Auto Repair & Auto Body Tips

Every person will need to use an auto repair or auto body shop at some point during their life. It might be routine maintenance like an oil change, or maybe something much more significant. Whatever the reason, finding an auto repair or auto body shop you can trust and that does quality work is important for both your peace of mind and your wallet. There are many shops to choose from, so here are five tips to help you make your selection:

1. You should never wait until your car has a mechanical problem or gets damaged to start looking for a repair or body shop. This is a common mistake that many people make. They wait until something is wrong with their car, then they panic and choose the first shop that they see listed online or in the phone book. This is a bad decision that could end up costing you thousands of extra dollars if you choose the wrong shop. Take your time and look around in advance. If you do this, you can make sure that the shop does not take advantage of you when you are in a desperate situation. A good place to start is asking your friends and family if they know of any good shops. Word of mouth is the way that many people learn about great smaller shops that do not advertize. If you can't find any good places by word of mouth, try your favorite search engine. Type in your local area and check out all of the shops that are listed around you. Certain search engines allow users to leave comments about local businesses. Read these comments to see which shops have the best feedback.

2. It would be wise to educate yourself about auto repair. Many people are not knowledgeable on this subject, so it is easy for a dishonest mechanic or auto body repair specialist to rip off an unsuspecting person. One of the most important things you need to familiarize yourself with is labor. The cost of labor is one of the largest expenses and variables in the auto repair industry. The hourly labor rate does vary from shop to shop. However, you should ask around your local area and find out what the average rate is. This will help you avoid any shops that are charging too much.

3. You should always get as many estimates as you can. This is especially true if the work you are having done is going to be expensive. Estimates are free, so you should use this to your advantage to get the best price you can for the repair. You will be amazed at how much the estimates will vary from shop to shop for the same amount of work.

4. You should always look for the ASE symbol to be prominently displayed at any shop that you might use in the future. The National Institute for Automotive Service and Excellence issues a sticker with their symbol to those shops that meet their strict rules and regulations. If you ask the owner of the shop to show you this symbol and he is unable to do it, you should choose a different shop.

5. Customer service is always a key factor when choosing a shop. When you call, they should not leave you on hold for long periods of time. This shows a lack of respect for the customer. If they seem rude or if they act indifferently to your problem, then do not give them your business. Find a place that takes the time to clearly explain to you what is wrong and what work needs to be done. You will want to find a shop that will answer all of your questions instead of giving you the runaround.

If you find a shop that meets the criteria listed above, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a reputable shop.