Owning a vehicle saves us a lot of time and effort. We can move around across places quickly. So, it is crucial that we take care of our vehicles. Taking our vehicles for servicing will go a long way in extending their life.
Most owners can perform basic tasks like changing a time or oiling the brakes. And these come in handy during emergencies. But to perform overall maintenance, you need an automobile specialist.
And when it comes to vehicles, people are picky. Most of us can’t just take our cars to a random servicing center. What if their servicing and repair jobs are not satisfactory? What if our cars face more problems later?
What’s more, we need to consider the costs as well. Routine maintenance can cost you up to hundreds and even thousands yearly, depending on what car you own. This is why finding a reliable auto repair or servicing shop becomes complicated.
But with the following guide, you make this task easy. So, here are 11 tips for finding a dependable car care center. But if you do decide to do the maintenance yourself, you will find many spare parts here.
How to find a trustworthy automobile service in your area
· Always go for certified experts.
Whatever the service may be, certifications can make a huge difference. And the same goes for auto care shops as well.
You want to look for shops with approval from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These shops meet the professional standards set by the concerned automobile association. They also have well-trained mechanics working for them.
ASE-approved shops provide excellent customer support, great facilities, and have qualified professionals at their helm. Plus, your mind is at peace when certified experts are handling your car.
· Find a shop that specializes in your car brand.
There are hundreds of automobile brands worldwide. And whatever brand you own, there is always a shop out there specializing in that particular brand.
Several shops can provide servicing jobs for different makes. But if you can find one that focuses on the car you own, go for it. These shops have experts and consultants with accurate knowledge of that specific car company. Hence, they are most likely to do a better job than other garages.
· Check online and media outlets.
You must always do your research before proceeding further. Do not rush if you want to avoid mistakes. Checking the internet and reading the local dailies always come in handy.
You can go online and search for car experts in your area. The internet will provide good results and information that can help you proceed.
Furthermore, if your newspaper or news station has car experts, give them a call. The media won’t publish or advertise them if they are not reputable. So, there are high chances you can find a reliable mechanic through such sources.
· Ask for references.
It’s always good to ask for recommendations from your family, friends, or co-workers. There are high chances that they know a trustworthy mechanic that provides exceptional service.
Plus, if one of them owns a car similar to yours, ask them where they go for car service. They will recommend a suitable option as well as which ones to avoid. If you don’t want to check online or local listings, this is the best option. First-hand experience is always better than online ratings or polls.
· Check out the quality of tools and equipment.
Whatever the repair is, the quality of equipment matters. Some shops have outdated and sub-par facilities. These shops won’t be able to meet your expectations.
It would be best to go for the ones with the latest tools and equipment. They can offer faster and long-lasting services and repairs. What’s more, they are also likely to have well-trained mechanics handling those machines.
· Go for nearby and local businesses.
Location is another essential factor when it comes to servicing shops. When your car gives up on you, the last thing you want is to wait hours or drive long distances. Hence, going local is an excellent choice.
Search your area for suitable auto shops that can get to you quickly. The farther your mechanic is, the more problematic it becomes.
Furthermore, it would help if you supported a family-owned franchise. Do not let brand names tempt you. Local businesses will put in extra effort to take care of your car. Plus, they’re supporting their family through this effort. Hence, their dedication and commitment are unmatched.
· Read online reviews and feedbacks.
Nowadays, a lot of prominent automobile shops have dedicated websites. And you are most likely to find responses and feedbacks from customers here. With this knowledge, you can assess what to choose and avoid.
However, some people might even post false claims. So it would help if you read only the top-rated comments or reviews. Some customers will even provide a list of pros and cons.
· Ask bus and taxi firms.
Bus and taxi services run 24/7. Therefore, they need their vehicles to be in top condition all the time. And they depend on robust servicing companies for assistance.
Hence, you can call them and ask for suggestions and advice. Who knows, you might find the right service center your car needs.
· Give the shop a trial run.
Like you would take a car out for a test drive before buying, give the shop a trial. Before you do any significant repairs, you need to understand what you’re getting into.
You can ask them to perform minor tasks like a wheel alignment or oil change. This will determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth. It will also give you an idea about their work quality, capability, and price range.
And while you’re at it, ask for a written estimate. This will help you guarantee the cost of repairs and services. You also want to look around and compare the prices with other automobile centers nearby.
· Check their customer service.
While you’re in the shop for repairs, be wary of their interactions and work ethics—a person’s cooperation and understanding matter a lot in such situations. You don’t want your car service by someone who isn’t ready to listen to you or has a sour attitude.
Ask for payment options, warranties, or discounts. If they offer or take time to explain these options, it shows their quality of customer support.
· Search the Better Business Bureau.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website lists customer complaints from various charities and organizations. Here, you will find 10,000+ complaints related to auto repair.
Thus, this is an excellent place to check out if you want to know which shops to avoid. You certainly do not want to pick a service center with hundreds of pending accusations.
The BBB also provides other essential information on the business such as reviews, licenses, certification, etc. All these are vital to helping you make the best decision.
For many of us, our cars are a significant investment. In terms of value, they come in second place after our home. Thus, maintaining them is essential and should be a top priority.
Choose your repair and maintenance centers carefully. Take your time and invest in your research. You want the best performance from your car while making critical savings simultaneously.
And while you’re at it, beware of false advertisements. Remember that everything that looks good on paper does not necessarily represent itself in reality. Your experience may vary drastically.