Archive for the ‘Customer Stories’ Category

I recently worked on a 2009 Toyota Prius. The complaint was the air bag light was on. Our customer had the Toyota Prius at a local Grand Rapids, MI dealer prior and was told it needed a wiring harness. This information was not helpful in the least. There are numerous harnesses involved and these can be very costly, depending on which one. As it turns out, the Toyota Prius had been totaled by the insurance company and had a salvage title. The car had been improperly repaired before being sold to our customer, and this was causing the air bag light issue. The entire roof had been replaced using another Toyota Prius roof. They had cut the support pillars, wiring and anything else in the way to swap the tops. The wiring reconstruction was poor and potentially dangerous. The air bags will not deploy in the event of an accident if there is an issue with this system.

The point of this is: buying a vehicle with a salvage title is very risky. There is a very good reason the vehicle is totaled by the insurance company, and that is that it couldn’t be made safe for the road at an affordable price. In this particular case with the Toyota Prius, at any price. The sectioning off of a roof by cutting the support pillars greatly weakens the entire structure. Our customer Grand Rapids Hybrid customer has been properly educated and informed, but I suspect will continue to drive the vehicle simply out of necessity. We were able to locate wiring issue and properly repair that issue at a reasonable cost, but nothing can be done for the substandard body repairs. Please use extreme caution or avoid purchasing vehicles with a salvage title. It remains, true, buyer beware. Keep your wheels on the road, Eric.

We’ve long said, “Regular maintenance allows us to catch small problems before they grow large enough to threaten your safety, comfort and/or wallet.”  Our customers’ recent experiences with dealerships and extended warranties prove this true now more than ever.

“Amy” brought her 2004 Buick Regal into Ervine’s nine days after her dealer recommended maintenance service when she was there for a check engine light diagnosis and cooling system repair.

Ervine’s maintenance inspection revealed leaking valve cover gaskets, leaking intake gaskets, broken front sway bar and links and a malfunctioning intermediate shaft.   We don’t know why the dealership did not inform “Amy” of the needed repairs.  Her extended warranty was good for just 265 more miles.

Many times, dealerships must operate under a policy that if the customer does not complain about it, the technician or service writer cannot bring a needed repair to the customer’s attention and have it be covered under the warranty.

As an independent facility we have the freedom (and, we feel, duty) to inspect and inform our customers what items require attention.  As we expected, the warranty company was very cooperative and covered $1432.55 in repairs for “Amy”.  We’re just glad she didn’t wait any longer to come in for an inspection.

“Paul” was in just a week or so ago with his 2008 GMC Envoy for his regular oil change service and inspection.  He mentioned the traction light was on, but had taken it into the dealer and was told there was nothing wrong.

Using the same diagnostic equipment the dealership used, we were able to quickly determine that the angle sensor was intermittently failing.  Replacement and calibration of the angle sensor corrected the problem. And guess what? It was covered under the extended warranty!

So it would seem that it requires a certain level of expertise to make sure you aren’t being cheated out of covered repairs when you have an extended warranty. We’re happy to help, so please call us with any questions you may have about your warranty.

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Ervine's, a Grand Rapids auto repair shop, provides a wide-range of car repair services from ASE Certified Master Technicians. In addition, we also offer free loaner cars, 24-hour automotive assistance, free Wi-Fi and Starbucks coffee while you wait in our comfortable lobby!

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Customer Reviews

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  • Chelsea Vives:
    Awesome service!! They were extremely helpful and friendly! I loved how they were accommodating to the customers and being very organized with after hours drop-offs and pick-ups. They were also very quick with fixing my car which was great.


    Andy Krafft:
    Ervine's has provided great service for me throughout my college years! They do their best to make time for customers and understand the importance and value in quality service. Would definitely recommend!


    Erin O'Brien-Jenison:
    The staff is very friendly. The technicians take the time to explain repairs in detail. The loaner car service is very convenient for my family. Each of my experiences with Ervine's has been very positive.

  • Jamie Riehle:
    My car needed a lot of work and being relatively new to the area, I had to rely on online reviews. Ervine's got great feedback, so I made an appointment through their website. I was contacted almost immediately and scheduled very quickly. The repairs took a few days, but with the free loaner it was no big deal. They explained everything to me, helped me prioritize which repairs to do first, and Jamie even entertained my 5-year-old while I spent 10 minutes on the phone with my bank to get my payment to go through. I may have been able to find someplace a little cheaper, but you can't pay for the excellent customer service at Ervine's. The lobby is clean, has fresh coffee, and is very professional. As a woman I've been intimidated going into car shops but I never felt that way at Ervine's. I'll definitely be returning.

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  • Kaitlin McDowell:
    I had a great experience at Ervine's. I know very little about my car beyond turning it on, so I was relieved when the staff were willing to spend extra time explaining to me exactly what is going on and helping me to be an informed consumer. I also appreciated that they are not trying to sell something-- I did not actually need the repair that the dealership had told me to IMMEDIATELY deal with, and the folks at Ervine's were willing to tell me that when they could have made a buck doing the repair. The visit was so painless I even got to run errands while I was waiting using one of their fabulous loaner cars. Thank you so much!

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