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$1,800 for an ignition switch - Updated: 2010-01-25 15:34 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

I took my 1993 civic to  a local ***Tire shop for a starting ,stalling problem. A thousand dollar & a week later, my car still the same and they wanted me to drop another $800.00 on something they thought "might" fix the problem.

Enough is enough, I called up The Honda Way in Abbotsford and the very helpfull advisor, after hearing all the details figured he had a good idea what the problem may be. I towed my car to Honda, within one hour and only $50.00, they told what the problem was & and another half hour later my car was ready to go at a total cost of $175.00 including parts & labour. All it needed was a new ignition switch! I will never take my car anywhere else and will tell all my friends about my great experience. Thanks to Lucky Kooner (service advisor) and The Honda Way.

Boy do I relate to the Transmission Scam - Updated: 2009-12-07 09:51 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

I have been in the repair business for 32 years and I can not trust any of the 3 local transmissions shops.

I was told my transmission was shot but I did not repair it as recommended and yet it still lasted another 10 years >

 My Daughter got 4 quotes on transmission repairs all around $4,000 and then we took it to Benz transmission in
Maple ridge and he has a look and said all I needed was a 89 dollar part they any one could install,

He did not charge anything for the advice.

These two testimonials come from a top repair shop in the fraser valley on Dec 4 209 and wishes to remain anonymous.


Christmas Wishes from Dan - Updated: 2009-12-23 18:23 by Dan Cunningham - PUBLIC


     As Christmas falls upon us and the year slowly but surly comes to a close I feel compelled to show my appreciation even if its as minute as a little gabber on this new discussion forum application tucked away in one of the many corners of Bill Coughlins extravagant and excellent program. I consider myself blessed to be part of this new adventure and look forward to many new and amazing strides in the year to come. So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, (even if its still a week away) and a happy new Year to you and your families.

God Bless,

Daniel Cunningham
Service Marketing Director

Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.
 William Shakespeare (1564-1616) British poet and playwright.

CT: RAR Discusion Forum - Updated: 2010-01-25 15:36 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Using Referred Auto Repairs to help charities to have ongoing fund raising in place is a brilliant concept!  As the director of fundraising for Special Olympics in Abbotsford in the mid 1980's, we had to work very hard at each and every one of our fund raising events.  The citrus sale was the biggest and required enormous amounts of time on the parts of all the parents and volunteers.  Was it worth all the effort during the 3 weeks that we ran this project?  If my memory serves me correctly, we raised just under $4,000.00.  With RAR there is ongoing fundraising without all the extra "hullabaloo" of the usual kinds of fundraising.  

How can this be the biggest Charity "Fund Raiser" ever - Updated: 2009-12-06 14:27 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Many people are asking how can we provide many new customers for the repair shops.

 Well we are enjoying good search engine postings

WE are purchasing 120 key word sponsored ads.  This gives each consumer an easy access to all the top shops

But the bigger supplier of customers will be coming form all the associations in each community.

We expect the non-profits and charities will use our system enmass if they can have access to many of the top shops and enable them to get repairs done at their shop for exchange for a donation to their charity.

Not all shops have licensed Technicians or Mechanics - Updated: 2010-01-25 15:37 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Not all shops have licensed Technicians or Mechanics

Yes, not all service is the same. In British Columbia anyone can call themselves a mechanic and fix your car.

Scary eh?

That's why when over 60% of car owner that find a good mechanic don't want to change.

No kidding the safely of you and your passengers relies on the man fixing your brakes and making sure your engine is still running smoothly at 2 am on some back road.

Cheaper service can certainly be less quality and more costly.


RAR Monthly Newsletter by Lucky Kooner - Updated: 2010-04-07 20:15 by Lucky Kooner - PUBLIC

RAR Monthly Newsletter by Lucky Kooner


New Drivers Only, Please.

              Well the time has come to teach your teenage son or daughter to drive! Wow, what a challenge that can be, but an even bigger challenge can be teaching them the importance of properly keeping their new (probably used) ride maintained.  Most important of all of course, is the life and blood of an engine- oil and coolant. The engine oil and coolant should be checked regularly, the interval can vary depending on the condition of the vehicle. An older high mileage vehicle may need checking at every fill up where a newer lower mileage vehicle may only need to be checked only once in between services. Keeping the oil and coolant levels at proper levels and following recommended replacement intervals can save you a lot of money and grief!


