Tuffy's is a "Full Service Shop"
by Matt, 2015-10-23
We want to discuss with everyone something we never get asked by "you" our customer.
What is the difference between a "Full Service Shop" and what the industry calls a "Mom & Pop Shop" which is typically a smaller 1, 2 or 3 bay repair shop.
We where just looking over all the special tools we have purchased in just the last 2 years, that will allow Tuffy's Auto Service Center to service your vehicle.
One of the most important tools we have at Tuffy's is an Alignment Machine. This machine is one of the most expensive tools a "Full Service Shop" will purchase. A decent alignment machine with out all the bells and whistle's will cost $17,000.00 or more. And with an alignment machine you will need an alignment lift, which is a special lift that has what are called turn plates, which are plates that allow a technician to perform adjustments needed to get your vehicle back into factory alignment specification. These lifts can cost anywhere from $7,500 for a cheaper one all the way up to one's with all the bells and whistle's at around $30,000.
Most of the "Mom & Pop Shop's" that I check out from time to time do not have this machine or lift. As most "Mom & Pop Shop's " are 2 or 3 bays, not 6 bays like Tuffy's has, they do not have the room nor are they willing to spend the money to purchase these tools.
Yet, they will offer chassis services for your vehicle, which a typical repair a shop will perform on a day to day basis, some of these parts are called: inner and outer tie rods, ball joints, control arm bushings, rack & pinions and struts to name a few.
What this means to you is this: after someone has one of these "Mom & Pop Shop's" perform these types of repairs, your vehicle's alignment has been changed during the removal process or if one of the parts on your chassis is worn out, which means the alignment has been changed, which is how the tires are pointing rt or left as you sit in your vehicle. These repairs typically require that we re-adjust the alignment to get your vehicle back to factory specifications, and you can not perform an alignment unless you have the equipment.
So, these "Mom & Pop Shop's" are more than willing to take your money for the part of the repair they can perform, but not doing all that is needed to do the repair correctly. The normal route they take is to send you too another shop that has an alignment machine. Better yet, a shop that has this equipment is where you should go in the first place.
Cheaper is not always better!