How often should I change my oil?

Our grandparents' trusted old oil change interval of every 5000 km/3 months is outdated. Today's engines and engine oils are much better than in years past, and changing your oil this frequently is often a waste of money. We recommend following your vehicle's oil life monitor, if equipped. On vehicles without an oil life monitor, we recommend following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, found in your owner's manual.

Should I use synthetic oil?

With many new vehicles, requirements set by the manufacturer can only be met by synthetic oil.
In other vehicles, synthetic oil can offer better engine protection, especially in cold temperatures. However, many oils marketed as "synthetic" in North America could not legally be called this in other parts of the world, and synthetic oils are not always better. Using an oil that meets your vehicle's specific standards remains the most important.

What do you charge for an oil change?

We do not have a set or "packaged" price for any service we do. The truth is, we probably wouldn't be taking care of your vehicle properly if we did. Why? We only use original equipment fluids specified by your vehicle's manufacturer; no so-called "multi-vehicle" or universal fluids. We stock over 25 different types of transmission fluid alone! We also use premium filters that can cost much more than cheap "lube shop grade" filters. The correct engine oils, fluids and filters vary greatly in price from vehicle to vehicle, and therefore the price for these services varies as well. Including a tire rotation and full vehicle inspection, the average oil change costs around $100.

What is your labour rate?

Customers often ask this in an attempt to determine how expensive a repair shop is (or isn't).
However, most local business' labour rates are pretty much the same, and there are other factors that have a much larger effect on the overall value. What about parts pricing? Will the business reduce the published labour times to account for labour overlap on related jobs? Even diagnostic ability and honesty make a difference. Will you be charged two hours labour to pinpoint a problem that a more qualified technician could find in one hour, or will a misdiagnosis leave you paying for parts you didn't need?

The average labour rate in Airdrie is around $135 per hour. We feel that this rate is too high for many simple repairs; but not high enough to offset the high equipment cost and skill required to accurately diagnose complicated electrical problems - the first time - or carry out technical programming operations. The solution? We utilize multiple labour rates, based on the complexity of the job being performed.

Tools in Motion does not charge a "Shop Supplies" fee, or any other additional hidden fees on top of the labour rate, effectively saving you another $10-15 per hour versus our competitors.

What is your "No Strings Attached" warranty all about?

We stand behind the quality of our work very well. We cover almost every repair we do with an unbeatable 3 Year/60,000 km full parts and labour warranty. The only exceptions are friction materials (brakes and clutches for example), used parts and customer supplied parts. There are no hoops to jump through in order to maintain this warranty, including no mandatory annual inspections.

In addition, the first two years of this warranty are North America-wide! If you experience a problem within 50 kilometres of our shop, we'll handle it. But if you're out of town, one of over 30,000 other members of the Confidence Plus repair shop network will step in and look after you - even towing is partially covered!

What is flat rate pay?

Flat rate, used by dealership service departments and many other shops, is a pay system that provides incentive for technicians to complete more repairs every day. Most shops, including us, use a published labour guide to estimate the labour charge for repairs. However, when a 3 hour service is approved by the customer in a flat rate shop, the technician is paid a flat amount to perform the service, equal to 3 hours at their regular wage. If the technician can complete the job in 2 hours, they are still paid for 3. Of course, it works the other way, too: they are still paid this amount if they run into problems and the job takes 5 hours.

Flat rate pay is popular among business owners because it can allow a poorly managed or disorganized shop which normally wouldn't turn a profit to do so, since technicians are 100% commission paid. If there are no vehicles for a technician to service because of scheduling errors, incorrect parts or other problems, there are also no wage costs to cover.

Do you use flat rate pay?

Tools in Motion does not use or support the flat rate pay system, because we feel it leads to poor quality workmanship. Unlike the majority of auto service businesses, our technicians are paid a straight hourly wage with no incentive-based pay system in place at all.

Will you install parts that I supply?

The simple answer is no. There are a variety of reasons we have this policy: our parts and labour warranty, quality of parts, and most importantly, interest in a quality lasting repair.

Will you honor my extended/aftermarket warranty?

We will be happy to negotiate with your warranty company on your behalf. Dealing with an aftermarket warranty company is very different than a factory warranty, and to avoid customer disappointment, we try to emphasize the following points regarding aftermarket warranties before we start a repair:

  • Many aftermarket warranty companies will not cover all of the costs necessary to properly repair your vehicle (we will inform you of what is covered and what isn't before starting a repair) and you will be responsible for the difference. Most warranty companies will also not cover diagnostic charges of any kind, or other charges such as a tow, or service call if we come to you.
  • Most aftermarket warranty companies will not cover a repair until the part in question has totally failed. As an example: If we are replacing a leaking engine gasket and notice that the fan belt is very cracked and ready to break, they will not authorize this repair until a later date when the belt has actually broken (and your vehicle has broken down again).
  • Because the aftermarket warranty industry is notoriously unstable, with new companies popping up and others going out of business all the time, we will not extend credit to aftermarket warranty companies under any circumstances. The bill must be paid in full before your vehicle leaves our care.

"Tim has been servicing my 2003 Hyundai Elantra for over a year now. Tim will never "steer you wrong".
I love how honest he is; if you do not understand what is wrong with your car, or what has created the issue, he goes through it in detail and makes sure you understand. He also will explain the severity of the the issue - does it need replacing/repairing, or should/can it wait. His rates were very fair, and the mobile service was awesome."
- Michelle A, Calgary

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