Coming soon…

8 12 2014


It’s only been a couple short years since Community Automotive Repair’s website upgrade but technological advances are happening faster than ever.  As such, we’re pleased to report our corner of the web will be completely revamped, to maximize a user-friendly online community.

You’ll still be able to schedule an appointment, link to our social media sites, ask our Service team a question, or browse the latest customer gallery photos.  In addition, you’ll have a much better browsing experience from your mobile devices.  We already had a site optimized for mobile viewing but given more of you are surfing from your phones these days, we need to meet you where you are.

This is just one more way we hope to improve your overall experience with our local auto repair shop.

Thank you for your patience as we make this transition.  Rest assured, a vastly improved site awaits!




12 06 2013

Richard Zaagman

HERE is a feature Pat Evans of the Grand Rapids Business Journal was kind enough to recently write about our Owner/President, Richard Zaagman.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the man behind ZIGZAAG. *

* see article for further explanation


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Spring into savings

1 05 2013


Save money today, good through 05.24.13

Click below.


Consistency versus Accuracy

14 02 2012

Have you ever felt as if you’re moving along at the speed of life and recognize the only consistency you’ve secured is that which you’ve made every effort to avoid?  For example, you’re convinced that this is the week you’re going to do a series of things that have been overlooked to this point, only to find that you’ve consistently avoided them yet again.  Sound familiar?  These patterns don’t just create themselves.  In fact, we’re responsible for either following status quo or making a dramatic shift to effect positive change.  Moral here is that without accuracy consistency can take you only so far.

The reason these questions are being considered is because we recently completed a three year review of vehicles that were brought into our shop with the assistance of a tow truck.  You’re welcome to decide for yourselves what caused these vehicles to no longer operate as designed, but for sake of simplicity we’ll just tell you that what they had in common was their owner could not physically drive them here.  What we were able to conclude from these reports was alarming.

Would you believe that not one of these vehicles in severe disrepair belonged to our existing customers?  To be clear, disrepair in this case is being used to describe a broken ball joint, tie rod end, control arm, or some other absolutely vital component of a vehicle that protects its driver from eating the road, as it were.  Can this actually be true?  Yes, and not only does this truth reveal multiple signs of negligence but also in every case amounted to a much greater repair cost.

You see, it’s not as if we don’t have our regular customers come in for replacement of these parts – no, the difference is that our proactive and comprehensive inspection process catches “warning signs” before they become a threat.  Even referring to them as warning signs may be an overstatement, actually.  They may in fact be only points of concern when documented during a routine service visit.

What this tells us, among other things, is that these vehicles likely belonged to people that developed consistency but not accuracy.  Their owners were consistently overlooking the importance of regular and proper care.  They fit into the upper right corner of the illustration above.  In some ways we suspect their consistent efforts actually felt rewarding and may have even been convincing enough for them to feel they were doing the right thing.  The condition of their vehicles would suggest otherwise.

Is it possible that these customers had all the routine services performed at another shop and we simply didn’t have records to prove it?  Possible, but highly unlikely given the consistent (there’s that word again) nature of their deterioration.  So our curiosity got the better of us and we decided to look into this matter further.  We had a feeling the difference would be significant but our discovery proved this to be the case almost tenfold.  In situations where a tie rod end or ball joint is loose the average repair cost was around $300.  However, when a vehicle came to us by way of a tow for replacement of the same part(s) that cost increased to almost $1100.  This variance can basically be summed up as severe negligence of one important part often leads to a domino effect, whereby you end up having to repair/replace several corresponding parts.  Bottom line, you pay more.  For those of you contemplating whether we mean financially or emotionally, the answer is yes.

Our customers have been coached (or advised for those who prefer academia over sports analogies) toward accuracy for the greater majority of almost 40 years.  Our partnership is just that, an equally contributing force, where you ask for our help and we develop a plan together, followed by an inquiry on our part to make sure you understand next steps.  Our desire is for you to fully identify points of accuracy (touch points of service according to your vehicle’s manufacturer) and consistently pay attention to them.  We didn’t write the book, but we know better enough than to ignore it.

To bring this full circle, those routine service visits represent the darts in the illustration above.  Our expert team can assist in helping make sure that more of yours result in a bulls-eye (or what in this case is considered the “safe” zone).  Safe doesn’t exclude necessary investment, rather it promotes systematic responsibility that often results in less individual expenses.

The concept here is simple, plan ahead for paying now, or really pay later.  Again, the answer is a resounding yes.

