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.

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.

22 thoughts on “Choosing a Reliable Auto Service Shop

  1. My wife recently got into an accident. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, but our car received some damage. We have been looking for a shop to help us repair it and get it into great condition. Thanks for mentioning that you should visit a shop before you choose them so you can gauge their attitude and cleanliness. That can be a good judge into how good their service will be.

  2. My wife and I just moved to a new area, and we were curious about how you would find the right repair shop. It’s interesting that you say to make sure that you find a shop that is close by, but still reputable. It would be nice to know that you are going to get the best for your car.

  3. There seems to be an issue with our clutch. We will need a professional to look at it, but we want to make sure we find someone that is experienced and qualified for the job. As you said, it’s easy to ask friends and family for suggestions and ask them about their past experiences.

  4. I agree that checking on social media can be a good place to find an auto shop. It would seem that a good shop would have a strong online presence if they are popular. I’m looking for an auto shop to help with some car repair soI’ll have to find someone who is well represented online.

  5. I really like some of the things that you encourage your readers to look out for when visiting an auto service shop that they are considering. In particular, your advice about looking for similar cars to yours is great. If you do that then you’ll know whether or not they have the skills and parts to fix your car too.

  6. I was happy to see that the advice of your friends and family were listed high on your article here. I’ve always felt that getting input from people you trust is a good way to make good decisions. It would also make sense to me to spend some time online or with the BBB to get a feel for what past customers have said about a business.

  7. I really liked the suggestion to use social media as a platform to get referrals from friends or family of what auto shop’s to chose. I’ve been having some problems with my car that I haven’t been able to quite figure out, and I want it looked at by someone I know I can trust. I feel like using a shop that has been referred to me by someone I trust would go a long way in increasing my confidence in an auto shop’s trustworthiness.

  8. My wife’s car has been having some issues. She’s looking for a good auto service that can inspect her transmission because it’s making a grinding noise. I didn’t realize how Yelp can help you see reviews and replies from previous clients. I’ll be sure to share this info with my wife.

  9. The engine light in my car came on yesterday, and I need to take it into a shop. I want to make sure that I find a reputable place that will provide quality service. As you said, it’s a good idea to look at the facility to see if it is clean and well-organized. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for the recommendation to get advice from friends and family on where to take your vehicle as well as check online with social media or review sites in order to get information from customers about their experience with the auto shop. This could be important to make sure you understand what they offer and to ensure that they’ll treat you and your car well. When you’re looking online at social media and reviews, you’d probably want to also see if the auto shop has a website where you can look at the services they offer as well as their mechanics.

  11. Thanks for the tips for choosing an auto repair shop. My car needs some service, and I haven’t been able to find the right shop to handle it yet. I like that you mentioned to check out the social media page of a shop. That way, you can get a good idea of the attitude and environment there and see if it fits with what you want.

  12. I really liked your suggestion to extend my search for referrals to social media. I need some work done on my car, but I’m not sure about who to trust with it. I think going through social media would give me quite a few leads I can follow up on to determine if those shops would be a good fit for my car.

  13. My wife accidentally damaged her car, and we wanted to find a company to fix it up for us. I really like that you say to have them do a minor job before they focus on a bigger one. It would be nice to know that you will be able to see how they perform.

  14. Thank you for the interesting article. You wrote that you should look online and through social media to find profiles of different auto repair services that you could potential hire. I’ll have to find a service that also gets great reviews online, as that could be a good sign that the service is well thought of by those in the community and the past customers have had great experiences.

  15. These are great tips for finding a good car shop. I agree with you that settling for the closest shop isn’t the best choice all of the time. Driving farther isn’t doesn’t appeal much to me, but neither does settling for sub-par work!

  16. I do like what you have to say about location in the article because it is something that a lot of people fail to take into consideration when choosing an auto service shop. After all, the closest one to you may not be the best or, there may be a shop that specializes in your type of car just a bit further away. You want to clearly and carefully review every option that you have available to you before you decide on which auto shop to take your car to.

  17. It makes sense to consider the reputation of an auto shop before you choose them. Finding someone who is well liked and also clean and organized would be a really good sign. My dad needs his car’s engine looked at, so he’ll have to find somewhere with a good reputation to help out.

  18. My son’s car has been having some issues, and I think that being able to get it in for some auto service would be helpful for us. I’m glad that you talked about being able to judge the book by its cover when it comes to an auto shop, and that you want to look for an organized place of business. I’m going to have to pay attention to the neatness of different auto services in our area when we take his car in for estimates and keep that in mind when we make our decision!

  19. Wow, it’s a great article! I found it useful how you mentioned about checking referrals while choosing a reliable auto service. My sister is going to buy a car in order to commute to her work, and she’ll definitely need some professional help with the regular maintenance as I’m not a handyman. So, I’ll definitely share with her this useful in order to find the most professional services for her which will cope with any car damage.

  20. I like how you said that the auto service shop that you choose should be easily found online. Thanks for your tip to look for someone that is well-spoken of by others as well. My husband and I are looking into auto services that can repair our family car well.

  21. I agree that you need to consider searching on social media for reviews of an auto service. Finding someone who is well liked in the community would be ideal because it would reflect their quality of work. I’m looking for an auto shop to help replace my car battery, so I’ll have to check online for good reviews first.

  22. I agree that you want to check if an auto service has a clean and well-organized facility. It would be good to consider this because it would help ensure that they are professionals who take their time doing meticulous work. I need someone to help take a look at my engine because it has been smelling funny recently. When I find them, I’ll have to consider how clean their facilities are.

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