Choosing A Repair Shop That You Can Trust
One of the most important things you can do for the health and longevity of your car is to find a reliable mechanic that you can trust. It can be tempting to wait to find a shop until something goes wrong, but developing a relationship with your mechanic before major trouble strikes is often a good idea. A great way to do this is to start looking for a trusted mechanic to perform routine maintenance on your car. By working with the same shop for oil changes, brake changes, and other scheduled maintenance, you can get to know the technicians at the shop and they can get to know your car.
Choosing a mechanic isn't always simple, however, and often there are a variety to select from in any area. This guide will provide you with a few tips to finding the right mechanic for your car.
Ask About Certifications
The most common certifications issued in the auto repair industry are from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This organization actually issues several certifications for different types of work, ranging from engine repair to suspension and brake and electrical maintenance. In total, there are eight certifications, and most professional shops will have technicians that are ASE certified in all eight specialties. When speaking with a new mechanic, this should be one of the first certifications that you ask about.
Look for Specialists
In addition to the ASE, many individual car manufacturers offer their own certifications. If your car's manufacturer does offer one or more certifications for technicians, then it never hurts to ask a shop if any of their technicians hold these. Even if this isn't the case, it is usually a good idea to find a mechanic that works on your particular type of vehicle. Every manufacturer has its own quirks and special problems, so familiarity can go a long way towards making repairs go more quickly and smoothly.
Ask About Common Maintenance Costs
While you shouldn't expect a shop to be able to quote you estimates on actual repair work over the phone, they should be able to provide basic price ranges for simple jobs such as oil changes or brake pad replacements. It's never a good idea to simply go with the lowest bidder, but this can help you to determine if a shop's prices fall within a reasonable range. This is a good time to ask about their hourly labor rate as well.
Get Recommendations and Read Reviews
Of course, it's always important to verify the quality of any shop that you send your car, too. Getting recommendations from friends is a great idea, but don't neglect online reviews. Checking with the Better Business Bureau is often a good idea as well. You will want to collect information from as many sources as possible so that you can perform a complete picture of how a shop operates and how satisfied its customers are over the long term.
For more information, contact companies like Dugan Oil and Tire.