Getting your vehicle serviced is a nuisance for loads of reasons — you’re out a set of wheels, it’s expensive, and you’ve got to find a reputable mechanic. In addition to helping you with that last task, Openbay makes the whole process easier by enabling you to exchange text, photo and video with mechanics. That’s right — Openbay can spare you the voicemail, perhaps among the more annoying facets of dealing with the largely-offline auto-repair industry.
Not sure why on earth you’d want to be texting, and exchanging photo and video with your auto-repair shop? Here, we explain some ways you might use Openbay’s text, photo and video features the next time your car is due for service.
Here’s Charles, the HumbleMechanic, demonstrating the usefulness of Openbay’s video feature.
When you don’t know what’s wrong with your car, share a video with mechanics.
Don’t know what’s wrong with your car? Join the club. Lots of folks don’t know what that cracked hose, or grinding noise means, but mechanics do. If you want some advance thoughts on your vehicle’s diagnosis, ahead of rolling it into your local shop, submit a service request with Openbay. Once local shops respond with their quotes for a general diagnosis, you can share photos or videos to indicate what’s happening. That might even save the technicians precious diagnostic time trying to replicate the issue on site. Best yet, maybe they’ll write back to suggest a simple fix for that noise, telling you to pour power-steering fluid into your car’s reservoir (as Cousin’s Automotive recently advised us — thanks, Nate!), and saving you a trip to the shop.
Because they’re looking out for you, service advisors and mechanics can share photos.
Sure, every time you use your car, you should give it a once-over. But let’s admit it: very few people are checking for dents, tire tread and pressure before every ride, or are checking oil quality while gassing. (They’re the same ones Sheryl Crowe sang about: “The good people of the world are washing their cars on their lunch breaks.)
Good news: when your vehicle’s in the shop and on the lift, a good mechanic will give your car or truck a brief once-over, to see if anything needs immediate attention. Before you jump to conclusions that you’re being upsold and ripped off, consider this: you have the right to refuse any service, beyond the one you had requested.
You also have the right to ask, “Can you show me what’s wrong?” Any smart business owner will be glad to take the time to show you via a walk-around, or better yet (so you don’t have to return to the shop), they’ll share information via video or photo. Below is a real-life example of a tire tear that someone had brought to our attention. See — it pays to have extra eyes — and proof — on your side.
To demonstrate repairs performed, shops can share photo and video.
You know, you know — you’ve been ignoring your squeaky brakes for way too long. If your auto mechanic shares proof of just how far gone your brake pads were, before replacing them, you might not make that mistake twice. Plus, who doesn’t love a before-and-after?
Now that you’re well versed in the various ways that multi-media messaging with your auto-repair shop can benefit you and your vehicle, be sure to check out Openbay online, or download the iOS or Android mobile apps, so you’re prepared when it’s next time for service.
Note to service providers: if you’d like to exchange photos and videos with your customers, be sure to download OpenbayASP, the mobile app dedicated to service providers. Still not sure? See Autoblog for more.