Informed Drivers, The Internet And Expert Goodwrench Auto Service Technicians: The Prescription For A Healthy Vehicle
GRAND BLANC, Mich. – The Internet provides readily available and often valuable information for do-it-yourselfs and self-diagnosis-ers. Web sites such as WebMD, Travelocity, Kelly Blue Book, Wikipedia and Goodwrench.com receive millions of hits a month as consumers seek to discover answers on their own. This trend is particularly prevalent among automotive consumers who are searching online for both auto sales and service.
A recent study* by Compete Inc., commissioned by Google Inc., revealed that 75 percent of those who research parts and services indicate they are using the Web more today to research compared to two years ago. Additionally, 92 percent of consumers researching automotive service information online indicate the Internet influenced their purchase decision. The challenge for consumers is ensuring the information they find on the Web is accurate before attempting to solve an issue or make a repair by themselves.
“There’s nothing better than well-informed customers who accurately describe a vehicle issue or potential repair when visiting their service center for maintenance,” said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. “Problems can occur when vehicle owners take significant repairs into their own hands, or trust them to a weekend mechanic, after getting the wrong information. Sometimes they’ve misdiagnosed the issue and end up doing more harm than good.”
For example, replacing the alternator instead of the battery because a car isn’t starting correctly or holding a charge can be a pricey misdiagnosis. Hundreds of dollars could have been saved had the issue been identified correctly and repaired right the first time by a certified technician.
Once a person visits WebMD and determines they may need medical attention, they visit their health professional for a diagnosis and proper treatment. The same goes for vehicle repairs. Goodwrench.com provides a variety of reliable maintenance tips. Whether the issue is major or minor, owners can then bring their vehicle to their local dealership for an expert diagnosis by a Goodwrench technician trained to fix all GM vehicles.
“Going to your GM dealer, talking to an experienced Goodwrench technician or visiting a reputable online automotive resource are some of the best ways to educate yourself on the service and maintenance needs of your vehicle,” Lord said.
Goodwrench.com offers a number of helpful tips and topics for vehicle owners to check and repair various parts of their vehicles. Topics include tutorials on “How Your GM Vehicle Really Works,” expert maintenance tips for warm- and cold-weather driving, oil-change information and even insider tips for checking tire wear.
Of all major categories of car-related parts, tires and wheels are the most researched parts, with 41 percent of researchers searching online for such information. Tire service also represents the most online researched car-related service. Tires are usually a good vehicle component drivers can easily self-diagnose. One sure way to know when to replace a vehicle’s tires is when treadwear indicators appear. Tires have built-in treadwear indicators called “wear bars” that look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and become visible when it is time to replace the tire.
New tires are also needed if:
* Three or more treadwear indicators around the tire can be seen
* Cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
* The tread or sidewall is cracked, cut or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric
* The tire has a bulge or split
* The tire has a puncture, cut or other damage that can’t be properly repaired
If new tires are needed for a GM vehicle, make sure to purchase tires with GM-exclusive Tire Performance Criteria (TPC) specifications. GM’s tire and wheel engineers developed TPC tire specifications for each vehicle engineered in North America. GM TPC standards are unmatched and help ensure tire performance, handling and durability under a variety of driving conditions.
Only tires approved through the TPC process are stamped with a TPC specification number, so customers can visit a GM dealership or an aftermarket retail store and order a new tire specifically engineered to match their GM vehicle. Replacing a car’s tires with anything besides the original equipment TPC-specified tire can affect many safety and performance aspects of a vehicle, including braking, steering, cornering, ride and handling, noise and vibration, traction and even fuel economy.
Goodwrench is the service brand for GM vehicles – Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, HUMMER and Cadillac. With dealerships located nationwide and more than 90,000 professionally trained service personnel, the Goodwrench network is one of the largest automotive full-service providers in the industry. Goodwrench technicians receive specialized training from General Motors to provide expert care for all GM cars and trucks. Goodwrench technicians readily use genuine GM replacement parts, which are manufactured to the same specifications of the GM vehicle. For more information, visit the GM Goodwrench web site at www.goodwrench.com.
* The study, conducted by Compete Inc. and commissioned by Google, was entitled “Understanding the Automotive Parts and Service Consumer” and conducted during January to July 2007. Consumers who visited Parts and Service websites were identified, and their web usage behavior was analyzed. The survey included more than 1,500 consumers to understand attitudes and behaviors with regard to automotive parts and service.
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