Auto Repair Shops in Colorado Sky High

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Auto repair labor costs in Colorado are the highest in the country based on a nationwide survey.  Local auto repair shop owners in Colorado Springs can’t say for sure why that is. 

“I can’t speak for the rest of the state, but we have some wonderful family owned auto repair shops here in Colorado Springs”, said Jeff Miller, owner of Phases Truck and Auto Repair. “For over 20 years, we’ve had some of the lowest auto repair costs in town.”

It must be working because Miller says many customers he started with 20 years ago still come back today. But based on the nationwide survey, not every Colorado auto repair shop can make that claim. When you combine parts and labor costs, Colorado ranks as the 6th most expensive state to have your car repairs done, when that “check engine” light comes on. 

“We are bucking that trend,” says Debby Miller, of Phases Accounting, who manages the books.  “Phases Auto Repair, like a few other auto repair shops in Colorado Springs, keep their costs down because they have a lower overhead than most other repair shops.”  

Jeff adds, “We own the ground and the building we built 15 years ago. That gives us an advantage in lower facility costs to pass through to our customers”.

So when looking for repair facilities Miller advises, “consider how long the auto repair shop has been in business.  Do they own their building or not?  That can have an affect on repair costs passed through to the customer.”
On the lighter side, Colorado residents can get auto repairs done cheaper if they drive to Indiana, the least expensive state in the country to have your automobile repaired.  

The worst state in the U.S. for car repair bills is New Jersey according to the study.  So don’t break down in New Jersey.

The total number of auto repairs in Colorado rose 10% in 2012.  Repair numbers in the Northeastern parts of the United States rose 11.6%, according to the report.  Experts say the number of repairs are going up because the average age of cars on the road is older.  The survey shows that people are buying fewer new cars today, than they did a decade ago.

Here are some ways Jeff Miller at Phases Truck and Auto Repair in Colorado Springs says you can keep costs down no matter where you live:

How to Keep Auto Repair Costs Low

1) Keep water in your radiator full.

2) Change your oil at least every 5,000 miles.

3) At your next oil change, have a full inspection done, typically they do it for free.

4) Make sure your mechanic is trained or certified for your type of car and repair.

5) Always ask for a discount. Don’t just agree to the first estimate.

6) Don’t do a major repair without shopping around.  Estimates can vary greatly.

7) Don’t ignore warning lights on your dashboard.

8) Compare OEM (original equipment parts) prices to Generic brand parts that are usually cheaper but may not have the same warranty.

9) Test drive your car before you pay. Sometimes mistakes are made and you won’t notice until you drive the car.

10)  Many times bigger repair shops will advise you that you need additional repairs or that something would be good preventive maintenance.  Ask questions and see it these repairs are really necessary now.  Ask what is the downside if you don’t get it done now.

Here’s another tip from the experts, the most common reason for a “check engine” light is a faulty oxygen sensor.  A dirty air filter is a $20 repair.  But not replacing your dirty air filter can result in a sensor failure which is a $250 repair.  Ignoring those issues can result in substantial gas mileage reduction, cause the vehicle to misfire and eventually result in the need for an expensive catalytic converter replacement which would require a $1,000 repair.  So you see why it’s important to have your car’s air filter replaced as recommended by your service manual, and to address “check engine” warnings as soon as possible.

Now here are the worst things you can do according to Art Jacobsen, of CarMD:

Own a car?  Here are the top 10 maintenance mistakes owners make:

1. Put off recommended / scheduled maintenance

2. Ignore the “check engine” light

3. Don’t change the oil, or don’t change it on time

4. Don’t check tire pressure

5. Neglect coolant, brake, transmission and other fluid services

6. Continue to drive when the vehicle is overheating

7. Don’t change fuel and air filters

8. Pay unqualified shops to service your vehicle

9. Use cheap and often inferior parts for your vehicle

10. Try a “do it yourself” approach to repair a high-tech vehicle 

So as you head into this next driving season consider visiting a local repair shop in Colorado Springs or wherever you live.  Not doing so can lead to unexpected auto repair costs.   Unless your planning a vacation in Indiana!  Then you should be OK.


Phases Truck and Auto Repair

1670 Paonia St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80915

(719) 548-8284