Guide to Finding a Good, Reliable Auto Repair Shop
You probably found your family doctor, dentist and favorite restaurant in similar fashion. Why then would you not use the same techniques for finding a reputable auto shop?
It has been said that most people spend more time planning their annual vacation than they do developing a solid life plan. If this is true – and we only tend to spend time and energy on the things we like the most – what do we do when we’re confronted with something simple, like finding a reliable auto repair shop?
First things first. While it might be tough to ask car owners to make the task of finding a trustworthy mechanic “fun and games,” it is still a task that must be done. If you wait until you have no choice about getting a repair completed – because your car will no longer operate – you might have to go with an unsavory character out of necessity.
So, advanced planning is key.The time to find a reliable auto show is when your vehicle is in fine working order – not when it’s broken. When you don’t need a mechanic, you can be much more picky and choosy about who you allow to get under your baby’s hood.
Price isn’t as important as we sometimes think it is. I don’t need to tell you how important your car is, but it’s always good to remember that you really need to trust the repair shop you hire. After all, they’re messing around with your car. If they muck things up for you, you’re riding a bus. Therefore, it’s OK to spend a little more for a good repair shop.
Ask some of your trusted friends and associates who works on their vehicles. Are they happy with the service they receive? Do those mechanics specialize in cars like yours? How busy are they when called for an appointment? Have your friends ever had need of an emergency repair? How did their mechanics deal with that?
These are all very important questions that you’ll only get quality answers to if you take the time well in advance of needing the services performed on your vehicle.
If you are unable to find a long list from asking your friends, try your local chamber of commerce. While most of these organizations are all about promoting local businesses, they usually will not allow crooks or suspect businesses to become members. When you call your local chamber, ask if they have a list of unsavory business members to steer clear of. This might be the sort of question you build up to after you’ve established some rapport with the chamber representative.
You’re next stop is to check out the Better Business Bureau listing for auto repair shops in your vicinity. Again, many companies pay for listings in the BBB, but if they have negative comments or reports filed against their company name, they should be shared with you by whomever you speak to.
Once you’ve whittled down your list to a few likely candidates give each a call and test them out on the phone. Are they polite and courteous with you or does their phone etiquette leave something to be desired? If you’ve had a repair done recently, ask the shop what they would charge to do the very same work. This may be time consuming but it will also be very illuminating. If you find several prices and time estimates in line with each other while others seem outrageous you might want to steer clear of those abnormal quotes.
Finally, go in and visit with the last few candidates on your list. How do you feel about them? Were you turned off and uncomfortable? Did they keep their shop as clean as you might expect an auto repair facility, or did it look more like the left over remnants of a hog slop trough?
And don’t forget to get a clear understanding of just how much your mechanic will stand behind his or her work. If the job is not finished satisfactorily, will they do the right thing?
About this post: Guest author Raymond Fisher is a freelance writer who specializes in auto insurance. Fisher writes many articles about auto insurances quotes and how consumers can find the best insurance plans.