What is an Estimate?
When you bring your vehicle to Shade Tree Garage for a repair, before we start, we conduct a courtesy inspection to determine the overall condition of the vehicle. We may also do specific testing for a fee in order to identify the specific work that needs to be done. From our initial inspection and testing we will provide you with a written estimate. The estimate is just that…an approximation of what we believe we need to do to complete the work on your vehicle. If the cost of the repair will be more than 10% of the original estimate, we’ll contact you for your authorization before we proceed any further. You are always in control!
Why is my final invoice different than the original estimate?
Sometimes we may start a repair job and find additional issues we didn’t see during our initial inspection. As an example of when this may occur is if we find that a part that wasn’t in plain view during our inspection is rusted and needs to be replaced, too. Likewise, if a part doesn’t need to be replaced or the repair takes less to complete, your final invoice will reflect the savings. It’s important to note that honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of our business, and it is our desire to earn your trust, confidence and referrals for years to come. That means we won’t sell you a repair or parts that you don’t need.
What if I think your estimate is too high?
We try very hard to prepare an accurate and realistic assessment of the work required. For example we may appear high on a timing belt estimate compared to a shop or website that simply looks up the price of the belt and a time from the labor guide for just a belt. Our experience though tells us if the water pump or belt tensioner are all original it is silly not to do those items as well once we have all the belts, covers and peripheral items apart. If you think the estimate we’ve given you seems too high we will be happy to review the procedures and explain how we arrived at the recommended amount.
Why won’t you give me an estimate over the phone?
Automobiles are complex and there are many variables such as age, mileage, service history and the way you use your car. You may be experiencing a problem that could be caused by any number of different issues. Nowadays the vehicle computers may mimic a hardware issue and bad hardware may be making the software act unstable. Before we can provide an estimate, it’s important that we inspect your vehicle so the problem can be properly determined saving you money in the long run.
To give an estimate over the phone is not only unprofessional it’s really not in your best interest. We want to give you the most accurate estimate we can so you know our plan of action and you will be prepared for the expense of the repair. It is important that we earn your trust and provide you the most accurate information before beginning any repair.