To make sure our customers get the very best we can offer, we do a 65, 70-point inspection process. Put the vehicles through the shop. On average, our repair bill per car is about $1,156. We do quite a bit of work to them before they go out.
When the vehicles come out of the shop but before they go out on the lot, one of my team managers drives the car home. Every night, they drive a different car. They live in the town next to us, so that puts a really good test drive on it to make sure everything did get fixed—no lights come back on, no vibrations, no weird things, nothing.
After that’s done, the vehicle goes on the lot. To avoid “lot rot,” for vehicles that sit for a certain amount of days, we have a designated employee who gets in and drives it around. Cars just sittin’, stuff starts to go wrong, so we have somebody drive them to make sure nothing has happened, nothing has changed.
If something has changed with a car that’s been on the lot a while, we’ll send it back to the shop and get it taken care of. Then for ongoing, we back it up with our 12 months/12,000-mile warranty.
When a customer buys a vehicle with our warranty, there are things they have to do to keep the warranty valid: change the oil every four months/4,000 miles—a lot of customers bring them back to us to use our service shop just for customers. Other shops do the same. While you have the car in to change the oil then we can do a really quick lookover, make sure nothing else looks funny like another problem is being created.
It’s been successful for us and your customers; the system works really well.
Percentagewise, we have very little warranty work. There is some. And there is some goodwill work, too. That’s the other thing we do. We do a lot of goodwill. Sometimes we just fix things that went wrong with the car that aren’t covered under warranty. Some of it happens pretty quick, so we just try to help the customer and take care of it.
Our unique warranty Our 12 months/12,000 mile warranty covers the engine, transmission, starter, alternator, and water pump. That’s mainly the drive train, plus the alternator, starter, things we found that are common issues that happen in used cars. There are thousands of parts on a car.
The deductible for customer repairs on our cars is they pay 10 percent, we pay 90 percent.
The warranty does not cover wear and tear and we don’t offer an extended service contract.
For the most part, we do all services all in-house at our own mechanic shop in Jerome. We have a staff of three mechanics. So we take care of our own warranties. If the customer happens to be out of town or out of the area when something happens, we’ll sub it out to a shop; but as long as they’re close by, it’s done here.
It’s not difficult to get repairs approved. Our biggest goal is keeping the car running. So as soon as it comes in, the mechanics get on it, look at it, figure out what it needs, type up an estimate, bring it to either my manager or me and we approve it right there on the spot.
The maintenance requirements for someone who buys a car from Country Auto is that they have the oil changed every four months, 4,000 miles or under either by us or someone else.