Owning a car can be very convenient and exciting. However, if you want to get the most out of your vehicle, you must service it regularly and repair it as soon as possible whenever something goes wrong. This will not only prolong the life of your vehicle, but it will help extend its life as well. For the best servicing and repairs, you should work with a reliable auto repair shop. Wondering how to find an auto repair shop? There are probably a lot of auto repair shops around you. While this is a good thing, it will make it difficult for you to select one to work with. Here are some tips to help you find the best auto repair shop.
1. Research Auto Repair Shops
If you are trying to figure out how to find an auto repair shop, the internet is a good start. You can either search using a search engine, like Google, or their mapping service, Google Maps. You can also search using an online repository of auto shops. One perfect example of such is AAA. These resources can help you select the closest shops for car repairs, car parts, and car lifts online. You will also be able to see the online ratings of any shops you are interested in working with. Ratings and reviews are very important whenever you are looking for a service provider. As you are searching for shops, the general idea is to come up with a shortlist of auto shops you are interested in working with.
While shops that are closer generally make sense, you can also consider one or two that are not too close to your location. Visiting a repair shop that’s a bit farther than you would normally consider may be worth your time. Distance is important, but other factors like quality, price, and trustworthiness should play a part as well when you are looking for a reliable auto shop. Therefore, you shouldn’t be too afraid to go a little further to find a good shop.
As you are searching the internet, you should keep in mind that not all information you will come across is legit and reliable. For instance, a shop’s online rating might not be the perfect representation of its level of service. The same applies to reviews. They are generally not as reliable as one would think. Unless you are going through reviews listed on independent websites or sites that curate their reviews, you should suspect that most high and low ratings are not real. There is nothing stopping a website owner from coming up with their own testimonials and reviews.
There are about three reasons why reviews might not be as reliable as you would want them to be. First, auto shops and other service providers usually pay people to place good reviews on sites. This makes sense because it does improve their ratings. Second, the majority of people who post reviews only do so when the service is either excellent or terrible. Most people just get their cars and leave without giving too much thought to the level of service they receive. Third, companies can use several methods to do away with bad reviews.
Therefore, if you’re wondering how to find an auto repair shop, when checking reviews, you mustn’t just check the rating; you must also check how many reviews are posted about the company. You can’t trust that a company with a five-star rating and seven reviews is better than one with hundreds of reviews and a three-star rating. The amount of reviews is as important as the actual rating. You should also check the timing of the ratings. Trustworthy reviews are obtained over time. You can’t have a company with a year-old profile that has thousands of reviews.
2. Ask for Recommendations
A high-quality auto repair shop builds a good reputation in its community. So if you are trying to figure out how to find an auto repair shop, you may want to start by asking around. This becomes quite important if you know someone who has a car that’s similar to yours. If they know a reliable auto repair shop, you should consider checking it out.
The virtual world is full of resources you can use to find good mechanics. However, you must also consider asking the people around you if they have any good recommendations. One of the easiest ways to find a few more auto repair shops to put on your list is to talk to your friends, neighbors, workmates, and family members. Find out who they do business with. Assuming that you came up with a list of possible auto shops during your online search, you can ask your friends if they have any experience with some of the shops you discovered. If they have heard anything about them, or if they have worked with them before, they can give you their opinion.
If you don’t have lots of friends and family members, you can also talk to your employer. Most companies have vehicles that require repair and maintenance from time to time. A fleet manager usually knows the best local auto repair shops and mechanics. If there is someone who has been servicing your company cars for years, and you have never had complaints, you should also consider that shop for your repairs and servicing. If you are considering working with a company that services your employer’s vehicles, you should look at the length and type of relationship they have. Obviously, if the auto shop has been working with your employer for more than 20 years, chances are they have been doing a great job. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to put them on your list.
If you are looking to repair your car for damage caused by an accident, your car accident lawyer or insurance agency can also help you find a good auto repair shop. Even if they specialize in car accident law, they have probably worked with a few insurance agency auto shops, so they will likely know something about good auto repair shops. Business insurance service providers also know a lot about car repairs. The same applies if you are dealing with a DUI case. The best DUI attorney probably knows a thing or two about auto repair shops.
