Frequently Asked Questions at Pickering's Auto Service for Auto Repair in Lakewood, Arvada & Westminster Colorado

 

QUICK NAVIGATION

Location Information
Service Expectations
Appointments
Estimates
Parts
Warranty
Diagnosis
Maintenance
Electrical Service
Engine Service
Tires

 

LOCATION INFO

  • What forms of payment do you accept?
    • We are happy to accept all major credit cards, debit cards, cash and we offer 90 day same as cash financing.
  • What are your shuttle hours?
    • Our complimentary shuttle service runs from 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday within a 5 mile radius of our facilities. Please let our service team know if you will require shuttle services when you make your appointment so we can make sure it is available for you. If you have any other time constraints, our service team will do their best to accommodate them as well.
  • Do you perform auto body repair work?
    • At this time, due to the recent hail storm, we are partnering with a third party Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) Service named Dent Solutions. They will be performing hail damage repair in Lakewood at our facility for the next few months from 8am-9pm. For more information visit our Auto Hail Damage Repair page or contact us directly. 
    • Normally no, we perform nearly all major repair services, except for major body work. If you’ve damaged the body or structure of your vehicle, we recommend having a body shop professional examine and repair the exterior of your vehicle first before we conduct any major internal repairs. We do so because sometimes the new mechanical parts may not mount properly until the body work has been completed, and to ensure that there is still value in your vehicle once the body work is performed.
  • Can you recommend an auto body repair shop?
    • We recommend the following body repair shop professionals:
      • GT Car Shop • (303) 744-7711 • 1235 S Jason St Denver, CO 80223 • Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm
      • Denver Collision Experts • (303) 761-0955 • 1240 Harlan St, Lakewood, CO 80214 • Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
      • Caliber Collision • (303) 424-2565 • 4790 Independence St Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 • Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm
      • Caliber Collision • (303) 424-4242 • 4890 Robb St Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 • Mon-Fri 7:30am-5:30pm

 

SERVICE EXPECTATIONS

  • Can I wait for the service?
    • You are welcome to wait for most any service. We have comfortable waiting rooms with complimentary beverages and Wi-Fi while you wait. Typically, we do prefer to have your vehicle dropped off instead of you waiting at our location, to ensure we have adequate time to give your vehicle the attention it deserves. Often times, the repair process requires waiting for parts deliveries or additional repairs/maintenance that can elongate the wait time. While we work diligently to get your vehicle back to you as soon as possible, at Pickering’s we don’t want to sacrifice quality to get you back on the road before your vehicle is safe and secure.
  • How long will it take?
    • All service times can range from 15 minutes to days depending on what service/repair is being done and depending on parts availability. Our service team will do their best to inform you of an accurate time estimate on how long we will require your vehicle so you can plan accordingly. If you have any plans or concerns about the time needed on your vehicle, please inform your service consultant when you schedule and drop off your vehicle, and they will do their best to work around your needs and expectations.
  • What vehicles do you work on?
  • We work on nearly all makes and models of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, diesel, hybrid and fleet vehicles. See a full list of vehicles HERE. We do not service BMW, Mini, Tesla, Porsche, Saab or Mercedes. We also do not service carbureted vehicles or large RV/Motorhomes.
    • For these vehicles, we recommend the following repair shop professionals:
      • Arvada German Garage • (720) 242-9813 • 5545 W 56th Ave Arvada CO 80002 • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
      • Green Mountain Auto World • (RV/Motorhome) • (303) 980-6626 • 345 S Union Blvd Lakewood, CO 80228 • Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
      • German Motors • (303) 237-6262 • 1360 Simms St Lakewood, CO 80401 • Mon-Fri 7am--5pm
      • Avalon Motorsports • (303) 400-3001 • 6950 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220 • Mon-Fri 7:15am-6pm
  • Does your auto shop provide hybrid repair services?
    • Yes, we service hybrid vehicles including hybrid battery diagnosis and replacement.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  • Do I need to schedule an appointment to bring my car in?
    • You are welcome to stop by anytime during business hours. For service on your vehicle, we will be able to offer you a higher level of service if you let us know in advance what your needs are and when you would like to bring your vehicle to us. We cannot guarantee service without an appointment but usually can accommodate walk in service in a reasonable timeframe. If you have any type of emergency, please do not hesitate to bring your vehicle over right away. If your vehicle is not able to be driven safely, call us directly and we will help arrange getting your vehicle towed to our shop.