              Now don’t get me wrong, other things on your car or truck are also very important. Keeping proper tire pressure will ensure best fuel economy, proper wear for long life and a safer ride( an under or over inflated tire can be very dangerous, always use a gauge). Don’t forget the spare tire and the tire jack. Low brake fluid may indicate worn brakes or a possible leak, a routine check can prevent costly repairs or perhaps even save your life... staying alive is kind of important!


              There are few other things you might also want to keep an eye on. There is transmission fluid and also power steering fluid. While these two may not sound very exciting, they can lead to costly repairs if not properly maintained. Speaking of costly repairs, a broken timing belt will probably put a huge damper on your day. A broken timing belt could cost you an engine, do not neglect what you can’t see. It will cost you large and while you’re in there replacing the timing belt you may want to consider replacing the drive belts.


              One thing that is very easy to check are the exterior lights ... headlights, tail lights, signals. A quick walk around can easily find these minor yet very important safety items. Good wipers blades and a full washer fluid tank are always good to have on your side.Last but not least would be the all important BRAKES! let,s face it, you need to stop. I would recommend a profeesional to check your brakes for proper assesment but judging how quickly your brakes respond & listening for unusual noises during braking can prevent some nasty accidents and repairs


Welcome to being a car owner.....Happy Motoring!


                                                                                                  The Referred Auto Guy


Some car owners chose convenience over quality - Updated: 2009-12-07 09:50 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Some car owners chose convenience over quality

We live in a time whereby most people expect instant service

 20 years ago a customer would wait 1-2 hours for a return call and today they lose patience in 3-5 min's and call someone else.

Instant service is often more valuable to the customer than quality service.

The question  begs would the market support a $40-$60 surcharge to bump to front to the line and get instant service, for many customers I think so.

Some franchise shops have certainly caught on to the fact that if they leave open space for walk in customers that they get the customer based on convenience.

Some Technicians or Mechanics are on commmission - Updated: 2010-01-25 16:22 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Some Mechanics  or Technicians  are on commission!

Lets face it, how many car owners have the knowledge to make decisions on their car repair when the mechanic tells them that the dumihicey is bad and it is critical to their car safety and that you need to replace it for hundreds of dollars?

Bottom line we all have to TRUST that  mechanic to give us advice in our best interest, but if he is getting a commission.. well hey that's a real conflict of interest ....."who is really working for; certainly not me". 

I would just love to hear which mechanics bill out double parts and labor over other mechanics so I can avoid the high billing ones.

 I  look at the break pads every time the mechanic suggests that they are down to 3 millimetres and should be replaced. Then I ask him what percentage that is down from an  original brake pad? ....oh only down 50% or 60% .....meaning I can replace them in 6 months or more. Well the lets check them  again during the next 3 month servicing.!!

Brake Rotors, it seems that every time the mechanic is saying that I need to turn my rotors or you brakes will squeal. I have learned that rotors only seem to last 1-2 turns before you then need NEW rotors.

 70% of the time I look at the rotors they are smooth enough for me and I have yet to have them squeal as have ben promised by the technician.

When the dust settles I know i have saved 30% of my brake repairs over 30 years is ? $6,000 after tax dollars by not replacing them to early.

Whom do you trust for the right advise with your best interest first.

Now on the other hand if the shop would only take the responsibility to remind when to come back in to check the brakes.

I seems many shops claim well over 50% of all cars that come in for brake repairs left it too late and they do need new rotors because now they have big bolt scars in them.

We are asking all RAR shops to indicate the next servicing to prevent this and we will be able to text message you or email mail you your maintenance alert.



The Toyota Recall Factor March 2010 - Updated: 2010-04-06 23:56 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

RAR Monthly Newsletter by Lucky Kooner

 March 2010


                                                   The Toyota Recall Factor


              Unless you've been living under a rock, you must have heard of the 2.3 million vehicles recalled

by Toyota, effecting both Toyota & Lexus models for a sticking gas pedal. This is serious stuff, folks. How much trust do you have in these so called superior OEM parts? Speaking for myself, I think I’m just as good choosing cheaper aftermarket jobber parts. What do you hear when your car is at the dealer?

