Auto Repair: 3 Considerations When Choosing A Shop

Unless you trade your car in on a yearly basis, it's unlikely you'll be able to go long without needing the services of a good auto repair shop. Even if nothing major goes wrong, you'll need a place you can trust to handle your regular maintenance requirements. For some people, this simply means taking it to their dealership. 9 times out of 10, however, you can do better than that with a little research. By shopping around, being cautious, and keeping your options open you can find a mechanic who will give you fair pricing and great service. Here are 3 important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a shop.

Reputation

This is the number one consideration. You don't want to find out after you've paid for service that you've been ripped off. A bad auto repair shop cannot only cost you money, their shoddy work could actually cause additional problems. The thing is, unless you have some idea of what to look for, it may take you a long time to realize that you need to change mechanics in a hurry. Ask around. The internet lets you connect with more people than ever before, so you don't have to limit your recommendations to your circle of close friends. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.

Your Warranty

If you have auto repair that is covered by a warranty, you'll probably need to take it straight to the dealership. Expense doesn't come into play, since you aren't paying for it. If you're going to take non-warranty maintenance and work elsewhere, however, you need to be careful about keeping your records. Your warranty is often dependent on you meeting certain requirements. If you don't change your oil for two years (or have no record of doing so), you may get a surprise when your engine breaks down and the warranty doesn't cover it. So make sure the shop you choose can provide you with detailed records.

Price


Obviously, price is always going to play a part in determining where you go for auto repair. However, don't let it cloud your judgment. If one place is charging $10 for an oil change and the place down the street is charging $30, what's the difference? Is one place using low-grade oil to do the work? Are the technicians less trained? Is there no difference, other than one shop having more overhead? These are things you need to look into before you automatically decide to go with the lower price.

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