Posted on: 16 June 2015Share
Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility that comes with much more cost than the initial purchase. One of the most important things you can do for your vehicle is keep up the maintenance and get things repaired as they occur. This will help prolong the life of your car, otherwise known as protecting your investment. However, how do you find the people you will be trusting with that investment.
Determine What You Are Looking For
The best place to start when looking for a mechanic is talking to your friends and family to see who they trust with their vehicle. However, you want to know what to ask your friends to determine whether the shop will be a good fit for you. Consider what you are looking for in a repair shop, such as:
- Do they offer beverages while you wait (such as complimentary water and/or coffee)?
- Is there a decent size waiting area?
- Is parking a concern?
- Will they show you what they repaired, and show you the damaged parts?
- Do they offer discounts and incentives?
- Do they offer clients a service to get them back to work after dropping their vehicle off, or pick them up when the work is done?
Finally, when you are talking to your friends and family, find out exactly why they use their specific mechanic. You want it to be because they trust them to do the work correctly the first time, they answer questions patiently, and offer affordable prices.
Consider the Accessibility
When you are selecting a mechanic, you want to make sure you choose a company that is available when you need them. If they are only open during regular business hours, how is it going to affect your ability to get to and from work? Find out if they have after hours or emergency services available. If they do, find out how much extra they charge for the work. Having a shop that is close to you but only available during business hours may not be as convenient as a shop that has additional appointment times in the evening or weekend that costs a little more.
Ask for Estimates
When you are getting an estimate from a mechanic, you are learning what the shop may overcharge for. Most parts will cost the same, regardless of where you go to get the work done. However, different shops will have a different labor cost for the work. For example, one mechanic may charge you to remove the hood to get to the engine, while another shop will factor that into the time it takes to do the work. When you are looking at estimates, you should throw out the highest and lowest estimate and seriously consider the rest.
Do not be Afraid to Ask Questions
You need to be able to feel comfortable to ask questions about how they operate and what they do in case of burglary or fire. They are in charge of your vehicle while it is in the shop, and you want to make sure your vehicle is well taken care of. Find out what warranties they offer, what they cover, what type of parts they use and where they get them from. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the shop and voicing your concern, you should select a different shop.
You may find it easier to find your auto repair shop by having small jobs performed. After you have narrowed down the choices or received a recommendation, have the mechanic change your oil or tire. You can view these repairs as test runs that will help you feel safe with them working on your car following an accident. For more info, research local mechanics online.