Frequently Asked Questions

Around the shop:

Why don’t you service all car brands?
Do you perform fleet maintenance?


What is your labour rate?
Do you provide financing or payment plans?

New vehicle maintenance:

If my vehicle is under warranty, do I have to bring it to the dealership for service?
Are you as qualified as the dealership to service my vehicle?
Am I more likely to have new vehicle warranty repairs approved if I’ve done all my maintenance with that dealership?
Can you perform warranty repairs or recalls for me?

Automotive repair:

Can you hook up the computer that tells you what’s wrong with my car?
My car has[insert problem here], do you know what it could be?

Automotive parts:

Where do you buy your parts?
How does the quality of aftermarket parts compare with OEM parts?
Will you install parts that I supply?

Automotive Repair

Can you hook up the computer that tells you what’s wrong with my car?

Sadly, this “magic computer” does not exist! While modern vehicles will often set diagnostic trouble codes (or DTCs) in the event of a problem, and these codes can be retrieved with a code reader or scan tool, the DTC is only a starting point in the diagnosis. The human brain takes over from the scan tool very early in the diagnostic process, and often a lot more testing is required to determine what is actually wrong with your car.

Take trouble code P0302 – “Cylinder #2 misfire detected”, for example. A misfire could be caused by a faulty spark plug; spark plug wire; ignition coil; wiring problem; fuel injector; fuel pressure problem; vacuum leak; or a mechanical issue like a sticking valve or low cylinder compression – just to name a few examples. In this example, a qualified technician would use additional equipment (and time) to test each of these parts before determining what is causing your misfire.

Your vehicle’s self-diagnostic system also isn’t advanced enough to detect many vehicle problems at all; sometimes even when they are very evident to the driver. There is still no replacement for a skilled technician and their arsenal of complex testing equipment when it comes to trouble-shooting vehicle problems.

My car has [insert problem here]; do you know what it could be?

We receive this phone call almost every day.  Unfortunately, unless you want us to take a complete guess, we normally can’t diagnose your car over the phone. Even simple issues like noises can have dozens of possible causes, and we just can’t narrow them down without physically inspecting your vehicle. We’d be thrilled to provide some accurate, honest solutions to your vehicle problems, but we’d have to spend a little quality time with your car to do this.

Around The Shop

Why don’t you service all makes and models?

No longer servicing all vehicles was a difficult decision that we had to make, in order to maintain the very highest level of capability and service on the North American and Asian vehicles that we continue to support. It’s important to distinguish that this is a strength, and not a weakness.

Let us explain. The age of the “all makes, all models” automotive shop is drawing to a close. As new vehicles become increasingly complex, even formerly simple repairs like a brake pad replacement or wheel alignment can now require the use of sophisticated diagnostic and programming tools. It is no longer financially feasible for one business to support the costs of tooling; training and service information required to service all vehicles on the road properly and completely. This leaves a business like ours with two options:

  1. Take on just a customer’s “easy work”, and then send them elsewhere for the rest, or
  2. Specialize in a smaller amount of vehicle brands.

Even though most of our competitors have chosen option #1, that’s not something we’re comfortable with. We are here to address all of our customers’ vehicle concerns; to be the experts capable of handing any issue they might ever experience. As a progressive business on the leading edge of our industry, specializing in a smaller number of vehicles allows us to do just that.

Do you perform fleet maintenance?

Yes! Our focus on performing preventative maintenance instead of repairing break-downs; high level of organization; and past experience servicing large fleets mean we’re well-equipped to service your fleet – no matter how big or small.

However, we do not extend credit to other businesses under any circumstances. All services will have to be paid in full via company credit card, or another payment method upon pick-up of the vehicle.


What is your labour rate?

The short answer: Our hourly rate for general maintenance and repairs is $140/hour.

The long answer: Why do you ask? Most often, when customers ask us this question, they are attempting to determine how expensive we are (or aren’t). The reality is that most local businesses charge around the same labour rate, yet prices for a given repair can vary wildly from shop to shop. A $350 brake repair at one business may cost $600 at another. This is because there are other factors at work – factors that are much harder to measure – that have a much greater effect on the total service cost.

