehicle and the cooling system under pressure to determine where the water is coming from.
When you ask us to find the “funny smell” in your vehicle we really do need to be sitting next to you in the front seat to be able to tell is that smell is coming from oil dripping on the exhaust, a plastic sack wrapped around the catalytic converter, or a dead packrat underneath the plenum.
When you ask us what could be causing your vibration, and you can’t tell us whether your vehicle is front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or all wheel drive then we can’t possibly point you in the direction of a solution without experiencing the same vibration you tell us your are feeling.
We have written these FAQ’s about those types of issues and more. We will offer you our very best advice on how to find the problems, what to look for, and what to pay attention to so you can describe the problems to professional technicians who will be able to find the solutions. Please read on . . .
Before you start guessing, or asking us to guess on how best to repair your vehicle, it is important that you know guessing is generally a very bad idea. Every day we receive phone calls from people who have spent hundreds of dollars trying to fix a problem based on a bad guess. You should know that it will generally cost between $75-$250 to have someone properly diagnose your problem and come up with a solution. If you then decide to try and tackle the repair on your own then the more power to you. It’s ok to tell your repair shop that you enjoy working on your car yourself, but you might be in a little bit over your head on a particular problem. Spending a couple of hundred dollars to have a professional technician test your vehicle is much cheaper in the long run than guessing at a fix, spending hundreds of dollars on parts, and then finding out you were wrong. Once installed, those parts can’t be taken back to the parts house for a refund. If you put ‘em on, they’re yours to keep!
Before you start trying to repair your vehicle, make sure you are confident you can do the job. There aren’t too many shops that we are aware of that enjoy seeing a vehicle towed in with a box of nuts and bolts that have already been removed before you decided you didn’t know how to finish the job correctly. You can expect to pay considerably more for this type of repair than you would have if the job hadn’t even been started yet. It takes technicians time to figure out what you’ve done, what parts have been taken apart, and which bolts go back in which holes in order to complete that repair. And in a case like this, the technician’s time equates to your money.
It makes no sense to tell the shop what to do, or tell them how to do it when taking your vehicle in for repairs. The recipe for a successful automotive repair is simple. Give the shop the symptoms, write down what you see, you hear, you feel, you smell, and under what conditions those symptoms are occurring. A professional technician can try and replicate your symptoms and the conditions in which they are occurring, determine what tests are going to be necessary to isolate the source of the problem, and then provide a solution based on the evidence that was gathered during the testing process.
When you bring a vehicle in to a repair shop and tell the shop what is wrong with it, and how to fix it then you have to be prepared for the consequences if the problem is not solved. For example, if you take your vehicle in to a repair facility and ask for a tune-up and an oil change, then don’t be surprised when your vehicle still pings under acceleration after those services are performed. A professional technician knows that there are many things that can cause a car to “ping.” A tune-up is only going to address a couple of those things. Don’t expect the shop to take responsibility for your incorrect diagnosis. You didn’t ask the shop to find out why your car was pinging. You simply asked for a tune-up. The shop performed a tune-up based on your instructions. It’s not the shop’s fault it didn’t provide the solution for the problem you didn’t tell them about. You didn’t tell the shop about the pinging, and can’t expect them to refund you a dime because of your mistake. Tell the shop about the symptoms. NEVER tell them what to fix.
Read through the FAQ section. There is a good chance the answer you are looking for will be in there. We’ve been in business in Tucson for more than 38 years, and have seen pretty much everything you could ever expect to see in car repairs and then some. We have put together this comprehensive list of FAQ’s to try and help you take better care of your vehicle, learn more about your vehicle, and help you in any way we can if you decide to try and repair your own vehicle. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for in this FAQ section, then feel free to call the “Simmons CarCare ShopTalk Show” any Saturday morning and Jerry or Mike can at least lead you in the right direction. If you still can’t get the answer you are looking for, then feel free to email us with your question and we will make every effort to get back with you in a timely manner. There are days when we are answering several dozen email questions about vehicle repair, so give us some time and we will certainly do our dead level best to steer you down the right road.
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If you have any other questions that you would like to see added to our Frequently Asked Questions please email them to us at info@SimmonsAutoRepair.com.