It seems like a simple task for some but can be quite daunting for others. Being a professional automotive technician for 25 years, and 4 times re-certified ASE Master Certified Technician, I get asked frequently “where should I take my car or truck?” With bias, I will always recommend one of our shops in Maple Valley, WA or Auburn, WA.
Nonetheless, if you are not within this area here are my recommendations. First off, please understand that technicians are humans, and we work on machinery and electronics. All with a mind of their own. What I mean by this is that it is an imperfect process, and we will not always meet all of your expectations as a service provider.
Tips on Choosing an Auto Repair Shop
- Check out their website to see what kind of services they offer to make sure they can do what you need them to do.
- Read through various online reviews. Understanding that all reviews will not be positive—and if they are—it may be suspect. Don’t just look at Google reviews, but try looking up DemandForce, Sure Critic and others. Some businesses, like us, subscribe to services that scrape our database and either call or email every customer after a completed transaction. We all know that the most satisfied are the least represented online.
- Make a phone call with questions. With current technology stripping away some person to person communication, having a personal discussion is valuable in learning competence and trustworthiness.
- Send an email with questions. If a service provider is willing to take some time to communicate with you to answer questions, it goes a long way in developing a worthwhile relationship.
- Give them a chance. Don’t always make up your mind with 1 transaction. I recommend 5 transactions. 3 of the 5 will likely be just great, 1 of them might be little hard to understand or frustrating, and 1 might have a problem such as a part delay, warranty issue, or mistake. Making your decision across all 5 transactions will help you make a fair decision because they all don’t come in the order of the first 3 being just great.
- Finally, having a relationship with a repair facility should involve some loyalty and patience. You will save more money by trusting that the right repairs are performed at the right time by the right person—not by saving 10% on one transaction. Furthermore, the real savings in having a relationship with a professional is the reliability and overall cost of ownership being less with a longer lasting vehicle.
Those are a few tips on how to find the right auto repair shop for you. There might be some bumps along the road during your search, but as we said already, give them a chance and remember that these are people doing their best to fix your issue. Sometimes things are out of their control as well.