What You Should Look For In A Good Auto Repair Shop
When you’re looking for a good auto repair shop, one thing you need to keep in mind is exactly what kind of work you need to be done on your vehicle. If you’re just talking about normal maintenance, those are typically services recommended by the manufacturer in order to maintain the vehicle in good running condition. Repair work is something entirely different, and that may call for a specialist who is experienced in working on your make and model of vehicle.
You can generally find almost any auto shop which can handle regularly scheduled maintenance, and many vehicle owners tend to take their car to the dealership where they bought it for such regular maintenance. When it comes to having repairs performed on your vehicle, you are not obliged to take it to your dealership, because federal law says that you can take it any independent operator without affecting your warranty coverage.
Probably the biggest difference between taking your vehicle to the dealership where you bought it, and any other auto repair shop, will be that your dealer is likely to charge slightly higher rates than an independent operator would.
When You Should Go to the Dealership
It will definitely be to your advantage if you take your car to the dealership where you bought the car when it’s still covered by its original warranty and you want the manufacturer to pay for the repair work. Something like having your transmission overhauled or having some kind of electronics issue diagnosed can be an expensive proposition, and you’ll want to pay for that by using your warranty, so it’s not an out-of-pocket cost.
Another instance where you would want to take your vehicle to a dealership is when there has been any kind of recall on your car, where the manufacturer is providing free modifications to correct some type of defect. Having the work done at a dealer won’t cost you anything, whereas having it done anywhere else would be subject to normal parts and labor costs.
If your vehicle is no longer covered by the original warranty, the place where you have it repaired might be determined by the kind of problem you’re experiencing. A shop which specializes in your type of vehicle may be the best place to have the work done because they’ll have all the necessary training and equipment to do good work on it. If your car has some kind of problem which is specific to its make and model, that’s a good indication that you should take it to the dealership, because they will be best equipped to handle the issue.
What to Look For in an Independent Auto Repair Shop
You might be surprised to learn that statistics show more auto vehicle owners obtain a high level of satisfaction from an independent repair shop as opposed to the dealership where they bought the cars. Whatever the reason for this might be, it indicates that vehicle owners have a higher level of trust and confidence in a specific repair shop which they have found. In order to find that kind of repair shop yourself, there are some qualities you should look for that will help you narrow down the field.
The first of these is a repair shop which services your kind of vehicle. Any shop which specializes in doing work on your make and model is more likely to have the training and equipment necessary to accomplish all necessary repairs and maintenance. Another good way to find a repair shop which you can rely upon is to consult your family and friends. One or more of them is bound to have a favorite repair shop which they have great confidence in, and which they feel comfortable recommending to you.
If you can’t get any solid recommendations from that group, you can take to the Internet to look up all the local repair shops in your area. Once you have a listing of all those shops, you’ll have to narrow down the field by asking around to find out the experiences others have had with those shops. You can also just try several of them when you have maintenance work to do, or some simple repairs, to establish some kind of comfort level with certain shops.
When you’re checking out individual shops, ask them about any guarantees they give on their repair work, and inquire about specific kinds of tasks, like a brake job. An agency that you should look for in association with a good auto repair shop is the Better Business Bureau. Not surprisingly, among all complaints typically filed with that bureau, auto repair shops are generally near the Top 10 kinds of businesses that garner frequent complaints.
Before doing business with any auto repair shop, you should check out their professional credentials with the Better Business Bureau, so you’ll know right off the bat whether or not you should avoid them. Finally, any auto repair shop which you settle on should be one which is fairly convenient for you to get to. Make sure that the business hours of any repair shop you choose are in sync with the hours you have available for dropping your car off there.
There is a number of things to consider when you’re looking for the right auto repair shop to handle your vehicle maintenance and repair work. In some cases, taking your vehicle to the dealer makes the most sense, especially when your car is still under warranty, or if recall work is being done on your car. When you’re looking for an independent repair shop, one of the best recommendations you can have is from family or friends, or from online reviews of that specific repair shop. Lacking any of those, you’ll have to do your own research to find local shops, and then check them out one by one, to see which one suits your needs and makes you feel confident in their services.