I changed jobs recently and am too far away from the auto repair shop I’d been using for years. How do I find a new, reliable repair shop?
Answer: This is a great question and one many consumers face when they move, change jobs, or their regular shop changes owners or closes. The good news is that we have 5 tips for you on how to find a new shop:
Tip #1: Ask the pros at a local auto parts store, such as NAPA.
They sell auto parts to repair shops all day, every day. They know who is trustworthy, who cares about their clients and who really knows their stuff.
Tip #2: Look at online reviews.
Many consumers do this first thing, and obviously, it can be very helpful. We advise calling the parts store first and then using online reviews to support what they said or to choose between multiple recommendations.
Tip #3: Try them first for an oil change.
Don’t wait until the car won’t start or the ‘Check Engine’ light comes on. Take your car in for an oil change, and see how they operate. Are they friendly? Knowledgeable? Do they take time to answer your questions? Do they elicit trust from you?
Tip #4: Don’t go for the cheapest shop in town.
Instead, look for overall value. A shop that’s competing on price alone is in a quick race to the bottom. Yes, you want fair pricing, but you will gain peace of mind and long-term reliability from your car when you choose a shop that hires experienced technicians, invests in modern equipment, uses higher grade parts and operates a clean, professional facility.
Tip #5: Find out what other amenities they offer.
Many shops today offer after-hours pickup and drop off, courtesy shuttle rides, loaners cars or low-cost rentals, and 2-year/24,000-mile or 3-year/36,000-mile warranties. If any of these factors are important to you, seek out a shop that offers them.