Find: BYOP Car Repair
BYOP has two Birmingham locations, one across from the main post office downtown and another on Lakeshore Drive across from John Carrol High School. Obviously, you are encouraged to bring your own parts in for repairs they then have their technicians do the labor, although they are also happy to sell you parts as well. As you have probably discovered, dealership service shops charge full retail for factory parts while non factory brand or aftermarket parts are usually cheaper, often by a considerable margin.
You also know that labor and parts are usually treated separately under warranty situations. BYOP has certified technicians and can offer the same warranty on parts as any other retailer. They provide free shuttle service within a 10 mile radius as well as wi-fi in the waiting area. I haven’t used them personally, but my aging, past warranty vehicle is bound to provide opportunity soon.
I know people who would thrill to the idea of hunting down their own parts and would love this method of saving money, especially those who know something about cars but don’t have the time or equipment to do basic maintenance and simple repairs. It’s hard to be cost-conscious about repairs – aren’t you pretty much over a barrel? - but when you look at an itemized bill, the difference can be significant. If your car is past its factory warranty and is being maintained for your own use more than resale, you have much less reason to pay full price for dealership repairs.
Speaking of car repairs, I have wasted many a perfectly good hour listening to NPR’s Car Talk on Saturday mornings and am sad about the Magliozzi brothers retiring. Errands were more tolerable with the amusement of hearing other people describe their car’s symptoms with that sense of helpless desperation we’ve all known. Before Bart Simpson’s prank calls, Car Talk boasted staff like Mike Easter, Eurasmus B. Draggin, and Pikup Andropov.
It’s too bad we can’t consult the Car Talk guys on this one. They’d have to appreciate the idea of car mechanics who are game for working with any manufacturer’s parts.