Shop Talk- Planning for summer trips makes a difference.

Summer driving season is on the way, and you may be one of the many people who are planning at least one summer road trip.  If you are, you’re probably also planning on having your vehicle checked before you hit the road.  That’s a good idea, but there can be potential problems with having service done on your vehicle under a tight schedule or just before a big trip.   A little planning can make a good idea even better.

Call well before you need the actual work done. There can be scheduling problems if you wait until you’re ready to go before having your vehicle serviced.  We recently had a client who called on Wednesday to have his vehicle serviced Thursday for a Friday trip.   Our calendar was booked, and we unfortunately weren’t able to help him in that instance.  We are frequently scheduled 2 or 3 days out on our appointment calendar, and sometimes even farther in the busy summer months.

Another issue with must-deliver-that-day deadlines is that there is no room if anything goes wrong.  Suppose we find the leak that’s going to leave you stranded, but it’s a two-day repair?  There’s no time to fix it, much less fix it right.  Suppose your plasma defribulation valve is broken, and the nearest replacement has to come from Seattle?  Now your car is up on the rack and your vacation plans are changing in a way you won’t like.  Please, make sure you call us with enough time to do your vehicle service right to meet your needs!

Leave time to ensure the repairs were done right. Sometimes a vehicle can be in for repair, but the original problem might not be fixed correctly or a new one may develop.  The resulting breakdown is extra frustrating, and not something you want to experience on vacation.  Sometimes the parts used in a repair can be defective, but the fault might not show for several days.  For example, a replacement alternator may test OK and work fine for days and then fail.  Also, there’s also the potential we could make a mistake. At Tom Dwyer Automotive Service we work hard to insure this possibility is remote (and if it does our warranty covers you nationwide) but we really don’t want you to spend your vacation getting being towed into a new town and tracking down a repair shop.  Be sure to have your work done with time for a good local road-test before heading out of town.

We take in emergencies and break downs without an appointment at any time, but if you have the option you should always schedule as far in advance of your departure date as practical.  Having your vehicle serviced 7 to 10 days before a trip would be a good goal. You planned the trip way in advance; plan to have the vehicle serviced way in advance too. When scheduled in advance you’ll get the appointment you want, there’s ample time for parts procurement, services can be completed without pressing deadlines, and you’ll have time to confidently test your vehicle long before you’re ready to actually hit the road.

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