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About time I gave mechanics a brake
Member Name: cakeyj
Advantages: Quick efficent service, honest quote obtained, didn't need the car all day, very polite/courteous
Disadvantages: None from WGC but will differ at garages around the country
**I would like to make it clear that this review is specifically about the ATS I visited in Welwyn Garden City, Herts and the services and products may vary from those reviewed depending on location **
I drive a lot! I can easily cover 150+ miles a week for work as a community nurse and with having 3 young children I drive them here there and everywhere and their safety while doing so is paramount.
We have had our family/work car for just over a year (56 Ford C-Max) and having clocked up 20000 miles I thought it was best to get the brakes checked.
Brakes are tricky things in my experience - you don't really know that the pads need replacing until the grinding of the discs that they are attached to can be heard and felt whilst braking. Unfortunatly once you have got to the point where the discs are being used and so will need to be replaced the price leaps up to nearly double for what it would be to replace the pads alone.
I don't really feel comfortable in the very male atmosphere within garages and although I had meant to get this checked for a while when I pulled into my local kwikfit, and saw a bunch of lads outside with their souped up motors, I carried on through the carpark and rejoind the road on the other side, thinking that I would leave it for another day. Further down the road a spotted tucked away an ATS garage, which looked quite empty - no time like the present I suppose - and I pulled in.
ATS Euromaster is part of the Euromaster Group and was established in 1961,. The company operates in ten European Countries, including the UK, which has over 450 centres. According to their company information on the website (www.atseuromaster.co.uk) they offer a comprehensive range of products and services, including: tyres, batteries, brakes, shock absorbers, exhausts, oil and MOT Testing.
Their website is extremely detailed and offers many helpful hints and information about all products and services. They offer frequently asked question sections on each product, and although not a fully comprehensive answer, there is enough there to know whether you need to get your car checked out or not by one of their professionals.
The website also has a centre locator, where, upon typing in your postcode or Town/city, and choosing which service your require, it will produce a list of the nearest ATS Garages.
The ATS website currently also has several other tips and hits with all aspects of car servicing and managment
*The Brake Inspection*
The very friendly gentlement spent all of 15 minutes there and then checking the pads for me. The manager came over and explained that they were wearing down but still had 4+mm present, it is usually advisable to change the pads once there is only 3 mm left and what did I want to do, they were fine to drive but were wearing down so maybe I should get them replaced soon depending how how much I drive and use the brakes. I was also given a quote of 89 pounds for new pads and them to be fitted. I decided to wait for a few months so left feeling comfortable that my brakes were safe and weren't going to cost a bomb to replace if I did it within the next few months.
*The Brake Change*
I popped into the garage two days ago to book my car in for new brakes, and an appointment was made for them to be changed today. I arrived just after 9am as arranged and after dropping my keys off I informed the staff that I would ned the car back by midday if possible for the nursery run. They were understanding and assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. They tookm my mobile number for if there were any problems they could get in touch and then I left to wander around the town for a few hours.
I got back to the garage at about 11am - earlier than atitcipated but the job was nearly done. I was given the keys back at 11.20 - in plenty of time to pick my son up from nursey and the job was well done with the car being in exactly the same condition as when I dropped the keys off - only with better brakes!
The price came through as £20 cheaper than the original quote which was nice. I paid promptly and left.
According to the customer signs in reception, their employees are the most highly trained in the industry, offering the customer 100% confidence and satisfaction in the service recieved. I would agree that I received a very complete and satisfying service from ATS and recieved a quick brake change and was relived to experience the courteous polite attitude from the staff. I have no complaints and am confident that my brakes are working safely. The price I paid was lower than the quote, which is always an advantage when having to pay for unexpected repairs, and the service excellent.
I have never considered using ATS before, and as I usually struggle to find a garage with an atmosphere that I feel unintimidated in or would rather send my husband to to deal with it I think I will be more than comfortable using ATS again.
Summary: A very refreshing experience :-)