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Craig Said:

Do you need to have a license to run an auto repair shop in minnesota?

We Answered:

He would have to have a business license, a state tax license to collect sales tax, stuff like that. The Secretary of State in MN should have all the necessary info.

Milton Said:

Looking for a good name for a new auto repair shop about to open.?

We Answered:

As someone else said it should be easy to remember. Unless you know you will stay where you are opening forever do not use location. Main St Auto Repair, now on 5th Ave sounds silly. Cute can work. Lugnuts to You, Steer In. Names too similar to big name outfits won't work. A garage door store opened in my town with the name "Doors Are Us". Toys Are Us lawyers knocked on his door and he changed the name. Good luck with the business.

Vickie Said:

Whats a more profitable business? Used Auto Sales or Auto Repair?

We Answered:

Definitely auto repair. This is a business that would never have its ups and downs. Cars break all the time. As for the sales---it would be tough throughout slow economic conditions.

Wesley Said:

Is there an easy way to locate Hail Damaged vehicles for sale?

We Answered:

I doubt there is a hail-damage clearinghouse but then again it is a crazy world.

I wouldn't call it easy but my plan would be to target the areas of the country that get the most damaging hail (Tornado Alley). Browse yellow pages very easy online or the old fashion way at a public library. Try Tulsa Oklahoma for example and contact all the used car dealerships. In fact you may be able to buy a whole lot in one bulk discount. Also when weather channel reports damaging hail (not predicted but has video after the fact) in an area consider running a follow-up ad in that locale's newspaper. People that experienced the damage may respond. Last but not least, make contact with insurance agents; get a business card made up and let them know to contact you and get in business with them.

Good Luck.

Jennifer Said:

How can I boost my auto repair shop's sales?

We Answered:

Business development is key.

Some tactics:

- Put up signs on the main road.
- Have a one-time "huge discount" event to introduce yourself to the community.
- Find Parallel Markets in your area, introduce yourself to the people that run them. Form a strategic alliance to cross-promote each other.
- Build Opt-In mailing | e-mailing lists. Give great discounts or "velvet rope" access (like cutting to the front of the line on busy days).
- Give every customer something they would want to give to one or two of their friends.

- Focus on Customer Service; have more repeat customers.

- Measure what you do.
- Prove, Improve; Prove, Improve.

Byron Said:

Auto repair charged too much?

We Answered:

Yes, to a point.

First off, There is a huge differance between a Code Read and a True Diagnosis.

A Code Read is what Autozone offers, it is simply connecting to the computer to see what the computer says is wrong. They say replacing the components that the computer suggests. You do, but it does not fix the problem. REMEMBER, they are in the business to sell stuff not fix stuff.

A True Diagnosis is what real shops do, it is a process of elimination by testing and isolation. The computer codes point in a direction to start diagnosing. By start where the code points to, the tech see if it is truely the component or something interacting with it that is the problem. REMEMBER, a shop relies on repeat business to servive, not just sales.

If you are having a heartattack, do you go to the drug store or the hospital?

With that said, some problems are easier to diagnose than others.
Interminttant problems are even harder to find out. Some do require a partial teardown to find, but is rare.

Example:
Code P0401 = EGR insufficant Flow
AZ says replace EGR valve which does not fix it.
Shop cleans EGR port in the intake that is clogged. this requires partial teardown of intake to get to the port. Diagnosis is easy due to repeated occurance in that model car.

If a shop is having a hard time diagnosing your car, They should be upfront about it and say that if you want it fixed, you will have to approve the time on a hourly bases. This is a standard practice due to the shop needing to make money, not just fix your car. This also tells the service advisor, manager and owner that you are willing to spend the money needed to fix the problem correctly.Also, it tell them that you will be a repeat customer if the problem is fixed correctly.

You can tell if they are BSing you by the way they explain the problem. A good shop will try to teach you how the component should work and how they have diagnosed it. Not just say this is what it is going to take to fix it. I teach the customers because if they have questions, my answers to them are in a plain way that they have a basic understanding and are following my line of training. An honest and reliable shop will do this and may also give you a discount to retain your business.

I can't say if that shop was just trying to get your money, because I don't know your car and the problems it was having. I can say that if after the diagnosis and repair, you are or are not happy with the results, that will tell you if they were looking for money or a customer.

If you want to Email me with your cars info, codes and what the shop did. I can tell you if they BSed you.
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