Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

Servicing Costa Mesa, and all of Orange County since 1999

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center - Servicing Costa Mesa, and all of Orange County since 1999

Questions To Ask Your COSTA MESA Service Advisor

We find that a lot of COSTA MESA service and repair at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our COSTA MESA automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in COSTA MESA. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your COSTA MESA automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your COSTA MESA service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Call Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to make an appointment.
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
949.645.7878

What COSTA MESA Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things COSTA MESA auto owners should know about COSTA MESA car service and repair. First and foremost, Costa Mesa Auto Service Center cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The considerate service specialists that work for Costa Mesa Auto Service Center need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other service advisors to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in CA and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average COSTA MESA or Corona Del Mar auto owners may not realize the business and environmental regulations Costa Mesa Auto Service Center must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any CA business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite Irvine restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.

It’s the same for Costa Mesa Auto Service Center. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, COSTA MESA customers are happy to see them succeed as a CA automotive business.

Contact Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
1749 Anaheim Avenue
COSTA MESA, CA 92627
Or call us at 949.645.7878

At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we love to see our COSTA MESA customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Irvine area friends and family to come in for their critical scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone in COSTA MESA.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.

On Board Diagnostics For COSTA MESA Motorists

Some COSTA MESA auto owners wonder why Costa Mesa Auto Service Center and other COSTA MESA auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.

Think about it: When you hire a local Irvine HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Huntington Beach doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For COSTA MESA Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Irvine area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your sedan brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy CA highway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your sedan engine, however, Costa Mesa Auto Service Center diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Irvine auto owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Huntington Beach, Corona Del Mar, and Costa Mesa drivers that the trouble code tells the Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The sedan computer’s trouble code just tells the Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Costa Mesa Auto Service Center customers. The Costa Mesa Auto Service Center service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Irvine service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These vital databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Costa Mesa Auto Service Center wants to figure out what’s wrong with your sedan and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

COSTA MESA Customer Detective Work

One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center in COSTA MESA CA is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.

Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it’s challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it’s not something obvious, it’s easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.

Let us introduce you to something we’ll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your COSTA MESA CA technician find clues to what’s wrong.

We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Costa Mesa Auto Service Center and your car is making a funny sound.

  • Q: Where’s the sound?
  • A: Around the right front wheel.
  • Q: What kind of sound?
  • A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
  • Q: When do you hear the sound?
  • A: When I turn and accelerate.
  • Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…

Do you see where we’re going? You’re gathering additional information to help your COSTA MESA CA technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech’s experience, he’ll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.

You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says “making a funny noise”.

When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying “it’s leaking”, tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.

Things like ‘the car is stalling or sputtering’ are often very hard to diagnose because they’re intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren’t happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what’s happening in as much detail as possible.

Your COSTA MESA CA technician at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like ‘it stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour’.

If the tech can experience the problem personally, he’s better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.

Ethics of Automotive Repair in COSTA MESA

We’re going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the COSTA MESA automotive service and repair industry hasn’t been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in COSTA MESA has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with COSTA MESA automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what’s recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we’ll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It’s like going to the doctor; If she’s using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your COSTA MESA service advisor too. He’s so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don’t know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don’t understand what your doctor’s talking about: ask some questions. If you don’t understand what your COSTA MESA automotive advisor’s talking about: ask some questions.

Let’s go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, “Is this really necessary?” Well, here’s the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn’t want to replace the rotor; Costa Mesa Auto Service Center would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could’ve failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.

Your Well Trained Technician At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

When your sedan has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in COSTA MESA, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Costa Mesa Auto Service Center professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Corona Del Mar gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading car makers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Corona Del Mar drivers drive around CA highways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some sedans have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Corona Del Mar motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for COSTA MESA Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Corona Del Mar service centers as well.

Costa Mesa Auto Service Center technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Costa Mesa Auto Service Center to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your sedan requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Corona Del Mar auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Costa Mesa Auto Service Center, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your sedan, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Costa Mesa Auto Service Center.