              “ I don't have it in stock but I can get it from our warehouse in Toronto”!!. Good Lord, don't they have a warehouse in a large city like Vancouver?? I know Napa & Lordco have local warehouses, why not the dealers?? Since the dealers are obligated to carry and sell only OEM parts, you are stuck paying the high prices and in many cases, stuck without your car because of parts coming from Toronto or of all places, Edmonton!


              The solution in my mind is very simple, find yourself a good repair shop with the help of the Referred Auto Repair system and stop wasting valuable time waiting for parts when quality parts are available locally through jobbers. I have 25 years experience using both jobber and dealer parts, and let me tell you, most times there is very little difference and if you have a quality shop repairing your vehicle, they already know that 90% of aftermarket parts will do the job just fine. Save time and money, go find yourself a Referred Auto Repair shop! Happy Savings.



                                                                                                                   The Referred Auto Guy

Toyota Sales and Repairs will be hurt - Updated: 2010-02-15 15:11 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Based on the emails I’ve been receiving from TrueDelta’s members, I have underestimated the impact of the unintended acceleration fiasco on Toyota’s future sales. This fiasco is going to hurt Toyota, possibly for years to come. The problem isn’t that many people feel that Toyotas are unsafe. Most seem to recognize that a very small percentage of Toyotas have suffered from unintended acceleration. But they’re hearing about problem after problem, so Toyota’s quality seems to be lower. Most of all, Toyota’s public statements have seemed dodgy, and people seem to feel that they cannot trust the company to keep owners’ best interests or even their safety in mind.


In other words, they’re feeling about Toyota much like they’ve felt for decades about Detroit. That the company is focused on sales and profits rather than the owners of its cars. That Toyota does not really care about them.

The odd thing here is that many people previously felt that Toyota could be trusted more than the typical auto company. Why? Because of their reputation for reliability? Because of the Prius?

The fact of the matter is that, when car owners have had problems with Toyotas, Toyota has been at least as bad as the average car company in taking care of them. Conducting TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey, I hear customer care horror stories involving virtually every manufacturer. If a car has a problem you feel it should not have had out of warranty, and you haven’t been regularly servicing your car at a particular dealer, that dealer will tell the manufacturer you’re not a valued customer, and you’ll get little or no out-of-warranty assistance. This is as true of Toyota as any other make. Have a problem that requires special help, and you’ll quickly learn how little they care. Toyota’s advantage was that its cars have been (and in many cases continue to be) more reliable, so people had fewer opportunities to experience how little they really care.

Among mainstream automakers (I have less information on luxury makes), Honda seems to be better than the others in readily paying for repairs after the warranty ends, buying back troublesome cars (always with a confidentiality clause, so you won’t hear about them), and in other ways taking care of customers.

But even with Honda I don’t get the sense that they do these things because they care more. The confidentiality clause when they buy back a car indicates their true interest. They simply concluded some time ago that taking care of customers would earn goodwill and, perhaps most importantly, protect their reputation and so earn them more money in the long run. And it has. It’s simply smart business. Other car companies don’t actually care less. They just aren’t as smart in this regard.

Toyota, though, behaves no differently than GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, or VW and has not in recent memory been more trustworthy than these companies. But apparently many people felt they were more trustworthy anyway. This illusion is now, in many cases, gone.

What does this matter? Well, when you trust someone to do the right thing, you don’t pay nearly as much attention to what they’re actually doing. You buy the car blindly. Going forward, car buyers will be scrutinizing both Toyota and its cars more closely. Those who want to buy a car with a minimum of research and thought are now much more likely to go elsewhere.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online provider of auto pricing and reliability data

We would like to see an area for repair reliability. - Updated: 2009-12-06 12:22 by Bill Coughlin - PUBLIC

Great idea but we would like to see an area for repair reliability.

Often, customers drive a vehicle away from a repair, but the repair does not last ie: a transmission for the warranty time. Or some generic parts were used and they are incompatable with the upgrades installed. Should be a follow-up form to document the durability of any repairs done, if in fact they should be reliable for a month or in other cases for 5 years, like a transmission.  
Irma and Harry

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