Do you provide financing or pay plans?

No; we made a deal with our bank a long time ago: We wouldn’t get into banking if they promised not to start doing brake jobs! This is a joke, of course, but it’s true that we cannot provide credit. We have big hearts, and so we really would like to help on occasion, but we’ve been burned too many times in the past to continue offering credit.

New Vehicle Maintenance

If my vehicle is under warranty, do I have to bring it to the dealership for service?

Absolutely not! This is one of the oldest and most common misconceptions in our industry. As long as you keep a record of what maintenance has been done, anyone can perform your service work without affecting your warranty. Our commitment to always using premium filters and genuine, OEM fluids means you’ll never have an issue in the event of a warranty claim. 

Are you as qualified as the dealership to service my vehicle?

Yes; and sometimes more so! This is because on top of using much of the same diagnostic equipment; service information; and parts as the dealership, our technicians are paid by the hour. A positive shop environment and hourly pay help us attract and retain the most skilled, and most caring technicians in the industry.

Many commission-paid dealership technicians are poorly compensated (or not compensated at all) for their time spent diagnosing new vehicles under warranty. If you feel like sometimes this could translate into your vehicle not receiving the time or attention that it deserves, you’re right.

Am I more likely to have new vehicle warranty repairs approved if I’ve done all my maintenance with that dealership?

Not at all. While you may feel that you are building goodwill with the servicing dealership by doing your maintenance there, the reality is that the dealership themselves doesn’t approve or disapprove warranty repairs; the manufacturer does. As long as you’ve performed the maintenance outlined in your owner’s manual, you’re covered!

Can you perform warranty repairs or recalls for me?

Unfortunately, no. Any repairs that are free to you, and paid for by the manufacturer, must be performed through their dealership network. However, we can (and regularly do) look up open recalls for our customers, and check to see if they have been completed. We can even help you schedule an appointment at a nearby dealership to have work completed, and give you a list of what to ask for when you arrive.

Here’s another plus that we offer: In many dealerships, technicians are forbidden from “up-selling” repairs under warranty, to reduce warranty costs. That means that if a technician is repairing your vehicle and spots another warrantable issue under your car, they are literally not allowed to repair it unless you happened to bring up the issue first. This means that you might never find out about this issue until your warranty has expired – and it’s too late. When we perform your regular maintenance, we can keep you informed of any potential warrantable problems with your car. 

airdrie auto parts

Where you buy your parts?

All over the place, actually! While many automotive shops have entered agreements where they must purchase 70% or more of their parts from one supplier, we like to shop around for our valued customers; always looking to strike the perfect balance between cost and quality. Compared to most independent shops, we sell a large quantity of original equipment or factory parts. About 70% of the parts we install are OEM. We also supply aftermarket; used and performance parts.

How does the quality of aftermarket parts compare with OEM parts?

It depends! As a general rule, OEM parts are usually of higher quality, and fit better. There are some situations where we will only offer the option of installing an OEM part in your vehicle, because the quality of the aftermarket options are very poor. (Some examples include power steering pumps; engine sensors; or even parking brake cables.) However, there are also situations where the aftermarket part is an improvement over your original part. You can rely on our decades of experience to determine where you can save a little money with an aftermarket part; where an aftermarket part might actually work better; and where only OEM parts will do.

Will you install parts that I supply?

Yes, but we charge a higher labour rate of $180/hour when doing so. This is to offset lost revenue that we’d normally earn from the sale of parts, and make the repair viable for us. Like other auto service businesses, we purchase parts at a wholesale discount and resell them for a price closer to what you would pay. This mark-up is a necessary part of covering our expenses: businesses like ours cannot turn a profit on our labour rate alone. This parts margin has kept automotive labour rates artificially low for decades when compared to other professional services like dentists, etc.

We also charge for lost hoist time if your part ends up being incorrect; defective; or does not fit properly and leaves your vehicle immobile in our service bay. Lastly, our standard 3 year/100,000 km parts and labour warranty does not apply to repairs where customer supplied parts are used.