How to Find a Quality Auto Repair Shop
Our vehicles get us where we need to go: our jobs, school, the store…even to the other side of the country. It’s because of our great reliance on our vehicles that car trouble is such a stressful experience. Carefully choosing an auto repair shop that you can trust will give you peace of mind and get your car back on the road quickly, even when unexpected breakdowns occur.
So, how do you choose the shop that’s right for you? Research and good information are the keys to success. Read the following article to find out how you can get the information you need to be confident in your choice.
Seek Out a Licensed Auto Mechanic
Clearly, not all mechanics are the same. They have diverse skills, various degrees of experience and different philosophies about auto repair that can help or hurt you. In any case, it’s your right to choose a competent, honest auto repair shop that will repair your vehicle correctly the first time and keep it running for the long term.
All auto repair shops operating in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. You can check the license status of any local auto repair shop by visiting the bureau’s website. Any recent violations, complaints and disciplinary actions will appear on their license.
All Diamond Certified companies have already been thoroughly vetted for you, including license verification. But if you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified mechanic in your area, you’ll have to do the research yourself.
Automotive technicians who have earned certifications such as Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and completed advanced automotive repair training may be better able to repair and maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s specifications. That’s because shops and mechanics with these industry certifications have taken additional courses and passed industry examinations proving they have knowledge and skills that other mechanics may not be able to match.
Some car owners prefer to hire a Green auto repair shop. These shops have earned certifications and completed courses on environmentally responsible auto repair and Green auto maintenance services. If credentials like these are important to you, make sure to ask the auto repair shop for a list of industry recognition and qualifications.
Tips for Identifying a Quality Auto Repair Shop
If possible, visit the repair facility before taking in your vehicle. Your first impression of a shop can tell you a lot about the people and the business with whom you’ll be dealing. While you shouldn’t expect an automotive repair shop to be spotless, you can expect a neat appearance, modern equipment, and policies posted that explain rates and warranties. It’s also important to look for a repair shop with professional staff that obviously cares for customers. They should be courteous, attentive, helpful and willing to answer your questions. A convenient location is also important. You don’t want to drive a long distance between your home and your auto mechanic, especially if you’re having car trouble.
Some auto repair mechanics specialize in certain makes and models; others service all types of vehicles. It’s up to you to decide if you’re best served by a specialty repair shop or a general repair center. If you drive a rare or specialized vehicle, it may be wise to talk to an auto repair shop that exclusively services your vehicle make. However, general repair facilities should have the correct tools, equipment, and know-how to maintain and repair most vehicles.
Another factor to consider when researching auto repair shops is the quality of replacement parts each shop installs. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) auto parts are manufactured by the same companies that build the car’s original parts, so they’re built to fit your car exactly. OEM parts may be a higher quality than aftermarket auto parts, which are built to serve the same function as OEM parts but may cost less. Some discount auto repair shops sell used, salvaged or refurbished auto parts. While these auto parts may be cheap, they usually can’t be guaranteed for safety, quality or length of wear.