Why Booking a General Diagnosis (or two) Was Worth It

General Diagnosis (twice!) was worth it

We all know that car repair is a nuisance; that’s why Openbay is on a mission to make it less painful. Here’s the story of how one recommended auto repair turned into a more complicated scenario, which was quickly remedied by a general diagnosis. Yes, that means the problem was diagnosed twice. But in the long run, the additional general diagnosis was worth every penny.

We began by getting an oil change with Nate, at Cousins Automotive, as described here. In addition, we’d asked him to take a look at the source of the car’s horrendously embarrassing exhaust noise. Sorry neighbors!

Nate suggested that we have the front flex pipe and a muffler replaced, and welded onto the existing exhaust system. While he could have performed the work, he thought it too complex for our driveway, so was kind enough to make a recommendation for a nearby shop. That shop emailed us with an estimate for $500 to complete the work, noting that they’d want to see it, to be sure. Sounded good.

But wait — that shop wasn’t on Openbay. So we submitted a service request for that exact repair — a front flex pipe and a muffler. A few shops responded quickly, all around $1,000. Now, we aren’t price shoppers, but when these independent repair shops were all quoting twice the price, we balked. What to do?

Our Openbay colleagues suggested we schedule a general diagnosis with another source, and that we choose a shop that would actually be able to perform the work. That wasn’t the advice we’d hoped for — book another diagnosis? But we went along with it anyhow, and chose a shop that would apply the cost of the diagnosis to the actual repair, should we have chosen to complete the service there. The car had to be fixed, so there was nothing to lose.

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For the general diagnosis, we went with CLM Automotive in Cambridge, MA, because it’s right near the Openbay office. Convenience often wins. Plus, CLM is an Openbay Recommended service provider, and our users consistently love them. We were warmly greeted, and explained the story, and Bob at CLM promised to get in touch and explain what they saw, once the car was on the lift.

Soon after, Bob messaged to confirm the news, which couldn’t have been better — they could cut out the flex pipe and install a new one, welding it into the existing system. He asked if we wanted a manufacturer-spec flex pipe or an aftermarket part. He explained the difference — the OEM (that’s original-equipment manufacturer) part would last longer, whereas the aftermarket flex pipe would likely last 2-3 years, before needing to be replaced again. Of course the higher quality OEM part would have been pricier.

And then, Bob said what every customer wants to hear “If this were my car… I would install the aftermarket pipe. I actually had done just that to my car recently.”

Decision made! Then, there was another great piece of news — Bob confirmed that the car did not need a new muffler. So that was a good chunk of change saved on car repairs for our 15-year old vehicle.

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In the end, while we had initially dreaded getting a second opinion on the recommended repairs, booking another general diagnosis, and going with an Openbay Recommended auto-repair shop, to have the work done, was the best decision. While writing up the story, we mentioned this story to a colleague, Sam, who always brings his own car to CLM. Sam had had a similar experience, where he’d thought he needed new brakes, and CLM advised that he could go about another six months on his existing brakes. While CLM may not have made money on our muffler or Sam’s brakes in the short-term, they’ve earned our trust for future repairs by being honest, and have proved to us why they’ve earned their stripes as an Openbay-Recommended shop.

Do you need a diagnosis?  If you’re local, you can get a quote from CLM, or find another great shop near you!

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