Automobiles-the second largest investment most Americans will make in their lifetimes are one of the most complex tools we will ever own and something we use relentlessly in work, play and family functions.  When the car is not working properly, on any of its many levels, our whole lifestyle suffers; how do we assure that this device works for us and fulfills its many needs?  What other tool in your home is supported by so many businesses that offer new or used units, service to the piece of machinery, or just parts for you to install yourself?  A quick inventory tells me I pass far fewer refrigerator parts and service centers than auto parts, instant oil changes and tire stores.  Automobiles are responsible for such significant chunk of our economy the number of enterprises offering goods and services to owners and operators is relatively very large.
 
The Better Business Bureau,  offers services and advice to consumers and business owners to help us all navigate the automotive experience from start to finish.  The BBB accreditation process allows business owners to establish their integrity and professionalism; when the consumer sees the BBB Torch symbol at a business they be assured that the business has achieved the standards that we all expect from the enterprises we support with our dollars.  The BBB accreditation also provides the consumer an advocate and path to resolving any problems that may occur.  We all have heard , or lived through, horror stories related to automobile purchase, sales, services or components that have failed to meet our expectations as consumers.  Conversely automotive business owners have a cacophony of horror stories about consumers that could not grapple with the issues related to buying, servicing or selling automobiles.  The BBB is the conduit that can ease the pain on both sides of the issue by offering methods to accommodate both parties and get the problems resolved in an equitable and fair manner.
 
One of the issues with automobiles is that they are extremely complex machines with a wide variety of components that can fail; these parts are all interconnected and influence the performance of other parts.  When a mechanic addresses issues with one component there are a number of ancillary components that will be impacted by that service, which occasionally results in the failure of some of those related components.  As a former mechanic and service advisor in automobile dealerships and aftermarket service facilities I have seen this occur countless times-to the point where you should count on it and be prepared.  When this occurs the consumer, who may or may not, have an understanding of how intertwined automotive components operate is often left feeling disenfranchised as the invoice grows to include these added repair of related parts.
 
Consumers take their autos to service professionals for care and maintenance, trust the dealer to be given the straight story on purchases and generally operate on the basis that they are asking the experts.  When a breakdown happens with the vehicle or the process, the consumer is put in between the rock and the hard place and must make decisions about a machine that they may not fully understand.  We all have experienced dishonest or ineffective business people and are understandably wary of others that cannot provide a resolution to our problems.  
 
The BBB strives to resolve problems to everyone's satisfaction through a rigorous accreditation process and professional follow up to issues.  As one that has been on both sides of the issue, I can attest that the BBB offers an understanding of the consumer's needs and the business person's position and finds common ground to satisfy each party.  No one is always right and the BBB keeps the situation manageable for all parties.  When considering services or purchases for your automobile look for the BBB accreditation symbol, as a business owner join the BBB and use their expertise and training to instill a message of trustworthiness to the consumer.