What to Look for in an Auto Repair Service
Auto repair service is the maintenance and repair of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles. It is performed by technicians in a variety of settings, such as dealerships, independent shops, and specialty shops that specialize in a specific brand or system of vehicles.
The auto industry is highly regulated, and many repair shops must be licensed or registered. Look for a shop that’s reputable, has been in business for at least a few years, and has no complaints on file with your state’s Attorney General’s office or other consumer protection agency. Ask to see a copy of the shop’s license or registration.
Vehicles are becoming more complex, and car parts and systems need to be inspected and repaired frequently. Technicians must have current knowledge and skills to keep pace with the latest technology. They must be able to fix and maintain both traditional mechanical components and electronic systems, such as brakes, transmissions, and steering systems that are controlled by computers.
Tools & Equipment
Automotive technicians use a wide variety of tools to perform repairs on vehicles, including computerized diagnostic tools and power tools such as pneumatic wrenches, lathes, welding torches, jacks, and hoists. Often, the tools are owned by the technician or his employer, and technicians may have thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment on hand.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, certifies auto repair technicians based on their knowledge, skill, and experience. Look for shops that have ASE-certified technicians, and ask about their training.
Warranty – Quality auto repair shops offer a 12-month/12,000-mile parts and labor warranty on their work. Some shops also offer a warranty on specific parts or systems, such as air conditioning.
Appearance & Amenities – A clean, well-organized repair shop is a sign that the shop takes pride in its work. It should have comfortable waiting areas, clean restrooms, and shuttle service.
Technicians – Quality mechanics have a minimum of ASE certifications or equivalent factory service training. They are also experienced and knowledgeable about your vehicle’s make, model, and service history.
Insurance Coverage – A good mechanic should be able to provide you with a detailed estimate of the cost of repairs. This should include the cost of each part and labor, as well as a written description of the problem and a time frame for completion.
Customer Service – A quality mechanic should be happy to answer any questions you have about your vehicle and explain the work they have done. He should also show you all the replaced parts and provide a receipt.
Safety – A quality mechanic should use proper techniques and follow all federal and state safety regulations. A qualified mechanic should check your vehicle’s brakes, steering, and suspension regularly to detect signs of wear or damage before they become dangerous to drive.
Having regular maintenance on your vehicle can help it run efficiently and reduce the number of repairs needed down the road. It can also help you avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your vehicle.