Your vehicle is your lifeline. When it’s out of commission, you need to take it to a trustworthy auto repair shop to get it back on the road as quickly as possible. But how do you know you’re taking your vehicle to a good place? With these tips, you’ll be able to hunt down the best auto repair shop around.
Start your search early.
The last thing you want is to be on the hunt for an auto repair shop when you really need one. Take the time to find a good shop in your area, while your vehicle’s fine. This way, you’ll be able to take your time, explore, and weigh the benefits and options of each place.
Take the make and model of your vehicle into account.
A given auto repair shop may specialize in one or a few different kinds of vehicle. If you take your car to a place that specializes in that vehicle, you may get better service at that auto repair shop. (And, of course, it does you no good to try to take your vehicle to a shop that specializes in a different type of vehicle than the one you own.)
Ask for recommendations.
Has anyone in your family or circle of friends been looking for an auto repair shop? Ask them where they went, and what their experiences were like. Was the repair completed quickly? Did they have any problems afterward? How much did they pay at the auto repair shop?
Check with your local chamber of commerce.
Ask if the shop has had any complaints filed about them that the chamber of commerce can discuss, and how they were resolved (if they’ve been resolved). That information will help you decide if the auto repair shop you’re thinking of taking your vehicle to is a reputable, ethical establishment.
Look for a certification.
Many shops and mechanics are certified by organizations like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. If an auto repair shop has received that certification, you can trust that someone has looked at the business in question and decided it meets professional standards.
Glance through the facility.
When you show up and ask to talk to someone at the auto repair shop, take a good look around. What is the facility like? No shop’s going to be perfectly pristine, but you should see evidence that safety and cleanliness procedures are in place, and that tools are put back neatly where they belong. If an auto repair shop is adhering to those basic standards of professionalism, they’re more likely to adhere to others, too.
Take them for a trial run.
Before you take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for major repairs, consider heading over there for basic service or a general tune-up, to give them an audition. Are the mechanics helpful and professional? How long does the job take, and how expensive is it? Are you satisfied with the quality of the work?
Stopping in at any business for the first time is always a gamble. And when the work that’s being done is as important to you as what’s going on at an auto repair shop, it’s right to be cautious. Take the time to investigate the business carefully, so you know you’ll get quality service.