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While many people love their car and want to take good care of it, they often don’t like going in for auto repair. Unfortunately, repair shops have gotten a bad reputation over the years. Everyone has a story of going into two shops and getting a list of different repairs that need to be done and at different prices. Sadly, a few bad apples have given the entire industry a bad name.
We guarantee if you can find a quality shop that you trust, you’ll start to feel differently about the entire experience. When you trust your shop to provide you with quality work, fair prices, and recommendations for tune-ups that are truly necessary, auto repair stops feeling like a chore and becomes routine. That’s why we’ve made this guide. Following these tips and rules, you’ll find the best auto repair shop for your vehicle.
ASK FOR REFERRALS FROM FRIENDS & FAMILY
While a Google search always feels like the best option when you’re looking for an answer, we suggest going to your friends and family first. Ask around to see who has had a positive experience and knows their shop to be honest. When a shop hears you’ve come in through referral, they’ll continue the quality service in the hopes of keeping both you and the referrer’s business.
LOOK AT ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
If no one around you has an auto repair shop they love, it’s time to turn to online reviews. There are always outliers, but generally speaking, the online reviews for a shop indicate how your experience will be. Try to find a shop with at least a four out of five-star rating, plenty of reviews, and comments about fair pricing and quality work.
Pro Tip: A five-star rating from a place with three reviews is not better than a four-star rating from a place with dozens of reviews. Remember that the first few reviews for a shop are often from the owner and their loved ones. So, for a more accurate representation of a shop, you want to find a place with lots of reviews.
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (BBB) ACCREDITATION
This tip won’t be applicable for every shop you consider, and that’s okay. Check to see if your auto repair shop is registered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is an international accreditation organization. It has been around for over 100 years and looks to provide an impartial review for businesses.
When a business looks to acquire a BBB rating, they’re willing to be held accountable to the quality of their work. It’s not easy attaining a high score, and customers in auto repair are often quick to complain. If a shop is registered with the BBB, you’ll be able to read formal complaints from past customers.
It’s important to note that auto repair is a finicky business, and sometimes shops make mistakes. If you see a few complaints on the BBB website, what is most important is the shop’s response. If you see a reasonable, fair response from the shop where they try to correct their ways, it can be a sign of a good shop.
Additionally, not being on the BBB is not an indication a shop is a bad option. Not all businesses choose to accredit themselves with the BBB.
LOOK FOR CERTIFICATIONS
In Grapevine, TX, (and most states), auto repair shops must have business licenses to operate. And the mechanics working in these shops need to be professionally certified in their trade. You can check the shop’s website to ensure they only hire certified mechanics. Or, ask the shop when you’re there in person. Hiring certified mechanics speaks to the integrity of the shop.
One crucial certification for mechanics is from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE has been around since 1972 and has certified over 300,000 technicians for quality work and experience. To receive a certification from the ASE, mechanics must:
- Pass an ASE test and have two years worth of work experience, OR
- Pass an ASE test, have one year of work experience and a two-year degree in automotive repair
The ASE certified technicians and not auto-repair shops. So, you’ll have to ask the shop itself if any of their mechanics have the ASE certification. This certificate simply ensures the mechanic is up-to-date in all of the latest training in the automotive repair industry.
The best repair shops give warranties on their work. Not offering to do this is a sign that the shop doesn’t stand behind its work. When you get a quote for work, make sure to ask if there’s a warranty guarantee for the work and how long it lasts. You can do some research online for what most shops in the area are offering in terms of warranties so that you can have a comparison.
TEST THE SHOP OUT
Before you take your car in for a severe problem at a new shop, test the shop out first. While your vehicle is running well, take it into the new shop for a simple oil change or filter change. This smaller appointment will give you a feel for the shop. Look out for:
- Did they charge you a standard price for the service?
- Did they leave your car clean?
- Was it a pleasant experience dropping off and picking up your vehicle?
- Did they try to upsell you?
THINK ABOUT THE LOCATION
You may find the best, most reputable car shop, but if it’s a two-hour drive away, it just won’t work out. Your car shop has to be relatively close by and convenient. If it’s too far away, you might avoid taking your car in when it needs it, resulting in small problems magnifying into big ones. Try to find a quality shop close by enough so you’ll always go when you have to.
IMPORT CAR CENTER
For customers in Grapevine, TX, the Import Car Center is a top-quality auto repair shop. We specialize in premier import cars such as Mercedes and BMW. Import Car Center believes in providing quality work every single time, resulting in a 92% customer approval rating. Bring in your car and check out the experience for yourself!