At some point in time, every Automobile will require service and or repairs. If you are a trained Technician or a qualified mechanic with the tools and available time then, problem solved. For everyone else, it is necessary to find a service facility that will meet the needs of your Automobile and insure your own piece of mind that the work performed is done competently and correctly.
Finding the right Shop can be a difficult proposition but here are a few things that can make this tedious process a little easier. We suggest that some of the following questions may perhaps help:
- How long has the shop been in business, particularly under the same ownership?
- In detail, how long is the shop’s warranty on the work performed and what does it cover?
- How are the shops ratings on the various forums and search results (Yelp, Yahoo, Rennlist, etc)?
- For the work being performed will the shop utilize factory genuine parts, OEM (the Original Equipment Manufacturer that supplies the factory) or aftermarket replacement parts designed to replace the original?
- Does the shop employ courteous and properly trained technicians?
- What training and credentials do the technicians have?
- Does the shop have all the factory genuine testers, tools and repair information to repair your Vehicle properly?
- Is the shop clean and look professional?
- Are the repairs performed in-house?
- Does the shop offer loaner cars or provide preferred pricing from a rental agency?
While the answers to these and other questions do not necessarily insure that you have found the best match, it does provide you with a better understanding of the company’s background.
We would also suggest that you take a drive to the perspective business’s location and observe the operations. Are they busy? This can identify if the company is well established and popular. You know the old saying, “Idle hands”. It is based on the same principle as a restaurant; if the parking lot is full then the quality is probably pretty good. Also, what are the year models and condition of the cars being worked on? This is very important if you drive a newer model car.
For an introductory visit, an engine oil and filter change is a fairly simple procedure that can easily be performed in less than one hour. This might be a good time to ask the business if you can experience this by watching the technician, you might get a glimpse of how business is normally conducted.
Go and meet the shop owner and have a look around. Ask these 10 questions, see how the shop operates during your visit, and trust your gut and instinct. Between these questions and your personal feelings built from your visit, you should have a fairly good idea if this is the right place for you and your Automobile.
Tony Callas & Tom Prine