5 Things to Look For in an Auto Shop
The auto repair industry is expected to grow 9% in the decade between 2012 and 2022, making choosing between auto repair services even more difficult. Many drivers bounce around from auto shop to auto shop looking for trustworthy services — or pay premium prices at the dealer. But the best way to get outstanding service and reasonable prices is to establish a relationship with a local car repair shop. If you need an auto center that can meet your needs for a number of years, here’s what you should look for:
The Mechanics Are Experts on A Wide Range of Makes and Models
Unless your car needs specialized attention, look for an auto shop that has mechanics qualified to work on most common types of cars. That way, you won’t have to switch shops or go to multiple mechanics if you buy new or additional cars.
Repairs and Maintenance Are Given Equal Emphasis
Try to find an auto center that meets both your repair and maintenance needs. A recent survey showed that 77% of the cars examined were in need of maintenance or repair, so you may not even be aware that your car isn’t in good health. Go someplace you know will take care of everything from a basic oil change to engine and transmission problems, which are the most expensive types of car repairs.
The Staff Offers Realistic Estimates
This may take more than one visit to determine, but make sure mechanics are giving you honest estimates. Someone who gives an extreme lowball estimate may be trying to get your business, knowing that once your car is in pieces at their garage, you’ll probably pay whatever the final price is no matter what. A good mechanic will give you all the information he or she can, and advise you as to what conditions would raise or lower the total expense.
Prices Are Fair and Consistent
If your favorite shop is also offering a fantastic deal on oil changes, that’s great. But if you’re scoping out new places, be wary of garages that are offering nonstop specials, or pricing their services high so they can constantly cut them down to trick you into thinking you’re getting a good deal. This also goes for any products the shop might sell, such as tires. By developing a relationship with a local auto repair shop, you’ll know that when mechanical or sales staff tells you you’re getting a good deal, you really are. There’s nothing wrong with discount car tires or anything else, but only if you’re buying them from a reputable seller who can guarantee the quality of the product.
The Staff Remembers You and Educates You
Find a car repair shop you can visit over the years. This will help both you and any mechanics who work on your vehicles to track the overall health of your car and advise you on long-term maintenance strategies. Another good sign is if the staff shares tips and information with you so that you can take better care of your car the rest of the time, too.