Archive for the ‘Older Vehicles’ Category

How do you know if an odometer is telling the truth?

Well, back in ’86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect Michigan consumers against mileage fraud. It says a Michigan seller must certify the mileage reported is the Actual Mileage.

To have your odometer checked in Grand Rapids Michigan, stop by Ervine’s Auto Repair:

Ervine’s Auto Repair
4311 Stafford SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548
(616) 532-6600

If it isn’t, the seller must say why; like maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 miles and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.

If the seller tells you the mileage isn’t accurate, there’s not much chance of putting a good number to it; And there’s the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it’s not so. What can you do?

First, you can go to www.CarFax.com, where for a small fee, they’ll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your sedan, showing local Grand Rapids Michigan ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, Manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.

You can get a mileage history by checking with the local Grand Rapids Michigan DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car’s bought and sold. If there are signs odometer rollback, now you’ll now.

If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There’s always another.

So you’ve bought a used car in the Grand Rapids area. How do you know what you’re getting? It is hard to know what you’re getting because people in the Grand Rapids area sell cars for different reasons. Think about why you’ve sold cars. Did you just want something new or were there problems that you wanted to run away from. Maybe it was a little of both.

Used cars with 25,000 to 35,000 miles on them are often lease returns, corporate program cars or vehicles that have done duty in rental fleets. We feel pretty confident because they’re newer and may still be under warranty. But how well have they been maintained?

If you plan on owning a car for a long time, you’ll keep up on the maintenance so that you can avoid expensive repairs down the road. But, if you know you’re only going to have the car for two or three years, you may not be so committed to maintenance. It would be easy to think that skipping an oil change here and there wouldn’t ruin a brand new engine. Then it’ll be someone else’s problem when it comes time to pay for the damage.

It would be very tempting to skip the 30,000 mile service if you knew you’d be turning in your leased vehicle in a couple of months.

If the vehicle didn’t come with maintenance records, you need to assume the worst. Most likely the coolant system and transmission have never been serviced. The cabin air filter has probably not been changed and a fuel system cleaning may be in order.

You’ll want Ervine’s Auto Repair to check the air conditioning, battery, engine air filter, serpentine belt and hoses. An inspection at Ervine’s Auto Repair is well worth the cost.

And if your “new” used vehicle has more miles on it, an inspection is even more important. Check your owner’s manual or talk with your service advisor at Ervine’s Auto Repair (call (616) 532-6600) about what should have been done. Please don’t forget the timing belt; that can be very expensive if it fails.

Ervine’s Auto Repair will help you with a plan to take care of critical services and get the rest caught up. If your budget won’t allow you to take care of everything right away, we can help you prioritize your needs and get it taken care of over the next several months. And remember to keep your maintenance records. They’ll help you get top dollar when it’s time for you to sell.

Ervine’s Auto Repair
4311 Stafford SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548
(616) 532-6600

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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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