 

ESTIMATES

  • Do you provide estimates?
    • Absolutely. On maintenance services, we are happy to provide an estimate without the vehicle present in most cases. On independent repairs and diagnostics however, we will need to see your vehicle in person in order to provide you with the most accurate estimate. Once we see your vehicle, we will properly estimate the work and contact you to get your approval before any work is begun.
  • Why can't you always provide me with an estimate when I call for one?
    • Do not be fooled by other shops estimating repairs over the phone; 99% of the time it simply isn’t possible to give a 100% accurate repair estimate without it being inspected by a trained technician. We have had many vehicles with very high estimated repair costs come in only to find it was something small. We have also had other estimates for a small job needing something much more expensive. It is always better to have the vehicle looked at by a trained technician prior to creating an accurate estimate. What you need is accuracy and Pickering’s can provide it for you. Call us today with any questions you may have.
  • Will you contact me first before performing repairs?
    • We certainly will. No repairs will be performed without a service consultant first contacting you directly to relay our findings, advise on the best recommended course of action and gain approval on the estimated work.
    • By law, we are required to contact you prior to repairs through the Colorado Motor Vehicle Repair Act (MVRA). 

 

PARTS

  • Can I request used parts?
    • Due to ensuring that we provide you with the best quality auto repair and service, we do not install used parts. Used parts can be unreliable and we have no way to know the integrity of the materials. We find that the money that might be saved on the front end of buying a used part, often isn't worth the cost of having to fix it again sooner because of a degraded quality and most importantly we cannot guarantee the safety and integrity of the vehicle with used parts. Providing you with a new part will add much more value with the reliability of the repair performed.
    • Only in the case where certain parts are no longer manufactured and obsolete, will we consider trying to find and install used parts as a last resort. 
  • Can I purchase or provide my own parts for you to install?
    • We do not install parts provided by our customers. One of the major benefits of having a Pickering’s professional repair your vehicle for you is that we back our labor and parts with a phenomenal 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. Installing parts that a customer supplies, even if brand new, would not allow us the opportunity to honor that warranty, leaving you with less value in your experience with us. We also cannot warranty used parts due to the unknown use that part has incurred. While our customers may experience a cost savings up front, in the event a part fails, we cannot honor the costs associated with identifying the issue and performing the repair because we were not responsible for purchasing it.

 

WARRANTY

  • Do you warranty your work?
    • We certainly do. The value you get from our 3 year, or 36,000 mile (whichever comes first) parts & labor warranty is the peace of mind of knowing that if a part OR repair unexpectedly fails, our service team will stand behind our commitment to fix the issue with integrity. Should something go wrong you're covered for any replacement parts, the labor time needed to identify the issue and we perform the repair all FREE OF CHARGE. Plus, you have the benefit of a superior service team handling it all for you. We also include a nationwide 2 year, or 24,000 mile (whichever comes first) parts & labor warranty with all of our repairs through the NAPA Peace of Mind program. Call 1-800-452-6272 for warranty outside 50 miles of our location.
  • Do you perform manufacturer warranty or recall work?
    • Pickering’s cannot perform manufacturer warranty or recall work. For this work, we recommend you contact your vehicle’s local dealership.
  • My car is still under warranty with the manufacturer or dealer, can I still bring my vehicle to you?
    • Yes, we are fully authorized to perform your vehicle’s required maintenance, so you are not required to return to the dealer for this work, and your warranty will remain intact.
  • Will taking my car to a non-dealer shop for scheduled maintenance violate or void my warranty?
    • No. You can take your car to any certified shop to conduct your scheduled maintenance. However, skipping scheduled maintenance might violate your warranty. See your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended scheduled maintenance intervals for more information.
  • If I have my vehicle maintained at your shop, can that void my factory warranty?
    • No, having Pickering’s maintain your vehicle will not void your factory warranty. You can take all of your vehicles to one location for service and your factory warranty will legally remain in effect.
      • In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Among other things, Congress wanted to ensure that consumers could get complete and straightforward information about warranty terms and conditions. In short, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act gives you these rights:
        • By law, your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty will stay in effect when you have regularly scheduled maintenance performed at a qualified facility that uses quality parts and procedures.
        • Generally, your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty cannot require you to return to your auto dealer for vehicle maintenance, or to only use the brand of replacement parts offered by that dealer.

