Sooner or later, most of us will be faced with the task of finding a mechanic to fix our vehicle. Whether it is a simple brake repair job, or some preventative maintenance like an oil change or transmission flush, we don’t just want any repair shop to do the work. Finding both an honest and qualified auto repair shop with fair pricing can often seem like a daunting task. This is why we have put together a list of items that will help you find a great mechanic and/or auto repair shop for whatever your automotive maintenance or repair needs may be.
Look for Reviews and Recommendations
We’re sure you have heard it before, but word of mouth advertising is one of the best ways to find any type of service, and auto repair is no different. Ask your friends and neighbors who they would recommend; talking to someone who has firsthand knowledge of a particular shop, is invaluable in finding out the quality of work being done, whether or not their pricing is fair and even how their customer service ranks.
The next best thing is to do some searching online – how are their Yelp or Google reviews? Check out their webpage to see what services they offer and what type of warranty they offer on their work. There are also several online sites that offer reviews, you could consider one of the following:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- AAA-Approved Auto Repair Network
Check for Certifications
If a repair shop is interested in offering quality work, you can be sure that they will seek certified mechanics. With today’s technology, vehicles are not as easy to work on as they once were, you will want someone who has the knowledge and skills to work on your baby.
One of the best automotive certifications is the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. ASE doesn’t just certify an auto repair shop, they also certify mechanics as well. ASE mechanics need at least a two-year degree in automotive repair and one year of training or two years of on-the-job training.
Consider an Independent Auto Repair Shop
While many car dealerships these days are striving to offer competitive rates, most are still more expensive than an independent auto repair shop. A survey conducted by CarTalk discovered that dealerships are still charging around 15 percent more than independent shops.
One caveat to this though is if your vehicle is still under warranty. If your repair work falls within your warranty guidelines for parts and labor, the dealership will be your best option. Obviously, cost is the biggest contributing factor to this, but also, some warranties become void if an outside auto repair shop does the repair work.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
Once your research is done, your auto repair shop is picked out and you are ready to commit, it’s time for a first-hand look at your shop. There are a few things you want to be on the lookout for:
- Overall shop appearance and cleanliness of both the working areas and waiting areas – cleanliness and order can be a good indication of attention to detail and quality work
- Attitude of both the mechanics working there and the customers who are waiting on their vehicles – if the mechanics are surly and the customers seem disgruntled, it’s a sure sign that you are going to be dissatisfied as well
- Up to date equipment and computers – newer cars require newer technology, so if the shop is stuck in the dark ages, you and your vehicle are going to suffer