Automobile repairs. What words other than DCF put more fear in a single parent’s head? Last summer it was brakes. This summer it was air conditioning. In 2008, I put more than $800.00 into repairs on the a/c for my 2002 vehicle after visiting a regionally renowned automotive a/c repair chain. Naturally I was not thrilled when I noticed my vehicle began blowing hot air while I was out conducting Census work last month. I toughed it out for as long as I could. But when the night time temperature topped out in the low 80s, I knew it was time to do something even though money doesn’t exactly grow on trees in our household.
I pondered my options and decided against the ‘do-it-yourself’ Freon replacement canisters I’ve seen at Wal-Mart when I realized there were no instructions for the procedure in my SUVs owner’s manual. The rationale I used was if it was something that was routine and/or safe there would be instructions or at least a diagram for it in the manual. I also decided against the offer of a dear friend to help with the procedure. Something about requiring a friend to work with compressed gas seemed too risky. Nothing puts a damper on friendship faster than a trip to the emergency room. So, I visited my friends at Quality Care Automotive in Land o Lakes.
I first stumbled upon Quality Care Automotive (QCA) last June while attempting to get the brakes on my vehicle repaired at a neighboring shop (see Single Parents and Car Repairs). QCA impressed me so much as a result of my first visit that there was no other option for my a/c when the problem reared its ugly head. The fact that I drove past at least seven other automotive service centers en route should serve as testimony to my faith in their services.
I feared the worst but hoped for the best when I entered the shop hoping that a simple recharge would get me through the summer. Florida in July without an air-conditioned vehicle is like driving around in a sauna – on Mars. Drew and Fedrico greeted me from the service desk and agreed that a recharge would probably provide some short-term relief until my budget could handle more comprehensive diagnostics and repairs. I was not surprised to learn that my Freon level had become depleted by 70%. One hour later, I happily paid my $90.00 repair bill and was on my air-conditioned way.
Quality Care Automotive is family owned and operated by the Giovannitti brothers. Because they are family owned, QCA lacks incentives to pad repair bills like some of the national chains are renowned for. They earned my business when they repaired my brakes last year at half the cost quoted to me by a chain repair shop. They are members of the Automotive Service Association, Better Business Bureau and received the Best of Pasco Tribune Readers Poll for Automotive Service and Repair in 2009. Their motto is “Service You Can Trust“.
QCA offers discounts of 10% to active and retired members of the military. They offer lifetime tire rotation with the purchase of 4 tires and Wednesday is Ladies Day which features oil changes for $19.99 (reg. $24.99) and 10% off service and repairs (up to $25.00). They also specialize in fleet service which offers discounted labor, oil changes, tire rotation, brake inspection and guaranteed in-stock parts for all fleet vehicles.
The lounge features comfortable seating, free high speed internet and a flat screen TV. In addition to great service at very reasonable rates, QCA offers on-line service records, routine service email reminders and online appointment setting. Quality Care Automotive is located at 1915 Collier Parkway in Lutz and is open from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. They are also open on Saturdays from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. To make an appointment, please call 813-909-4030 and tell them that Karyn sent you.
Until next time – keep the faith.
Quality Care Automotive