Experiencing a vehicle breakdown can be both stressful and expensive. One way that some folks attempt to alleviate the financial burden of paying for repairs is by ordering and supplying their own parts.
It’s nearly impossible for local shops to compete with the majority of prices found on sites like Amazon, Ebay and Northridge4x4. For the DIY or shade-tree mechanic, this offers an easy way to cut costs, but we’re finding more and more legitimate businesses are turning down work to install “customer supplied” parts.
Work is work, right? So who cares where the parts come from? There was a time when we would have agreed and gladly taken any type of work that came through the door.
For the past couple of years, we have struggled to find that perfect balance between quantity and our commitment to quality. At long last, we have reached the determination that quality is truly our primary corporate social responsibility. With that being said, Axleboy no longer installs “customer supplied” parts.
This decision was reached based on the following factors:
- Axleboy has spent years developing and maintaining vendor relationships. This is significant because when our technicians have problems with how a part installs or performs on a vehicle, we can obtain technical support, send it back and/or negotiate product upgrades.
- Incorrect parts cost too much time and money for everyone involved. If we are doing anything on a vehicle related to suspension or drivetrain, once we put that vehicle on the lift, it tends to stay there until the job is complete. When a customer supplies their own parts and things don’t match up perfectly, production comes to a halt until correct parts are ordered, shipped to the customer and eventually make their way to our mechanic. In the meantime, our customer may go days without his/her vehicle and we are able to service fewer vehicles which may drive other aspects of our schedule out of alignment. By contrast, we stock several parts, so if one component of a kit is not perfect, we can generally replace it pretty quick. Even when we don’t stock a particular part, we can almost always source replacements from one of our local suppliers or have it overnight shipped directly to us, which helps to reduce the delay time.
- Liability. When an auto shop installs parts that were supplied by the customer, and those parts do not work properly, who is held responsible? Even when the shop installs everything correctly and the part itself fails, from a legal standpoint, the shop is held accountable for the complete job (service and parts). We’re not saying that everybody is trying to “pull one over” on the automotive shop, but you know there’s always that one bad apple that sets a precedent.
- Ultimately we are committed to providing total customer care. What this means to us is: When customers have questions, we answer them. When we quote a price, we stand beside that quote. If something we installed or worked on doesn’t function properly, we’ll do what it takes to make things work right. Taking care of our customers is our top priority and when we provide parts, we can confidently stand behind their quality before, during and after installation.