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Clearing the Confusion: Answers to Your Auto Repair FAQs

Mechanic working on diagnostics on laptop

We're hear to help answer some common questions regarding the auto repair process. If you have any other auto repair FAQs, please let us know and we will answer them and add it to this list!

1. Why should I pay for diagnostics?

Doing so will save you time, money and hassle. Say your vehicle is making a weird noise. Your brother, neighbor, and coworker give you three different possibilities – which is correct? Your wallet can’t afford to gamble with unnecessary repairs. Car problems are like medical problems; both require a professional to find a solution to a problem you can’t solve.

2. How long will my car last?

My crystal ball is in the shop this week but if I could answer exactly, I wouldn’t be in this business.

3. Just give me a ballpark figure, how much will it cost to _______?

Which ballpark are you in, little league or major league? The exact cost of any repair is unknown until performing diagnostics. As a vehicle owner you shouldn’t make decisions based on ballpark figures. If the figure is too high, you unknowingly overpay and if the figure is too low, you have to fork over more money.

4. Should I buy an aftermarket insurance policy?

They are usually not worth the money and are written to favor the seller and not the buyer. People believe these polices will cover everything under the sun. But most policies only cover certain components, not all components required to do jobs correctly, leaving you to pay the difference. It all comes down to the numbers, the insurance companies try to payout less for repairs than they made selling the policy.

5. Why do service and repairs seem so expensive?

The age, condition and maintenance history of your car are the biggest factors. Older cars will require more investment than new cars. But you have to annualize the costs to compare apples to apples. Every month without a major repair is like having a free ride. Even when major repairs are required, when annualized, most of the time it’s less expensive than a new car payment.

6. When should I change my engine oil?

We recommend every 3,000 miles for conventional oil and every 5,000 miles for synthetic oil. Vehicle manufacturers may state longer intervals but longer intervals also mean your vehicle is not inspected as often. Our Full Service Oil Change does more than just change the engine oil and filter, it allows us to thoroughly inspect your vehicle to make sure tire pressures are correct, fluid levels are full, exterior lights are working, and that no leaks or worn components need correction.

7. Should I use synthetic fluids?

If the manufacture doesn’t already require synthetic fluids then the decision is based on your needs. They give you better results if you do excessive driving, towing/hauling of heavy loads, or drive in extreme conditions. But realize they aren’t magic brews that allow you to drive forever without service.

8. Should I service my transmission?

Yes, transmission fluid is petroleum based just like engine oil. Over time, both will deteriorate and their cooling and lubricating benefits will deteriorate. Would you drive 100,000 miles without changing your engine oil?

9. Could I eat off your shop floor?

Customers say they are clean enough to but we don’t recommend it.

10. Who is Harrell and who is Beverly?

They are the last names of the founders, father-in-law Samuel Harrell and son-in-law James Beverly, my great-grandfather and grandfather respectively.

Make an appointment with Harrell & Beverly Transmissions & Auto Repair today! We're conveniently located in Sanford, FL. Call us at 407-322-8415.


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