Why not reduce your Holiday season and Winter Break travel with some simple steps? Here we go!
Have a trusted vehicle advisor relationship… I’m going to sound “old” for a moment, so bear with me. When I was young, my grandfather was my trusted vehicle advisor. I was a tomboy and had been tagging along to the repair shop with him since I was about 8. I remember getting my first car - A Dodge Charger Daytona SE in two-tone red with leather seats. She was a beauty! Pa helped me to learn how to check my oil levels and he purchased a car care/safety kit to keep in my trunk. I signed up for an evening automotive class at the high school to learn more basics. Fast forward to today and it’s a whole new world! Every year more technology and engineering changes in vehicles make it more difficult for car owners to maintain their own vehicles, and more expensive to just own one. Therefore, it is truly important to have a trusted repair shop you can build a relationship with for these needs. Ask yourself, “Do they have my best interests in mind?” “Are they good at communicating and giving me the whole picture?” “Do they explain things so I can understand?” “Do they stick with the estimates, or am I blindsided when I pick up my car?” OK, moving on!
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection… You’re checking items off your to-do and packing list, counting down the days before the big road trip. Did you remember to think about your car’s readiness for travel? If you need to get that oil change done or have been concerned about the noise that cropped up last month, now is the time for peace of mind! We have 8 bays and 4 techs as well as a dedicated service manager to help you! Grab an appointment that suits you, tell us about your concerns, and voila! Our service manager will assign your vehicle to a qualified technician to perform the work you have authorized, and not one thing more will be done without your approval. Estimates are prepared for all work, so you are in full control of the work and investment that works for you. No surprises!
Payment options for unbudgeted repairs… Let’s look at a realistic and very common example. Your savings account is low since your rent and cost of food went up, and it’s Christmas time after all. Your pre-trip vehicle health inspection is completed. The tech has written up his notes, taken some photos in and a digital report sent to you. (Gulp) Your brake pads are falling apart, it damaged your rotors, and that was the noise you’ve been hearing! This is a major safety issue, and the tech is recommending replacement. Before you panic, understand that there are options… You could rent a car for your trip. Again, those are expensive and not guaranteed to be mechanically sound. And you still have a repair hanging over your head. You could borrow a friend’s vehicle. Same. I-86 Truck & Auto Repair has a popular “6-months-same-as-cash” financing solution for our customers! Complete the application online from the comfort of your own home or at the shop. Most applications are approved, and within a few minutes you know what your credit line is. Repairs can be authorized, started immediately, and completed in time for you to keep your travel itinerary (in most cases).
Plan ahead, budget for vehicle maintenance and repairs… “What budget?”, you ask. We know expenses have gone up across the board and last year’s budget went out the window. Reboot and establish a new budget, it’s a practical and responsible approach to managing your expenses. Create a safety net by allocating a portion of your overall budget to a car repair emergency fund. The next step is to factor in routine maintenance costs like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. These preventive measures help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road. Tires and brakes wear out, so remember to include those in your overall financial plan. Budgeting and saving will help prevent a major disruption. Another important factor is your vehicle’s age/mileage. Expenses will increase over time, so keep that in mind. We have seen an increase in individuals wanting to buy a new car when their existing car expenses start to creep up. Stay tuned for a complete article on deciding when to keep your existing car or buy a new one.
Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year from our I-86 Team!
Ronda Whitford, Owner
I-86 Truck & Auto Repair
1739 Lindquist Drive
Falconer NY 14733