The change in season is a great reminder to take your car in for maintenance to avoid any unexpected malfunctions during the colder autumn days. But how do you vet an auto shop to make sure you're not getting taken for a ride?
The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) program—a non-profit
organization that works to improve the quality of vehicle repair
by certifying service professionals — recently awarded the Auto
Technician of the Year award to Gary Sharits, a certified technician who
has important advice for car owners who are looking for a reliable
>> 1. PAY ATTENTION TO THE SHOP'S CREDENTIALS
Grades matter. Search for shops who have been certified by a third party
agency so you can compare them to other shops using standard "measuring
sticks" created just for this purpose. RepairPal, the leading website that pre-screens repair shops to help you find quality auto repair at a fair price, is a great resource.
>> 2. DON'T SHOP FOR PRICE ALONE
Comparing shops by price is only part of the equation—and can leave you
with with a job you're not happy with. When choosing a shop, focus on
the quality of the repair/service performed. If the job isn't done
properly the first time, you'll lose the savings when you have to get
the issue fixed again. Use a repair price estimator, like the free one
provided by RepairPal, to get an idea of what you can expect to pay for a certain repair in your area.
>> 3. WHEN IN DOUBT, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
Once you've done all of the research, go with the shop or technician
that you feel the most comfortable working with over the long
term. Maintenance and repairs are an inevitable part of car ownership,
so it's important to have a reliable repair shop you can trust with your
car year after year.
By using the tools and resources available to customers, choosing a
trustworthy repair shop can be less of a hassle for any car owner
regardless of their automotive knowledge.