If you've never been to an auto repair shop or are trying to choose a new one, you might not be sure what to expect. Here are a few things that are likely to be part of your experience--and a few things that shouldn't be.
Your Auto Repair Shop Visit
There are different kinds of certification for auto repair shops--and this information is usually displayed proudly on the wall or door. This helps you understand the level of expertise every employee brings to the table--and also whether the auto shop is qualified to work on your specific vehicle.
For example, while Naylor's Auto Repair can work on a huge variety of makes and models, we're Toyota Prius repair specialists. Owner Steve Bowshier has been working on these vehicles since they first rolled off the production line in 2000, which means your Prius will be in excellent hands with us.
A good auto repair shop will offer a long list of vehicle services, including wheel alignment, brake service, preventative maintenance, and more. You might have to ask for a list of these services or talk to a technician to learn more, but the auto repair shop staff should be happy to explain your options and work with you to decide what's right for your vehicle.
Filling Out Paperwork
In most cases, your auto repair shop will need to lay out their procedures, policies, cost breakdowns, and services in paper. This might happen before, during, or after the service--and if you don't understand something, feel free to ask. This paperwork is provided so you and your service experts can stay on the same page.
Providing You with Updates
No matter what kind of service your vehicle needs, you should be able to count on your auto repair shop to keep you updated on their progress. Even quick service should come with a rundown of what the mechanic did, what the results were, and when you'll need to schedule your next visit. More extensive services might involve email or text message updates, especially if your vehicle has to stay at the shop for one or more days.
Auto repair shops generally make recommendations at multiple points during your visit. For example, they'll generally tell you what services are necessary to solve your immediate problem, but they'll also tell you about any future service or maintenance you should need.
Auto Repair Shop Red Flags
It's important to know what to expect from an auto repair shop, but it's equally important to know what isn't normal. Here are a few red flags:
- Poor Communication
If an auto repair shop isn't willing to work with you to figure out what the problem is and how you should address it, they're not a good partner for you. Furthermore, if they won't answer your questions or act like you're inconveniencing them, you should find another auto repair shop right away.
- No Estimate
An estimate is a good way to understand the necessary work and how much you can expect to pay. When an auto repair shop doesn't supply this, there's no paper trail proving what they intend to do--and that makes the relationship (and any future charges) difficult to manage.
- Lack of Certification
Auto repair shops should be certified, and so should their employees. If they can't provide or prove this certification, you might end up with flawed service.
- No Cost Breakdown
Once the job is done, an auto repair shop will usually explain everything, breaking down the cost of parts, labor, diagnostic services, and more. If this isn't provided, it's easier for the auto repair shop to overcharge you--and to conceal unnecessary costs.
An auto repair shop is your partner on multiple levels. They don't just keep your car running safely and effectively; they're also responsible for telling you what to expect, what you're paying for, and how to maintain your vehicle in the future. While most auto repair shops offer a great experience, there are a few red flags to look out for--so make sure you end up with the right team.
Are you in need of a new auto repair shop? Contact us today to see what we can do for you and your vehicle!