Top Questions to Ask a Potential Auto Repair Service
Your car is important to you, and great auto repair service is what keeps it safe and reliable.
You have surely heard the horror stories from friends and family about disreputable mechanics, bad service and subpar repairs. So how do you find a great auto mechanic shop that you can rely on to care for your vehicle?
The list of questions below is a great place to start.
Question #1: Are Your Technicians Certified?
Generally, it’s much safer to trust a shop that has certified technicians. ASP, ASE and Delco all offer certifications for technicians, and so do the major automotive manufacturers. This tells you that the mechanics are trained and certified to provide high-quality car repair service.
Question #2: What Professional Associations Do You Belong To?
Auto mechanics can apply for membership in a variety of manufacturer, parts or service associations such AAA, ASP, Parts Plus or TechNet. Those accepted into the association then have to meet specific requirements and demonstrate certain qualifications.
Some of these associations even contact customers to ensure that the shop’s work is up to their standards.
Question #3: Do You Provide Customer References?
When you take your car to the shop, you’re hiring someone to perform a service for you. It’s customary to ask for references from anyone offering a service, and your mechanic is no different. Hopefully this will be a long-term relationship, so why not get started on the right foot?
When you contact the shop’s references, ask about the quality of the work, the cost, customer service, responsiveness and how long repairs typically take to complete. Ask customers if they’ve had a bad experience with the shop, and if so, ask them to describe how the situation was handled or resolved.
Question #4: What Kind of Equipment Does the Shop Use?
Cars today are highly complex electronic devices and they require state-of-the-art equipment for service. Computerized diagnostics are a crucial tool to accurately assess your vehicle. Online computer systems are also important, so that the technicians can access manufacturer schematics and data, and source replacement parts.
An old-school grease monkey is great if you drive a classic car. If yours was built any time in the last 20 years or so, high-tech is the only way to go.
Question #5: Are You Locally Owned and Operated?
This is perhaps the most important question of them all. A locally owned and independent repair shop has a significant stake in your community. The owners have demonstrated a commitment to the area by opening a shop there, and they depend on local residents to keep them in business.
If one or two bad experiences become known in the community, a small shop may struggle to survive. Using any local business keeps dollars in the local economy. Besides, your mechanic will know you by name and remember the peculiarities of your vehicle.
Question #6: What Is Your Hourly Rate?
This question, on the other hand, is probably the least important. A shop that quotes a low hourly rate may take twice as long to complete the job. Pick a single service (an oil change or tire rotation, for example), and ask each shop to quote their rate for that service on your vehicle.
Ultimately, however, don’t let price be the deciding factor. Nobody wants to risk their life behind the wheel after a cut-rate mechanic did a shoddy repair.
At Viking Automotive in Midvale, Utah, we are proud to be a long-standing member of the community. If you are in search of top-quality auto repair and the best customer service available anywhere, give us a call. We want to be your auto repair service for life!
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