Whether you have a new electric or an old clunker, your car needs a good mechanic. Car repair shops are a dime a dozen, but finding the right one can be difficult.
Visit Local Shops
Check out local repair shops near you. Go inside to see how they operate and take a good look at their equipment. Do they use heavy-duty industrial storage cabinets, or are their tools just lying around in makeshift racks? Do they have room to work on the cars in their shop, or are they taking in more than they can handle? Take a look at the machinery and equipment inside the shop; a glance will usually tell you if they’re a serious operation or a bunch of friends pursuing a hobby. Start with the closest shops and work your way further. Convenience is a plus, but the quality of service is of the utmost importance.
Do They Have Certification?
Most shops will have their numbers listed online, so give them a quick call. Ask about the shop’s operations, and how many of their employees are ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified. ASE certifications have several categories so, so make sure the shop’s personnel have most of them covered. The number of certified and uncertified employees is also one thing to look out for. Once you leave your car, you won’t know who’s working on it. Are you sure your vehicle will be taken care of by a certified mechanic, or will it be passed on to a new trainee?
Ask about Estimates and Warranties
Ask if they provide written estimates before repair and warranties after. While estimates won’t give you an exact figure, it would give you a good idea of how much repairs could cost. Getting an appraisal is an excellent way not to get shafted, and it shows how honest (or expensive) the shop is. A decent repair shop with full confidence in their mechanics and services wouldn’t have problems issuing warranties. Ask them what kind of warranties they offer and compare it with other shops. A good shop wants your car out on the streets. If you’re returning to the repair shop too often, then shenanigans might be at play.
Talk to the Mechanics
A little conversation can give you a lot of information. Find out how long the mechanics have been working and their experience and training. Do they seemed hurried, stressed, or unhappy? Ask the owner or manager where they get their parts. Do they get them used, new, directly from the manufacturer, or do they use aftermarket parts? Little details matter, especially when it pertains to your car and your safety while on the road. Ask for references you can contact. If they eagerly hand you the information, they must be proud of the work they’re doing.
Do some digging before choosing a car repair shop. Ask friends, family, and neighbors, or do a little research on your own. Choose the shop with the best mechanics; your car and your safety are on the line.