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Don’t blink…

28 07 2011

Summer is here but fading fast.  You may find it hard to believe given our latest heat wave, but it’s true – August is right around the corner.  Before long you might be ushering your young ones to school or child care, stopping on low traffic side streets to take in the majestic colors of the season, and dare we say it – grabbing your sweaters and overcoats in preparation for that other season (of which we won’t mention by name) that immediately follows.  Bottom line, if you were to close your eyes for too long you might find the need to shift that thermostat from C to H.  Don’t worry, for everyone’s sake, we’re also hoping those temperatures stay at bay for as long as possible in 2011/12.

What does all this mean?  Among other things it’s meant to illustrate just how much time passes before you may have even realized it.  We understand some of you are planners and as such may find yourself immersed in a well designed agenda for each day you face.  For the less than 10% of you that manage this way, we salute you!  We believe you may have a thing or two to teach us.  To the remainder of us who have a seemingly endless flow of projects, assignments (some of which are time sensitive), interruptions, distractions, etc.  – we may wake up one morning feeling as if it’s still July and August will have invited itself into the fold.

Do you find yourself absent minded when it comes to proper auto care?  Wouldn’t it be just as easy to put off or completely forget to routinely service your vehicle?  The answer we hear the most (and it’s rather unanimous) is YES.  What might be the consequences for overlooking important work that’s needed?  The short answer is we have no specific way of knowing, but we can say history has shown time and again that failure to maintain a vehicle may lead to more necessary repairs, and of course that often means a significantly higher expense.

To close this entry, we’d like to focus on the important difference (there’s more than one but we believe you’ll understand our point) between repair and maintenance.  The former is most commonly associated with something happening that requires service to your vehicle.  We’ll refer to this as reactive.  The latter, however, generally consists of measures you’ve taken to keep your vehicle running smoothly before a major problem arises.  This approach is definitely proactive.  It has been our experience and we have twenty or more (and counting) detailed accounts from long-time loyal customers to substantiate that “$200 now is far better than $2,000 later.”  Of course, there’s a chance (however small it may be) your vehicle will survive just the same even when neglecting to properly care for it over time, which is why we have no intention or desire to use this information as a scare tactic.  No, that’s not where our heart is at all.  We simply wish to make certain that you understand the gamble you’re taking.

Ask yourself what risk you’re willing to take and how much is too much when it comes to potential problems.  Your vehicle’s manufacturer has gone to the extra effort to spell out (some more than others) what suggested service intervals will keep your vehicle operating as designed, just locate your owner’s manual.  We understand these are read and paid attention to quite infrequently but we’re not willing to passively accept this fact, nor do we encourage anyone to write them off as unhelpful.  Fact of the matter here is nobody knows that vehicle better than the company that’s responsible for its production, period.  If for one reason or another you take a pass on our advice, we would at the very least recommend you listen to them.

If you may be due for any specific services or have questions about routine maintenance, we’re here to help.  We love what we do and we’re committed to doing it right the first time.  Feel free to call (616.774.7048) for an appointment, or take full advantage of our online scheduling.  You can even do this right from our facebook page if you wish.  Either way, we look forward to serving you soon.

Help your vehicle survive extreme heat

15 07 2011

Dog Days of Summer

It’s not too often we’ll share unoriginal material, but THIS latest journal entry from AAA is complete and relevant enough to pass along “as is.”

Also, by now you should have received word of our Worry Free Driving specials.  There are several from which to choose, all valid until 08/12/11.

Feel free to give us a call (616.774.7048) with any questions, or schedule an appointment today and get a jump start on these quality services.


Convenience adds value.

7 07 2011

Here at Community Automotive Repair we’ve had online tools available for quite some time, only recently we’ve had to be completely honest with ourselves and admit that our technologies were becoming tired and borderline obsolete.  That’s a clear wake up call that our system needed a shot in the arm!

For years we’ve had the option of scheduling appointments and corresponding with our shop via e-mail.  Only it appeared as if several people would still use our “contact us” feature to send general e-mail (especially spammers – we’ll defend ourselves from your elusive SEO optimization scheme when you ask if we have a website in the same introduction!) so we felt it was a good idea to remind you about the methods in which you can conveniently schedule an appointment for our services and leave special details about the symptoms (if applicable) you’re experiencing.  No longer will you need to rely on that vintage Franklin Covey planner to keep you organized.

Simply click HERE and you’ll be directed to our scheduling applet, or if you’re on facebook you can accomplish the exact same task without having to log out of your account by clicking HERE.  The point we’re making is that it has never been easier to save yourself time and reserve your spot in line.  That’s right, all of this can be done without picking up a phone or physically stopping in to our location.  In fact, those of you with smartphones won’t even have to wait until you’re in front of a computer.

It was time to make some adjustments (for your benefit) and we’ve done exactly that.  We believe you’ll agree that this process will feel more like that nice worn in sofa you’ve come to appreciate after a long day of work.

Kick up your feet, relax, we’ll take it from here.

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