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How to Pick an Auto Shop

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By Ryan Ellis on February 10, 2021 in Life Hacks

When scoping out your area (new to you or not), don’t stop at just schools and restaurants! It’s important to develop a relationship with a mechanic near you. Because auto shops tend to be something you don’t think about until you need them, it’s important to establish a relationship early.

We’re here with a couple of tips to find the perfect spot for you and your sweet ride!

Certifications: Check

This one seems like a given, but when you’re in a bind you’re more likely to overlook the lack of certifications. Lucky for you, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) works hard to compile repair shops worthy of the Blue Seal of Excellence. The Blue Seal is given after 75% of employees achieve certification that makes sure technicians know car repair like the back of their hand! That’s peace of mind for you and your four-wheeled baby.

Consider What’s Best for Your Car Brand

Many auto shops specialize in specific makes or models. While they could service other brands, both their training and equipment are tailored toward this specialized brand. Car dealerships may be a great option because of this.

Do Baseline Research Before

“Hey, Siri, how do I know I need to replace my tires?”

In the age of smartphones, you can find answers almost instantly. This works to your advantage when checking out auto shops; because it’ll make you more aware of what’s happening at the repair shop. You can research important questions to ask like:

  • Is this covered under my car’s warranty?
  • Do your repairs come with a warranty? If so, what kind?
  • What is your quote for the repairs? Does that include parts and labor?
  • What’s the timeline for repair?

By no means do you need to be a car guru but understanding this preliminary information can go a long way.

Ask Your Neighbor

If you’re not afraid to ask your neighbor for sugar, why not ask about their preferred auto shop? There’s something special about a word-of-mouth recommendation. That’s why companies like Nextdoor and mycoop exist! A personalized experience, either positive or negative, will make all the difference when weeding through options.

Bonus: If you ask your neighbor, it’ll likely be close to home! Less driving = happy driver.

Use Routine Maintenance to Test

A test drive but for your mechanic! Starting with simple and regular maintenance like a tire rotation or oil change gives you a good feel for the company and work they do without risking the biscuit for your major damage repairs. If something doesn’t jive with you, consider taking your next oil change to a different auto shop in your area – no stress!

Better Business Bureau, You’re Up

While you’re doing your initial research on repair shops, the Better Business Bureau is an all-star resource. The BBB lists companies they believe are “trustworthy businesses that operate with integrity and excellence,” so this is a great place to check for accredited businesses in your area.

Overall, it’s important to find a reliable and trustworthy auto repair shop that’s a good fit for your needs. You never know what’s going to happen to your vehicle, so having a trusty mechanic on deck can go a long way!

Ryan Ellis is Say's Front End Product Owner. He graduated from William Woods University with his bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Prior to joining Say, Ryan worked directly with customers as an Automation Specialist at a commercial insurance carrier in Columbia, MO. He has a passion for servant leadership and creating easy to use applications for our customers.