Despite what you may have been told to the contrary, finding an automotive service center isn’t impossible. Truth be told, there are plenty of honest and reliable car repair centers to be found all over. But choosing one at random can be potentially costly. So how can you tell the good service centers from others? Here are a few helpful tips for things to look for. Keep in mind our tips may take extra time, but you could wind up saving you in the long run. There is one other option for you, an online marketplace for automotive services. Keep reading…
1. Look at their years in service
Sure, an auto repair shop that just opened their doors last year may be able to deliver world-class service. But if you’re trying to determine just how reputable a shop is, finding out how long they’ve been in business is critical – auto repair shops that aren’t reputable and provide lousy service won’t be in business for long. If you’re looking at a shop that’s been in existence since your parents were in their diapers, it’s far less likely you’ll receive poor service. (Bonus tip: find out how long the repair shop has had the same name. Sometimes, disreputable mechanics go through names like movie stars through spouses in an effort to disassociate themselves with prior P.R. issues. Find someone who’s been operating for decades under the same name, however, and you’re off to a great start.)
2. Check to see if they’re listed with the Better Business Bureau
It’s important to note that not all businesses are registered with the BBB, and failing to be shouldn’t be taken as indication that they’re going to rip you off. But if you opt to only work with repair shops that you can dial up at the BBB website, you’ll be in a far better position to check their overall ratings with respect to any complaints they’ve received in the past.
3. Look for other organizational involvement, franchise or corporate brand
The BBB isn’t the be-all end-all! Look to see if the shop have ASE certificated technicians (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). Check to see if the auto repair shop is affiliated with AAA or a NAPA AutoCare Center member. Look for signage on the building or logos on the website of the shop. Also look for shops that are part of a franchise such as:
- Christian Brothers Automotive
- Grease Monkey
- Honest-1 Auto Care
- Jiffy Lube
- Precision Tune Automotive
- SpeeDee Oil Change & Service
- Tire Pros
- Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center
- and others
Corporate brands are good choices too – brands such as:
It’s your car, after all, and you only want the most qualified people working on it.
4. Go online and do your research
You can find a wealth of information about local car repair shops just by getting online and Googling (or Binging, if you prefer) “car repair reviews [add your city here].” Visit online message boards and pay attention to overall sentiments. In other words, don’t just listen to one disgruntled customer’s complaint and base your decision off that one review. Look for more balanced opinions and be aware that you may not be getting both sides of the story through an online review.
5. Ask around
Never forget this choice bit of advice when trying to determine where to take your car to have it serviced. The fact is, when people get bad service, they remember who gave it to them – and they’ll never hesitate to tell anyone who’ll listen. But the same goes for great service. When someone’s treated well by an auto repair shop, they’ll pay it back by talking up that shop for all it’s worth. So talk to your friends, family, co-workers, and even acquaintances you know through social media channels and ask them who they’d recommend… as well as who they’d advise you to not step within 10 feet of.
Online marketplace for automotive services
Still not sure where to start in your quest to get your car, truck, SUV, minivan or hybrid serviced? Give Openbay a try – its a free service for consumes and business fleets. Openbay is an online marketplace for automotive repair and service. With Openbay, you will find curated auto repair shops, pricing for the service you need and the ability to book and pay for service online – all through Openbay. Touchless service. All your service records are maintained for you – so when it’s time to sell your vehicle, all your records are in one place. What are you waiting for?