A car is the second largest investment most of us make after a house, so it only makes sense that we want to trust the person who is going to be repairing it. And while you might think finding a reliable auto repair shop and a good mechanic might be a difficult task, it really isn’t if you know what to search for. Let’s get you on the right track.
The best way to guarantee you find a good repair shop is to start looking for that quality shop before your car needs repairs. Once your car is broken you are forced to rush around trying to find a place to have it fixed, and you won’t have time to research the quality of the shop.
It’s much better to establish a relationship with a repair shop and the mechanic long before things break. In fact, regular maintenance will reduce the risk of your vehicle breaking down and it’s the perfect way to decide whether you like what a shop has to offer. Start small with a simple oil change and build from there.
Rely on word of mouth when you start your search. Listen to what others have to say about different repair shops. Ask friends, family, and co-workers who they would recommend. You can also check with the BBB to find out who has had complaints against them.
Never base your decision on just the price. A lower price doesn’t always mean a cheaper bill. Some shops have a flat rate charge for each repair type no matter how long it takes them. Others charge for every hour that it takes, which might work out cheaper but it could also work out to more if the mechanic runs into a snag. A higher rate doesn’t always mean better service, but a lower rate doesn’t always mean poor service. Do your research.
Once you think you’ve found the right shop snoop around a bit. Check to see that the shop appears well organized and neat.
There are also some questions worth asking:
1. Do they have up to date equipment
2. What type of diagnostic equipment do they have
3. Can they provide references from other customers
4. Do they specialize in a certain type of vehicle
5. Are their technicians certified
6. What brand of parts do they use
7. What is their policy relating to customer satisfaction
8. What is their warranty
9. What type of payments do they accept
10. What is their labor rate
It’s important to keep a record of the maintenance and repairs you’ve had done to your vehicle. Make sure you keep the repair records in a safe place.
Using these tips, finding a reliable auto repair shop won’t be that difficult.