In order to better serve the needs of our customers we need to ask the proper questions– and get candid answers from them. This process might seem unnecessary or time-consuming to the consumer, but the information is critical to delivering great service and we try to make the “interview” as quick and painless as possible.
First of course, we need the year, make and model of the vehicle. We need to know the “trim” package, i.e., is it an LX, EX or SE model. Wheel size sometimes matters and a VIN number is almost always required to price and locate the correct parts.
But there are less obvious questions that need to be asked, such as, “How long do you plan on keeping the car?”
This is important because the quality and price of parts differs wildly. For example, there are probably 10 different brake pads and rotors available for every application. We basically grade these parts from “A” to “C” ranges, with “A” being the best and “C” being the kind that you simply don’t want on your car (See the article, “Parts are Parts”).
And since brakes are an essential safety item on your car, at Curry’s we generally recommend the “A” range brake parts. An “A” range brake pad and rotor will cost a little more, but will generally last longer, give you better performance, be better constructed with higher grade materials, not squeak or make other irritating noises and emit lower amounts of brake dust.
“B” range brake parts however can be a great alternative for someone who is on a budget or may not be keeping the car very long. There are good quality B range parts available, but there can be drawbacks whenever you compromise quality. But let’s face it, a customer with a 10-year old Toyota who is keeping their car for just one more year has different needs than someone who has a one-year old Toyota and plans on keeping it for another 10 years.
How often do you drive the car? How many miles a year do you drive? And what kind of driving do you do?
So this is really three questions in one, designed to help us analyze our customers’ needs and recommend the right solution. If you rely on the car every day to drive 30 miles in bumper to bumper traffic each way to work, head home to drive the kids to soccer and also bring the family to church on Sunday, then you definitely would want to spring for the better quality brake pad and rotor. The money spent now will give you longer brake life, better performance and peace of mind. The higher upfront cost will be outweighed by the time and money you save in the long run.
Or perhaps this is the third family car, and the kids just use it to tool around the neighborhood–with an occasional trip to the local grocery store, totaling about 10,000 miles per year? Maybe you’re only going to keep the car three to four more years?
Well, the middle range brake parts may be the perfect solution for you. You could save about 30% on the parts, and although they may not last quite as long and produce a little more brake dust, this may serve your needs perfectly. Something to keep in mind, however: You will be paying the same labor regardless of the price of the parts, so maybe it’s better to spend a few extra dollars on the parts and get the highest quality.
And now, a word from our “sponsor.”
At Curry’s Auto Service you can always bring your car in for FREE estimate for most services, and we will also include our famous Curry’s Complete Vehicle Inspection at no charge. We offer our “Show and Tell” service, where we will bring you out to the shop and Show you what you need and Why you need it.
We will also offer you options based on your specific needs. There are many types and standards of parts. At Curry’s we only recommend the most trusted brands and have valued relationships with our trusted suppliers. All repairs come with an Industry Leading 2 year/24,000 Nationwide Warranty.