Having your automobile break down is not a exciting experience but being unsure of where to take your car to get it repaired can be worse. Most people have a regular doctor, dentist, vet, accountant, etc. and most of the time we have chosen them in advance just in case we get sick or need adviceso why dont most people have a reliable auto repair facility to take their vehicle to? Automobiles are complicated systems, just like the human body so it is vital to take your car in to someone that you trust for regular maintenance.
Im an optimist and like to assume that auto repair shops are honest and that most auto repair technicians generally try to help you by recommending services that will keep your vehicle running smoothly and ultimately saving you time, money and stress by avoiding some major repairs that are due to a lack of preventative maintenance. Again, just like the human body, the better you take care of your vehicle, the better it will perform in the long run.
Ive put together a list of 6 things that will help you when looking for and researching an auto repair shop, help you avoid up sells and scams and help you find someone that you can trust to keep your vehicle and your pocket book in top shape.
1. Look For Mechanics That Are ASE Certified. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. Having the ASE designation is just about important as having the letters “MD.” after your doctors name. Now dont get me wrong, there are decent mechanics who aren’t ASE certified, but generally its too risky unless they have been referred by someone you trust. Other important industry designations to be aware of are NAPA Auto Care and AAA.
2. Get A Referral From Your Friends or Co-Workers: Personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold. A reputable auto repair shop will be aware of the word of mouth effect personal recommendation is and it should be reflected in their overall level of customer service.
3. Always Ask For A Written Estimate Ahead Of Time. Additionally make sure the estimate says that they must call you before any work is done that wasnt originally approved by you. The written estimate should be very specific and break down all parts and labor charges separately.
4. Ask Them To Explain Their Warranties In Detail. Most car repair shops give a a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. Make sure you understand exactly what it covers and what the exclusions or exceptions are. Dont be afraid of asking questions, a reputable facility should have nothing to hide.
5. Most Good Auto Repair Facilities Keep Their Work Area Organized And Clean. Their work area, tools, floor, etc should be reasonably clean. Now dont forget that the car repair business is not generally a super clean industry, but it still should be picked up and organized.
6. Ask what they recommend for upcoming maintenance and get written estimates. A reputable auto repair shop will have no problem doing this. They will know that you will have the opportunity to research to see if what they are recommending is necessary and if their rates are competitive. This indicates that they stand behind and have confidence in their recommendations and rates. Just make sure they dont overly pressure you into doing it right on the spot.
Doing your research ahead of time will help make sure that when you need a good auto repair shop, you wont be taken advantage of. Finding a good mechanic can be daunting, but it is extremely important. A reputable car repair shop will make extra effort to make sure you, your car and your pocket book are being well cared for. A little homework on your part now will give you peace of mind when you really need it.