Choose the right auto shop?

Over the years, we’ve learned that choosing the right repair shop can be confusing. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about auto repair shops that we decided to offer consumer information to help you make an informed decision.
 
In this report, we’ll share with you four costly misconceptions about getting your car repaired, offer a few suggestions to help you save time, and then we’ll give you six questions you should ask every auto repair company before you set up an appointment.
 
Misconception #1
 
Your car manufacturer specifies regular maintenance schedules just to get you back into their shop to make more money off of you.
 
No. Although manufacturers are making cars that last longer and require less overall maintenance, they do require some preventative maintenance.
 
If maintained properly, you can expect your car to go over 100,000 miles without major service. For instance, most engines have timing belts that must be replaced before they wear out and break and cause even more expensive damage.
 
Misconception #2
 
A shop can give you an accurate price quote over the phone without seeing your car.
 
NO. You can waste your time calling 20 different shops and get 20 different price quotes and chances are every one of them will be wrong. Unless the shop has had a chance to examine or test drive the car in person, there is no way to accurately diagnose your problem and give you an accurate price quote.
 
Beware of any shop that is willing to give you a quote over the phone without seeing the car. Most likely they’ll tell you a real low price just to get you to set up an appointment. Then they’ll probably hit you with a much higher price once you get there.
 
Misconception #3
 
Most repair shops will recommend extra work just to get you to spend more money.
 
The fact is, any repair shop that doesn’t look for potential problems is actually doing you a great disservice. Quality repair shops do a 68-point inspection on every car that comes into their shop to uncover those inexpensive repairs that may be needed now, before they turn into major expenses later.
 
Something as simple as discovering and then changing a worn belt may save you the danger and embarrassment of breaking down on a busy highway and an expensive towing charge.
 
Misconception #4
 
All repair shops are the same.
 
No. In fact, there can be a huge difference between repair shops. The new car technology requires constant training to keep up with all the changes. It also requires the shop to have the latest diagnostic equipment available.
 
The repair shop with the best trained and certified mechanics and most up-to-date equipment will usually do the best repair for you.
 
Here are a few suggestions that will help you choose a good, reputable repair shop:
 
First, ask around. Has anyone you know had a good or bad experience with a particular repair shop?
 
Next, try to find a shop that has a lot of repeat customers. Customers are more likely to stay with a repair shop that they trust and one that does a good job for them.
 
Finally, make sure they guarantee all their work with at least a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty.
 
The six questions that you must ask any auto repair shop before you set up an appointment:
 
  1. Do they have the most up-to-date training and diagnostic equipment for your particular make of car?
  2. If they give you an estimate over the phone, will they absolutely guarantee the price?
  3. Do they do a full safety inspection for free to uncover any other potential problems?
  4. Are all their technicians ASE Certified?
  5. Will they pickup and deliver your vehicle for you or offer you a ride to and from work the day your car is being serviced?
  6. Do they guarantee all their work with at least a 12 month/ 12,000 mile nationwide warranty?
By following these few suggestions and asking the repair shop these questions, you’ll gain all the information that you need to make an informed, intelligent decision.
 
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