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Hello Jonny and thank you for giving us a chance. I have left you three messages over the course of this week with my personal cell number to try and find out more about how this information was relayed to you, apologize for any miscommunications or impressions given, explain the maintenance items and the why behind them, and in each message requested the opportunity to meet with you myself so together we could look at the cabin filter and belts to see if I have an internal problem that needs to be addressed of there is justification for those.

The fact you are unwilling to return my call, didn’t reach out to me when I texted you to follow up on your visit, and seem unwilling to work with me in any way makes it seem like you would prefer damage my online reputation over seeking a resolution and helping me improve if in fact there are problems with the information you were given. I always try to resolve these problems in person instead of online but given no other option I will attempt to explain here as best I can.

As you said in your review, we do a complimentary inspection, the goal here is to access the overall condition of the car and inform you of EVERYTHING we find. We do this so you can plan accordingly short term and long term. For years we never did this, and it repeatedly backfired, if we didn’t tell you about your battery and it left you stranded shortly after visiting us you wouldn’t feel like we were taking very good care of you. The challenge to these inspections on the other hand is helping people comprehend the findings, we try to help people prioritize things in the following order. 1. Your primary concern, 2. Any safety issues that exist 3. Items that if not addressed will cause you larger problems, 4. Upcoming Preventative maintenance. I do not know how well that process was communicated to you, and am sorry if it was unclear, but I am sure there were no pressure sales tactics used because I will not employ anyone like that. We believe if we inform you of the condition of your car and help you understand it, and if it is in your best interest to fix or maintain the car, and you trust us, then you will choose us for the work. It’s really that simple, we do not try to “sell” anything. We do have pricing available during these discussions though because everyone’s first question is usually “how much does that cost”

To address the specific recommendations as they are listed on your invoice.

Inspection Findings:

Battery tested 432 of 600 Cold Cranking Amps. We use the industry standard Midtronics battery tester to get this information, in my experience once a battery get 3-5 years old and starts testing significantly under its rated capacity, while the car is still starting fine now, you may be a couple cold winter days or really hot summer days from stranded. Some people don’t want to chance this, a guy familiar with cars that can stick a battery in no problem may choose to wait, we just want to inform you and let you decide.

Front Brakes at 4mm. As you said, you will need brakes soonish. You are about 30% of your brake life remaining but certainly don’t want to run them to 0% because it damages rotors and leads to a more expensive repair. Some customers want to go as far as they can before replacing and we check them every oil change for them, others don’t want to have to think about it and fix it while the car is already at the shop. We simply pass on the information so you can make the best decision for you.

We also recommend brake fluid changes (if you want to do them) when you do the brake job. Manufacturer recommendations are all over the place for brake fluid, but it is a good service if you intend to have a vehicle long term, so we find it easier to time it with brake replacement most of the time.

Drive belts with excessive cracking: This is one of the items I would have to see for myself, the standard I learned was when the belt has 6 or more cracks per inch. Larger truck belts can run over 100k miles fine while smaller ones usually deteriorate much faster. If we look at this together, we can see for sure, and if I have a training issue in the shop, I will address it.

 Cabin Filter is dirty: That sounds simple, but if you changed it and it was just a couple months ago, I wouldn’t expect it except in a few rare cases. Again, this is why I wanted to check it myself, if this was decided without checking it I have a serious problem with that, there is also a chance the technician was basing this off of mileage since it’s recommended  every 15K miles and didn’t communicate it in our digital inspection properly which I still have a problem with. For these reasons I would really appreciate the opportunity to investigate it myself.

60K Mile Recommendations:

Automatic Transmission Flush: I must respectfully disagree with your assertion about staying away from transmission fluid changes. The only time I recommend not doing this is if the vehicle has high miles and it has never been done before, in these cases the cleaning effect of the fluid can uncover some problems that haven’t presented themselves yet as the older buildup is removed. In fact if you look at page 7-20 of your owner’s manual (linked below) you will find they recommend changing the transmission fluid every 60k miles “under severe usage conditions” after which they go on with a bit of a maze of conditions to explain that.

https://www.hyundaiusa.com/myhyundai/Data/teamsite/doc/glovebox-manuals/2015_Owners_Manual/2015_sonata_ownersmanual.pdf

Specific to transmission fluid they say: Repeatedly driving short distance of less than 5 miles (8 km) in normal temperature or less than 10 miles (16 km) in freezing temperature OR Driving on rough, dusty, muddy, unpaved, graveled or salt- spread roads OR Driving in sandy areas OR Driving in heavy traffic area over 90°F (32°C) OR Driving on uphill, downhill, or mountain road OR Driving as a patrol car, taxi, other commercial use or vehicle towing.

Most of those don’t apply but we surely have hills and over 90° summers.

There are several other items with different connect the dot type conditions to try and figure out what Hyundai thinks you should do, and all manufactures are doing this these days. I feel one of the reasons is if they make it harder to understand so you just take it back to the dealer for service.

We try to be a little more logical in our approach and recommendations, I personally believe if you plan to keep a car as long as possible you should maintain it. To keep it simple I suggest changing every fluid every 50k miles, sometimes there are variances but it’s a good starting point. If you only want to keep a car 100k miles then it’s not necessary unless you want the best possible records for resale purposes, you could change the oil, tires, and brakes as needed and should be fine. Again, we try to inform people and let them decide what works best for their situation.

Coolant Flush: Which is recommend at 60K in your manual the first time and then every 30k. Personally I think every 50K is fine.

Many manufacturers are recommended extremely long service intervals or none at all in newer cars. I don’t want to get into conspiracy theory, but I believe this is for multiple reasons. 1. Less maintenance appears to have a lower total cost of ownership on the front end however we have seen this resulting in mechanical problems lowering the life expectancy of components on the back end. 2. Cars got really dependable in the 90s and early 2000s, building a car that will run 15-20 years if well-kept isn’t the best plan for a company that survives by selling new cars, I personally feel like they started figuring this out. 3. I also suspect the government taxes car manufacturers on the predicted environmental impacts of cars, if you lower the maintenance requirement then you use less and have to dispose of less petroleum based products, we know for sure they have fuel economy standards that drive the constant redesign of powertrain systems so this theory makes sense.

I’m sorry you left feeling the way you did and still welcome you to call me any time as I would love to work this out with you and get to the bottom of the unanswered questions. I can assure you we absolutely are not comfortable lying to you as you suggested, we have spent 39 years building our reputation in the community and if you look at the rest of our reviews you will see we do not do business that way. We aren’t perfect as we are human, however we stand behind what we do 100% and I try to resolve every situation where someone is dissatisfied with us. For this reason, I am glad you spoke up and didn’t just walk away quietly but I would still love the chance to make it right with you.  Some of our best relationships have been born where things went wrong in the beginning. Anyone can change your oil, how many of them will own it and get to the bottom of any problems that occur after the fact? This is where I feel we differ if you give us the chance, just return my call.

Jamie Crutcher 11/16/2019

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