Choosing a Reliable Auto Service Shop

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Close-up detail of a mechanic tightening or lossening the lugs of an aluminum rim.

Close-up detail of a mechanic tightening or lossening the lugs of an aluminum rim.

For most of us, owning a car is a fact of life.  Along with car ownership, just as with home ownership, is the responsibility of upkeep and maintenance.   And with that comes the daunting task of finding a reputable mechanic.  Let’s face it, many of us are not mechanically inclined and can easily be “taken for a ride” by a repair shop that is less than trustworthy.  So, how can we avoid being the victim in this scenario?  Our advice is to spend a little time doing some research.  This can save you both time and money when all is said and done.  Here are some tips for finding a reliable and honest mechanic or service center.

Referral from Friends and Family

Of course, the best way to find just about any service is to rely on the experience of others.  Not only can you find out, from friends and family, where to take your car, you can also compile a pretty nice list of places NOT to visit.  This is easy with today’s social media sites.  Who has time to make phone calls to ask for referrals?  Take it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat (just to name a few.)  Whatever the question, folks are all too eager to share experiences, both good and bad.

Social Media

Not only can you find plenty of information from your friends on social media, you can also find plenty of information on most businesses through their social media profiles.  Conduct a search of some of the repair shops in your area on the sites you frequent to see what you can find.  But don’t stop there!  Keep looking….

Yelp and Angie’s List

With sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, a good auto repair shop may be just a few clicks away.  Businesses can’t pay to get reviews on these platforms.  Again, relying on the notion that people like to share experiences, you can read reviews about service shops on everything from customer service and price to waiting time and reliability.  It’s wise not to just read a few reviews and move on.  You’ll get a better picture of any business if you look at many reviews over time.  Yelp even has its own app, and it can be used to find more than just a good repair shop.  No matter what service you’re looking to find, Yelp and Angie’s List should have plenty of reviews to help in your search.

Location….It may not be everything it’s cracked up to be!

Don’t settle for the closest or most convenient shop.  If the one in closest proximity just happens to be upstanding and reputable, that is great!  But don’t settle just because it’s easy to access.

Take a long look around….Sometimes it is okay to judge a book by its cover!

Visit the repair shop and pay close attention.   Do they have clean and well-organized facilities?  Obviously, an auto repair shop will not be a sterile environment, but you should expect it to be reasonably neat and tidy.  Also, look around at the other cars that are in for service.  Are they similar to yours? Look for certifications and diplomas.  These should be hanging in the office and in individual mechanic areas.  Are there any service awards?  Also, look for signs of membership in consumer groups such as the Better Business Bureau.  Do they have a “menu” posted for all to see?  Labor rates and fees as well as guarantees should be posted in the customer area along with accepted methods of payment.

Give them a “test drive.”

Don’t try out a new service shop with a major repair.  Begin with a minor job such as an oil change.  This gives you the opportunity to get to know more about them.  Are they professional and courteous?  Do they do what they say they will do?  If you are pleased with the service provided, you may want to move forward with a more complex repair.

….Wishing you safe travels, wherever your car may take you!  And, as always, if you are looking to find a key to a new home in the near future, please contact the Scherer Team at 888-300-4431.

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