Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

A View from the Pumps: The Difference Between Price and Value

The Difference Between Price and Value

I know that these articles are supposed to be about cars and all the stuff related to them. But this week I am going to take a little tangent and use examples of our everyday lives to illustrate the dumbing of America.
For instance, if you know the price of a good Rib Eye steak, it’s about $10.99 per pound. So at a decent restaurant a 16oz. rib eye with a side of veggies, served and cleaned up would run about $24.99 plus a tip and tax. Personally, I think that’s a great deal, to have it cooked and served and the table cleared.

NOW let’s say that an establishment offers that same meal for $8.99 or even $10.99, would you run out and order it, or would you think twice. Is it really a USDA piece of meat? Or where is the catch. How are they going to up sell that meal so that they can show a profit? That is the whole purpose of being in business you know, to show a profit. Would you eat at an establishment that offers their meals as a good, better or best price? I mean really!

So let’s get to cars. We all know that big boy down in the Cape, that is giving away his vehicles. Everything is HUGE, discounts, trade in values, the amount of vehicles that he shuffles through the door every month. Do you really think that he is not making a profit? Do you really think that he is your friend? Is he a great marketer? YES he is!

Have you noticed that Mike Rowe, the original dirty jobs guy, is now Ford’s best friend? Have you noticed that Ford wants to be your friend. They want to do your MAINTENANCE, and give you an inspection for a discounted price. Dealerships never wanted to do Maintenance, that was for the independents. But guess what? Now they want that business back.

Have you noticed that some manufacturers out there will off you a 100,000mile warranty, if you buy their vehicle? What they don’t tell you is that if you do not follow their scheduled maintenance program then that warranty is null and void. AND, they don’t tell you that because of the Magnuson-Moss Act (1975) that if you perform all of the scheduled maintenance for your vehicle, even if you do it yourself,( it has to be very well documented) they cannot deny you of any warranty work.

Have you watched the latest infomercial for “Car MD”, the only way that you can save thousands of dollars in vehicle maintenance and repairs, just by plugging this little code reader into your ALDL. (Google it) I mean this whole industry is unscrupulous, because we try to have a return on our investment (tools, equipment and training. data bases and computers). And we have to show a profit otherwise we’re gone. Oh what CAR MD doesn’t tell you is that after you have it for free for 30 days, you have to buy a monthly subscription to keep it activated. And when that ugly check engine light does come on, and you call the help desk, the trained person will look up the code and give you any number of reasons why that code appeared starting with the most common and working your way down the list.

So there you have it, your little code reader said that you have a P0171and a P0174, lean engine code. If you have a Ford, most commonly sold part is a MAF sensor, so you run down to your local auto parts box store and they will have 2 or three prices for the same part. The most expensive will say Motorcraft, then Standard, then Wells and finally just a white box. Sounds like Good, Better or Best to me. Which would it be! Of course they are all guaranteed if that happens to be your problem. If it wasn’t well you just spent $150.00 on something you didn’t need. I don’t see any savings there at all.

We have been doing inspections with all of our clients for years now. We do not have a good better or best policy. We give you our clients our inspections so that you as a vehicle owner know the baseline condition of your vehicle. If we find something that is dangerous we will notify you but for the most part we don’t have to UPSELL because we use the best parts with the best guarantees (18 months or 18000 miles NATIONWIDE) with every service or repair that we do.

Twenty eight years ago when I started working in Punta Gorda, I met this older cantankerous machinist named Nate Pierce. In just a very short while he became Pop to me, and no matter when or why I was there he would always have a story about something that some how pertained to his life. He was the type of guy if you needed to borrow a tool, he would look at you with a straight face and say “no I don’t have one of those but I can make you one if you can wait”.

Well on his wall was a sign that was written by hand with red paint and it stated clearly. “Sacrificing quality to save money is like stopping a clock to save time”

That sign still hangs on that wall and I try to embrace it’s meaning and it’s message every day. That my reader’s is the true difference between Value and Price. Until next week, unless I really get yelled at. We’ll talk again.


Gregg’s Automotive Maintenance & Repair Center

236 S. Tamiami Tr.
Punta Gorda, Fl. 33950