At some point, all car owners will need to get their vehicle serviced or repaired. Even if you follow a routine maintenance schedule, eventually something will need to be repaired or replaced.
Dealing with auto repair problems can be a time-consuming process. Finding the right shop can save you money on repairs and keep your car running longer. Below are a few tips to help you find a mechanic that you can trust to take care of your car in a professional, cost-effective, and timely manner.
Do an Online Search
There are many places online where you can look for qualified mechanics. One site to check out is Mechanic Files on CarTalk. You can search their database of over 30,000 mechanics by city and state, shop name, or both. The mechanic profiles include details about the shop, online reviews, and links to their website. Keep in mind that shops must claim their listings to provide additional information. Unclaimed profiles are merely a listing without much added value.
Other sites likeor show how other consumers feel about the experiences they have had with a company by giving past patrons opportunities to leave public reviews.
Dealerships Service Departments
There are many benefits to getting your car serviced at the same dealership where it was purchased. Dealership service departments can offer benefits such as the following:
- Work on hundreds of vehicles monthly
- Specialize in maintaining and repairing your specific car brand
- Cover costs for most repairs under the manufacturer’s warranty
- Have many factory-trained technicians
Additionally, because they have name-brand power, dealerships have access to the latest recalls and repair bulletins.
It is in the dealerships’ best interest to maintain the integrity, professionalism, and stellar customer service of their repair shops. Their service departments play a huge role in new vehicle sales. This is why dealerships across the country strive to receive awards that show their customers that they are dedicated to their satisfaction. Some examples of possible awards can include the following:
A survey of 4,400 consumers by Cox Automotive found that approximately half of the respondents stated that positive experiences with dealership service departments greatly influenced the likelihood of them purchasing another vehicle from the same place.
Independent Local Mechanics
These repair shops are usually smaller than dealerships. Customers can meet directly with the mechanic who will do the repair work on their vehicle.
They usually don’t specialize in any one brand but instead work on a multitude of brands. If your repair center is highly specialized, they might turn you down, whereas a dealership won’t.
Because smaller repair shops don’t have as high of a profile as their larger counterparts, it would be to your benefit to ask friends and family members for recommendations.
It’s important for you to feel confident about the car service department you choose. You should take the time to do your research and explore your options so you will be prepared the next time you need work done on your car. The auto repair shop you select should provide you with quality work at a reasonable price.