We understand that it's challenging to choose the right auto repair shop. It can be a time-consuming adventure—one made worse by the number of misconceptions that abound. To help you find a quality, trustworthy auto service shop, here's what we recommend:
Tip #1: Find an auto repair shop that follows your vehicle's maintenance schedule.
Although manufacturers are making cars that last longer and run more reliably, they do require preventive maintenance. If maintained properly, your vehicle will last for almost as long as you want it to—in all probability well over 150,000 miles and for 10 or more years.
Tip #2: Look for an auto service center that inspects your car to ensure an accurate price quote.
You can waste your time calling 20 different shops for 20 different price quotes, and chances are, most of them will be wrong. Unless the shop has had a chance to examine or test drive the car, there is no way to accurately diagnose your problem and give you an accurate price quote. Be wary of any estimate you receive over the phone from a shop that hasn't seen the car (ever or recently). In many cases, the shop will give you an unrealistically low price just to get you to set an appointment. And once they have a chance to inspect the vehicle, they're likely to give you that more realistic price.
Tip #3: Opt for the shop that inspects your car during every service visit.
The fact is, any repair shop that doesn't do an overall inspection for developing problems and maintenance needs is actually doing you a great disservice. Quality repair shops do a multi-point inspection on every car that comes into their shop. It's their way of making you aware of inexpensive repairs and maintenance before they turn into major catastrophes. Something as simple as a worn drive belt may save you the danger, hassle and cost of breaking down on a busy highway.
Tip #4: Choose an auto shop that is up to date in terms of training and equipment.
Today's auto technicians must attend continual training to keep up to speed with all the changing automotive technology under the hood. Today's new car technology also requires the shop to have the latest diagnostic equipment available. The repair shop with the best trained, ASE-Certified Technicians and most up to date equipment will usually do the best repair for you.