3. Check for Certification
If you are trying to figure out how to find an auto repair shop, it’s crucial to check certifications. A quality repair shop should be manned by technicians who have passed one or more of ASE’s 52 tests. This will qualify the shop for certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Fortunately, these certifications are not permanent. To remain certified, technicians must be tested every five years. Certification can give you the assurance that whoever is handling your car knows exactly what they are doing.
4. Give the Shop a Trial Run
If you are trying to figure out how to find an auto repair shop, you should give a few shops a trial run. Once you have narrowed it down to a couple of local shops, you should consider giving each of them a try. Start out with smaller repairs and maintenance work. For instance, you can go for oil changes or have them change your filter. Note how well the mechanics handle your vehicle and how they communicate with each other and with you. Hopefully, at this point, you will have narrowed down your list to a few repair shops. As they are servicing or doing some repair work on your car, you should ask as many questions as you can. This will give you a good idea of how they treat their customers and if they are sure of what they are doing. You might want to write down a list of questions to ask in your phone or diary.
5. Call a Few Auto Repair Shops
The idea behind calling an auto repair shop is to assess their level of customer service. Calling also helps to figure out their level of knowledge and confidence in maintaining or repairing your specific model and make of vehicle. If you know the type of work that needs to be done on your vehicle, it would be a great idea to ask them for a verbal estimate of the price and the time it might take for them to complete the job. Keep in mind that some auto repair shops might be a bit reluctant to share this information over the phone. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that. Some cars require an inspection before a mechanic can give you an accurate quote or estimate.
To get an idea of the quality of work a particular shop can deliver, ask them how many mechanics are on their team. You should also find out how many of those completed formal training and what level of experience they have. If they are working with ASE-certified mechanics, then there is a high chance they can deliver the best quality services. Understanding how much knowledge an auto shop has can give you an idea about the level of quality you should expect from them. Additionally, a varied team of mechanics will likely do both an effective and efficient job of dealing with your repairs than a specialty store would. Specialty shops, like paint or autobody shops, are exceptionally good at one thing. However, they may not be so experienced and competent when it comes to other types of repairs. For instance, you can’t really trust a paint shop with engine work.
6. Ask About Warranties
Wondering how to find an auto repair shop? A warranty is a sign that the service provider you are talking to stands behind their work. Unless they are not sure of the work they do, there is no reason for them not to want to give you a warranty. When comparing shops, it’s a good idea to ask about their warranties for common repairs. For instance, find out if they have a warranty for auto transmission. While you’re at it, ask about a warranty for auto brake repair as well! You should avoid auto repair shops that do not stand behind their work. If it turns out that the work they did was not impressive, you may end up having to pay more for repairs.
7. Check Your Repair Estimate
As you are looking for a reliable auto repair service, you should also ask for estimates for their range of services. Estimates are an important part of how to find an auto repair shop. The idea is to get as many estimates as possible. This will go a long way in ensuring that you don’t get overcharged for repairs that are otherwise cheaper elsewhere. Having at least three estimates will give you an idea of how much a specific repair generally costs in your area. However, you must also keep in mind that the cheapest quote is not always the best quote. While paying less makes financial sense, you should run to someone who provides poor-quality services just because they don’t charge a lot. There should be a balance between the quality of services and price.
Any estimates you get must be detailed. This means the costs of labor and parts should be broken out. You should know exactly what you are paying for and why. This means you shouldn’t hesitate to ask why a particular repair costs as much as it does. In some instances, there may be a good reason. Sometimes it might just be that whoever gave you the estimate is in the habit of overcharging their customers. On the other hand, good repair shops charge more because they use parts covered by warranties or because they have uniquely qualified and experienced technicians.
If you are looking to pay a lower price, you can have better luck working with an independent mechanic. However, you must only do this if working with someone other than the dealership won’t void your warranty. At the same time, you must know that dealerships sometimes have specialized tools that independent shops won’t likely have.
Wondering how to find an auto repair shop? Well, finding a reliable auto repair shop is not very difficult. All you need to do is take your time to do the necessary research. You mustn’t just rush to work with the first auto shop you get to, no matter how impressive they seem. This often leads to overcharging, and no one wants to pay more for the same quality of service and workmanship if they can pay less elsewhere. You should also not be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. Trustworthy companies are not afraid to answer questions, so consider this if you’re trying to figure out how to find an auto repair shop!