Car owners who have shopped around for reliable auto repair service from a car repair shop know that there can be a lot of difference between one shop and the next. Here are some important tips for choosing your mechanic when the work done on your car is a true priority.
Check the credentials – One consideration that drivers should not skip is to figure out how the professionals in the shop are qualified to work on your vehicle. Find out if there is a certified mechanic in a particular shop, and how long that mechanic has been in business. Take care to ask about what types of cars the shop is qualified to work on. Some mechanics are great on American cars, but will not touch a foreign model. Also, if you have a specialty or luxury vehicle, you may need to hunt a lot longer to find a qualified mechanic shop.
Ask about parts policy – Some shops allow customers to bring in their own parts, ordered at discount rates from the Internet. Other shops consider it too much of a liability, and will only work with parts that they have ordered in-house. If ordering your own parts is important to you, have this conversation with mechanic representatives before taking your vehicle in to be worked on.
Find out if the shop has an “inform first” policy – The best car repair shop locations will call you before they start working on your vehicle to give you a detailed work estimate, in case you cannot currently afford the work that needs to be done. However, other shops will work first and ask questions later, even sending past due amounts to collections for work that customers never ordered. Nip this shady practice in the bud by telling your shop that you want to be called before any work is done on your car or truck.
Get detailed price estimates – When a shop gives you a general repair quote, ask them to break it down into parts and labor costs. Research to see if the dealer is upselling on parts, and if the labor costs are practical according to the time that it would take a reasonable mechanic to do all of the work ordered. In dubious auto shops, mechanics and other employees price up parts or labor and hope the buyer doesn’t catch on. Make sure you are getting your dollar’s worth for needed fixes.
The above will help drivers to figure out where to take their vehicles for great service and a longer future on the road. The path to finding the best car repair shop can be filled with obstacles: customers often need to do specific research including the steps above to find out if a car shop is on the level. However, when you finally find a reputable repair shop, it can be worth a lot over the life of your car or truck.