1. Ask around
Often the best referrals come from your friends and family who have had experience using the mechanics in your area. Getting a word-of-mouth referral from a friend or family member can also mean you’ll get an honest insight about their experience with those repair shops, which can help save you money or avoid a scam.
2. Shop around before an emergency
If your radiator is smoking or your car won’t run at all, chances are you are in a hurry to fix the problem. If you are in a rush to get your car to the shop, your judgment might be clouded; this may influence you to make a quick decision based on needing your car back immediately, rather than saving money and receiving top-notch service.
3. Don’t choose based solely on price
While price might affect your choice, since you want an affordable rate, don’t just opt for the cheapest choice. Do your research and compare. The cheapest rate may not always have the worst services; likewise, the most expensive might not offer the highest level of service.
4. Check online reviews
Your friends and family could have given you great advice about the repair shops that they have used, but they might not have covered all of your options or have had a major automobile issue that needed attention. Look at online reviews to see what customers have to say.
5. Ask Questions
You have the right to ask a shop about their credentials, experience, customer service and warranty policies. Search for places that supply customers with extended warranties on parts as well as a customer guarantee. Don’t forget to ask about the certifications held by the employees and the years of experience in the field that the employees have.
6. Get estimates
If you are in a bind and your truck, car or SUV needs major repairs, get estimates. This is vital when you don’t have a regular repair facility that you use. Estimates can assure that the shop is not going to keep tacking on unneeded services. Getting estimate, however, can also be time consuming. Check if the repair shop offers and online auto repair estimate system which will allow you to get rates from the comfort of your home or office before making a decision.
7. Make the shop explain it so that you understand
Mechanics are sometimes guilty of speaking in terms that someone unfamiliar with cars might not understand. Make sure you know the problem and the needed repairs before you choose from one of the auto shops in your area.