 

DIAGNOSIS

  • Do I have to pay diagnostic charges even if I think I know what the problem is?
    • Yes, we typically require running tests to identify the cause of a vehicle’s problem prior to performing any repairs. We want to SAVE you time and money by ensuring that we don’t waste yours in the event that what you believed to be the problem wasn’t actually the case. This happens more often than you might think.
    • Don’t be fooled by the shops that will allow you to do this, repair or replace something without confirming with diagnostic testing it’s the actual cause, as they often don’t have your best interest at heart for the long run. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have regarding diagnosis testing and evaluation.
  • How much does it cost to diagnose a problem I am having with my vehicle?
    • At Pickering’s we do not have a flat diagnostic testing fee. We believe you should only pay for what our professional technicians are actually testing. Therefore, our diagnostic testing costs can range widely depending on the issues that your vehicle may be experiencing. For instance, a fluid leak check could run in the $50 range, as where an emissions failure test could run in the $200 range. We choose not to charge you a flat rate, similar to many dealerships, that might run you in the $150 figure for all testing, and rather cater to your vehicle’s needs, testing only what’s required.
    • Diagnostic testing can be unpredictable at times. We want you to be aware that once we’ve diagnosed a particular issue, it could lead our technicians to require further testing to continue to identify the root cause necessary for repair. At Pickering’s we will advise you on the upfront cost of the testing, but will also inform you that there could be additional expenses to solve the issue. However, we will never preform any work we do not already have authorization to perform. Once the initial testing is conducted, we will stop, contact you to inform you of our findings and needs, and only move forward with your approval. Nothing will be completed on your vehicle without your consent.
  • Does the diagnostic charge go toward the cost of the repair?
    • We do not “roll in” the cost of the diagnostic testing with the expense of the repairs. At Pickering’s we pride ourselves on being transparent by communicating openly and honestly with our customers. We want you to know the value that you are receiving from our professional technicians with each test, repair or service they perform.
    • Often times shops will utilize this strategy of offering “rolling in” the cost of the testing with the repair in order to ensure you get the repair done at their facility opposed to taking it elsewhere or doing it yourself. Be careful to investigate these proposals carefully, as while it may sound appealing up front as though you’re receiving a discounted price, in all actuality you could be paying the same amount overall.  In other words, it may appear you’re getting a discount but you’re really not. For example, it may cost $500 for the price of the diagnostic testing and repair, but they tell you that the price of the diagnostic testing is included in the repair, while still charging you the original total of $500.

 

MAINTENANCE

  • How often should I get a tune-up form my vehicle?
    • Vehicle “tune-up” is somewhat of a misused term today. Vehicles now have scheduled maintenance intervals that are laid out by the manufacturer at specific mileage markers. Needing a common “tune-up” has been superseded by these maintenance intervals.  Maintenance intervals service a wide range of recommended maintenance services from spark plugs to fluid services and are recommended at different intervals per each manufacturer and vehicle. For the most accurate answer, refer to your specific vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact us directly.
    • At Pickering’s, we do however recommend that you also follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendation of conducting an annual vehicle inspection each year to ensure that you are properly maintaining your vehicle instead of having to repair it. This can be conducted at any visit throughout the year and we offer a full multipoint digital vehicle inspection where we will communicate the entire overall health of your vehicle. This will also help you to better plan, budget for and prioritize any upcoming expenses you may be due to incur.

 

ELECTRICAL SERVICE

  • My “Check Engine” light came on. Should I be worried?
    • The check engine light is a warning that something is wrong with your car, but it may not be a major problem. The irony of the check engine light is that it often comes on to save you from a major repair, but people worry too much about what it might mean and don’t take their car in promptly, leading to the very problems it seeks to avoid. We recommend contacting us directly to identify the cause of the light as soon as it becomes illuminated to avoid any other issues that could arise without taking action. If the light is blinking, do not drive the vehicle and have it towed to our shop immediately. The blinking light means if the vehicle is driven further, damage is possible to the catalytic converter assembly which is a very expensive repair.
  • What does it mean if you “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
    • There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When an onboard system test fails, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
  • What to do if the check engine light goes on?
    • This light indicates that the vehicle is experiencing one or more system failures. There are numerous issues indicated by this light, and a professional diagnosis must be made before a proper course of action can be decided. We recommend contacting us directly as soon as it becomes illuminated to avoid any other issues that could arise without taking action. We will proceed to identify the cause of the light by pulling vehicle error codes and performing a series of system tests laid out by the manufacturer specific to that fault code. At that time our professional technician will recommend the next course of action.

