Car Care Tips To Ensure Smooth Holiday Travel

Holiday travel can be a bust if your vehicle breaks down on the way to visiting friends and family.

With today’s busy schedules and high-tech vehicles, most drivers are left with neither the time nor inclination for an afternoon of tinkering on their car. But motorists can still do their part.

According to the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), good communication between the repair shop and the customer can help ensure satisfactory service.

ASE offers the following tips to help make the repair process go smoothly.

* Do your homework before taking your vehicle in. Read the owner’s manual to learn about the vehicle’s systems and components. Follow the recommended service schedules and keep a log of all repairs and service.

* Don’t ignore your vehicle’s warning signals. There may be explicit dashboard messages or subtle changes in performance. Make a note of any problems – and under what conditions they occur.

* Inspect your car frequently. Check for unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights and gauge readings. See if you notice changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage or fluid levels. Also, check for worn tires, belts or hoses, and problems in handling, braking and steering or vibrations.

* Communicate your findings. Be prepared to describe your car’s symptoms. Carry a written list of those symptoms to give to the technician or service consultant. Do not suggest a specific course of repair; let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

* Stay involved. Do not be embarrassed to request simple definitions. Niangkly run repair establishments recognize the importance of two-way communication in automotive repairs. However, don’t rush the technician to make an on-the-spot

diagnosis.

* Leave a telephone number where you can be reached. Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action and costs before work begins. Before you leave the shop, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding estimates, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

ASE is dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.

Winkler Automotive Wins Prestigious Customer Service Award

George Winkler’s goal of providing the area with the most complete and trusted independent automotive repair shop when he opened the doors to Winkler Automotive in 1982 was validated once again with the recent awarding of the “Excellence In Customer Service Award” from the Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (WMDA).

The prestigious honor, from the region’s primary trade association for the industry, was bestowed upon Winkler and his staff at the organization’s recent Annual Convention & Mega Show in Ocean City, Md.

“This is the biggest honor we have received since we opened 30 years ago, and we couldn’t be more thrilled and proud with the recognition,” said Winkler. “We know the type of customer service we provide, and this is our No. 1 mission, but to be recognized for it is very special, and a tribute to our magnificent staff.”

The honor even attracted interest from Maryland state comptroller Peter Franchot, who personally wrote Winkler a note of congratulations, which read in part “you must be pleased that your work and professionalism have been recognized with this prestigious award.”

Franchot went on to add “you are making a significant contribution to our great state of Maryland and I thank you. As Maryland’s chief regulator of motor fuel and tax collector, I understand the countless contributions that your industry provides to our state and its families.”

Winkler Automotive, located in Gaithersburg at 401 East Diamond Avenue, is AAA approved, and all its technicians exceed rigorous standards to be ASE certified. And Winkler Automotive performs maintenance and repair service on all makes and models, including European, American and Japanese cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and minivans, along with extended warranty work on all.

The Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, (WMDA) was established in 1937 as a trade association serving independent business men and woman of service stations, repair facilities, convenience stores, and other related businesses. WMDA provides automotive and management educational training programs throughout the year for owners, managers and technicians with the primary objective of innovating and educating.

The WMDA award now hangs proudly in the waiting room of Winkler Automotive, and also serves as a reminder to the Winkler staff of its commitment to customer service.

“I always stress to my staff to put themselves in our customer’s shoes,” noted Winkler. “People trust us, and when it comes to having your car serviced, that’s most important.”

About Winkler Automotive
Winkler Automotive of Gaithersburg is an AAA approved and ASE certified auto repair shop now celebrating its 30th year. Since 1982, Winkler Automotive has been committed to providing the best, most honest and most reliable car care service in the area, offering customers complete satisfaction and one-stop shopping, as well as an alternative to expensive dealerships. Winkler Automotive performs maintenance and repair service on all makes and models, including European, American and Japanese cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and minivans, while extended warranty work is also accepted. For more information and web specials, visit www.WinklerAutomotive.com, or call (301) 258-2774 and ask for owner George Winkler.