Whether you need routine maintenance or a more in-depth repair for your vehicle, having a reliable and trustworthy mechanic that can provide quality and timely service can save you money and your valuable time. Finding an honest shop can be a daunting task that many car owners struggle with purely based off of the variety of choices out there.
Before you settle on a shop that suits best you and your vehicle, check the following to make sure you’re making the best choice:
1. Dealership, National Brand, or independent?
If your vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer warranty or is on the newer side, you may think that you can only take your vehicle to a dealership. This is true (to a point). If a repair is needed and is covered under warranty, it likely needs to be taken care of at a dealership. However, if you’re seeking out-of-warranty service or routine maintenance, it will be much easier on your pocketbook to select a national brand or an independent shop. As long as the service is performed and is properly documented by a licensed mechanic/ shop, you will not be at risk of voiding your factory warranty.
While many may think that the most reliable service is performed at a dealership, the fact is that reliable and trustworthy service can take place at the local independent or national brand shop around the corner. These shops are competitively priced and still hold the certifications and training needed to provide excellent service.
2. Get recommendations
Ask your family, friends, and neighbors. Ask questions about the work performed, how much they paid, and how long it took. Find out how the shop communicated & explained the repairs and if the estimate matched the final cost.
3. Look for certifications
The most commonly recognized automotive certifications come from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE for short). Mechanics that are ASE-Certified, have passed tests covering a wide spectrum of repair and maintenance procedures. Technicians can opt to earn advanced certifications in repairs such as diesel, or alternative fuel cars.
4. Check out the equipment
The cars of today are quite complex. You should check if the shop has the right equipment to service your vehicle. Computerized diagnostic tools are necessary to accurately assess many vehicle issues. Online computer systems help mechanics efficiently identify problems without taking half of the engine apart to make a diagnosis.
5. Check their hourly rate
Shops commonly charge an hourly rate for services. If there are two shops that are equally qualified and have good references, but one charges $25 more per hour, choose the more affordable option (within reason). Some situations can be too good to be true. A shop that offers an extremely low rate, may likely provide lesser service or may take longer to complete a job so buyer beware. If you have found a shop that meets all of the criteria with a reasonable hourly rate, you have more than likely found the right one for you.
Finding an affordable and trusted shop can be difficult. CarAdvise makes the process of identifying and scheduling service with a reliable shop easy. Select one of our CarAdvise Certified Shops and rest easy knowing that you have made a good choice with a reliable car-care professional. If there are ever questions during a transaction, CarAdvise has ASE Certified Advisors standing by to validate what is being recommended by the shop so that you know you’re making the right decision. Avoid unnecessary work and never over pay. CarAdvise, decide with confidence.