This is a post I intended to write last December when I took my truck to JTS for service for the first time. Today was the second time. My Nissan is now 4 1/2 years old, and, for a while, I took it to the Nissan dealer for the typical oil change and tire rotation. But as it approached its 30,000 mile check point, I began to worry about whom to trust.
In my small hometown of South Whitley, I never had to worry. We only had a couple of choices, and those places knew they had to do you right, or they would suffer from negative word-of-mouth. But Fort Wayne, of course, is much larger than South Whitley. So when my vehicles needed service, it was a painful process to me.
Each time, I would sit down with the phone book and go through the yellow pages. I would call my brother and sister-in-law to see if they used anyone in Fort Wayne. I would talk to co-workers. I would fret, and yes, even lose sleep over where to find someone I could trust with my vehicles.
Once in a while, I would run through one of those assembly line oil change places. But, I usually became agitated when my vehicle was done before I had a chance to grab a cup of their not-so-good coffee, sit down, and look through the newspaper. My agitation wasn’t because of the time frame, but rather from the notion that they were getting $25.00 or up for 15 minutes of work.
Yeh, I know, I am cheap – actually I prefer to call it thrifty. Back in my law school days, I learned to do a lot of my own work on my 1984 Isuzu P’up. I changed my own oil and filer, I changed the rotor, distributor cap, and wires of some type. I changed my own flat tires. But that was then; this is now.
But back to my Nissan. When I first bought my Nissan, I thought the only option was to take it back to the dealer. They always admonish you that if you take it somewhere else, it voids any warranties that come with the vehicle. So for a while I took it back to the Nissan dealer on Lima Road. A couple of times I took it over to a place by Applebees on Clinton.
But I just wasn’t quite satisfied. Not that the work wasn’t done or that I had any problems. But ya know sometimes you just feel like something is missing – kind a like a relationship.
So last December as I watched the miles top the 30,000 mile mark and slowly creep past it, I started worrying. I started wondering why vehicles couldn’t just go forever without being serviced. I looked at my Nissan manual, I hopped online to visit the Nissan website, and I called the Nissan dealership to get a quote for the 30,000 mile check up. Wow – about $369.00 which included a laundry list of items to be done.
Now I don’t know about you, but $369.00 is a lot of money to me. So I started looking around for another place to take my truck for its 30,000 mile tuneup. That’s when I found JTS Automotive. I had heard their advertisements on the radio frequently on my way to work. They were done by a daughter with a pleasant voice who talked about her dad and their business. So I checked them out at the Better Business Bureau, and they passed. After weeks of thinking and agonizing over where to take my truck, I finally gave JTS a call.
And was I in for a surprise. I told the gentleman who answered what I needed done to my truck – you know that litany of items listed in the Nissan manual. He said he would check their manuals and call me back with a quote. Of course, I expected something roughly in the same price range or, to be honest, even higher.
Well, you can imagine how shocked I was when he called back and said he had checked the Nissan manufacturer’s manuals that they had, and it wasn’t necessary to have all those things done. In fact, instead of the $369.00 I had been told by the Nissan dealer, he said it would cost me about $145.00.
My first thought was why are you putting me on like this? No one passes up an opportunity to take advantage of a consumer who really needs work done and who doesn’t know where to turn. I reacted so incredulously that the JTS guy assured me he would double-check and call me back. He double-checked and called me back. Nothing had changed and the price was still $145.00. I made an appointment to have the work done.
It isn’t a fancy place, in fact, the business is housed in a typical pole-type building. But when you enter, you know that they really care about the business. It is clean and neat and has a homey feel. The counter is clean and organized. The furnishings aren’t the newest, but they are comfortable. You almost feel like one of the family. And to me and my Nissan, that is important.
So, since I usually keep my vehicles until they wear out, finding a trustworthy place to take my truck is a major find for me. I know no business is perfect. But when I left in December, I thanked the guy for being so honest about my charges. I knew I would return. And today I returned for – just terrific service.