auto repair Columbia SC

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop

Everyone that’s ever had auto repairs done knows, not all mechanics are created equal.  A truly good mechanic will have the credentials and good reviews to prove they provide what they say.  So where do you find these mechanics? How do you locate an auto repair shop that provides great service? Here are a few tips that will help in choosing the right car repair shop.

1. Check the web!

Most businesses today have a website, and the auto repair industry is no different.  While old-school phone books and print ads may include information about credentials, searching online will almost always provide reviews of the actual quality of the service. An ad may say “friendly customer service”, but online you’ll hear the truth from customers.

2 .Always ask for details.

It is worth the time it takes to verify that this repair shop is experienced and knowledgeable about your make and model of vehicle.  Ask if they’ve done much work on your type of car and performing this type of repair. If the mechanic seems confident and able to handle the job, great! If the mechanic sounds like they’re talking around a real answer – walk out the door. You don’t want an inexperienced mechanic playing trial-and-error with your car!

3. Look for credentials! Is there an ASE or Manufacturer Certified Mechanic?

While an oil change may not require a Certified Master Mechanic, your engine overhaul definitely does! When you turn your car, truck, SUV or other vehicle over to someone’s care, you want to know that the person working on it really KNOWS what they’re doing.  Would you let a general practitioner doctor perform surgery on your heart? Of course not! Then why would you turn over the vehicle you rely on to an uncertified mechanic to operate on?

4. Have a look around.

Do they appear to have a shop that looks maintained and in good working shape? Of course no auto repair service facility will be spotless (unless they just opened or have no customers at all), but a good auto repair shop will display some level of organization and cleanliness.

5. Check out the tools of the trade.

Do the tools look up-to-date? Does the equipment look maintained? Will computer diagnostics be utilized? You should know this before you drop off the keys.

6. Ask about guarantees.

A good mechanic or reputable auto repair shop will always offer a guarantee or warranty on the work they perform.  While particular auto parts may have a set manufacturer warranty, the business should have a warranty on the actual installation of and work performed on new or repaired parts. If they don’t trust their work enough to stand behind it, why would you? Always find out the policies on dealing with issues!

7. If time allows, get other estimates.

If you have the opportunity to get multiple estimates on a job, do so.  You want to make sure that you aren’t paying too high for the job being done.  If you’re headed to a dealership, know going in that they will likely have the highest price with the least person service.  In nearly every case, independent auto repair shops offer lower cost repairs AND treat their customers as individuals instead of invoices.

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