 

ENGINE SERVICE

  • Can I get an oil change while I wait or should I drop my vehicle off?
    • Yes, you certainly can.  Since we are not an oil change only facility, we do recommend that you make an appointment first to ensure that we are able to get your oil service performed in a timely manner.
    • Our oil changes are conducted by a Pickering’s ASE certified technician and include a multipoint vehicle inspection to ensure the overall safety and security of your vehicle. For this reason, our oil services typically take between one to two hours. We prefer to have the vehicle dropped off with us in the morning and left for the day in order to make sure that we have adequate time to complete this overall inspection as well as have time to perform other maintenance or repairs needed in the same day. We will contact you immediately after your vehicle is finished, and won’t hold it longer than necessary. If you will be waiting for your vehicle, please be advised and plan accordingly for adequate time spent waiting.
  • What is the difference between regular/conventional and synthetic oil?
    • These days almost all oil is at least a synthetic blend. There is really not a “regular/conventional oil” (crude oil) anymore. However, there is a difference between a synthetic blend and fully synthetic oil. A synthetic blend oil consists of some synthetic oil mixed with regular/conventional oil and certain additives and detergents to create a targeted blend that meets manufacturer required performance levels. Fully synthetic oil is an artificially created, specially blended formula mixed with many additives and detergents to create a higher level of performance required by some manufacturers.
  • Should I use synthetic blend or fully synthetic oil in my vehicle?
    • Always refer to your vehicles owner’s manual for proper oil type and viscosity recommended by the manufacturer. If your vehicle requires a fully synthetic oil, you must use it at all times. If your vehicle allows a synthetic blend oil you may use a blend oil or upgrade to a fully synthetic oil if you choose. If you decide to use a fully synthetic oil we recommend that you continue to use fully synthetic oil for the life of the vehicle (do not go back and forth).  If you have any questions you can always call our service staff at Pickering’s Auto Service and they will help get you the correct information regarding the type and viscosity of oil recommended for your vehicle.
  • What is a Motor Oil Additive?
    • We use a BG Product called BG MOA (motor oil additive). BG MOA® is the number one engine oil supplement! In a recent survey, dealership service managers chose BG MOA® 8 to 1 over the next aftermarket supplier. Engines are running at higher temperatures than ever before. This, combined with the increasing regularity of stop-and-go driving, cause rapid depletion of critical oil additives. Without these protective additives, severe engine oil oxidation occurs. Oxidation reduces oil to heavy, black sludge in the crankcase, oil screens, oil passages, rocker arms and other critical areas of the engine. BG MOA® fortifies all qualities of engine oil, providing superior, long-lasting engine protection and maintain peak engine performance. It prevents engine oil oxidation and thickening under even the most intense driving conditions. When installed by a professional, it keeps engine components clean to help extend engine life and reduce cost of operation.  https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/engine/bg-moa/

 

TIRES

  • Do you sell tires?
    • Yes, we do! We do not stock tires which allows us to choose tires, specific to meet your needs and budget, from multiple vendors. This does mean that we usually need the car left for the day to allow time for tire delivery but is usually easily done in a one day timeframe. We can also pre-order tires to allow for a quicker turnaround time when scheduled in advance.
  • How often should I rotate my tires?
    • In general, the rule of thumb has always been every 6,000 miles. This is usually the standard but in some instances our professional staff may recommend different intervals on a case by case basis.
    • This service should be synchronized with you oil change interval for convenience. 
  • What is the correct tire pressure for my vehicle?
    • The correct tire pressure recommended by the manufacturer is usually located on your door jamb sticker
    • If your sticker is missing or is not readable the owner’s manual should give you the correct information. On most cars and light trucks the standard is between 30psi-40psi. This can vary depending on the size and type of tire you have as well as what the car/truck is used for. For further recommendations, you can always call the service staff at Pickering’s Auto Service and they will get you the correct information. 

Return to Top