Each year over 41 million Americans pack up and move. Not only must these people locate new housing and often new jobs, they’re usually faced with finding a new physician, pharmacy, bank and mechanic, just to name a few. Shopping for these professional services in unfamiliar territory is tricky, and the “new kid in town” is easy prey.
Many professions are governed by societies, even laws that guarantee experience, expertise and fair play, but the world of car repair is different. So how does the newcomer choose a service shop? The Car Care Council has several suggestions.
- First, find a repair facility before you need one. It’s hard to be selective when you’re in a desperate situation.
- Check with friends and associates. The shop that impresses them will probably impress you, too.
- Consult the Better Business Bureau or local consumer groups.
- Look for a clean, orderly facility with modern equipment. Today’s cars usually require high tech machinery to diagnose problems.
- Check on policies concerning labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, payment methods, etc. Make sure they’re willing to provide everything in writing.
- Any sign of professionalism such as civic, community, or customer service awards is a big plus. Even at the city level. Even Geneva out in the West Chicago suburbs has something along these lines.
- Ask about the qualifications of the technicians. Especially important is certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. (ASE certifies technicians and collision specialists in 12 separate areas. Make sure your tech is certified in the appropriate area.)
- Finding a reputable service shop is not only important when your car needs repair, it’s also vital for regular maintenance.
- You can take advantage of a free offer from the Car Care Council. It’s an informative pamphlet about vehicle check procedures that you can take to your auto service shop.