A survey by AAA found that two out of three Americans generally do not trust auto repair shops. Despite this lack of confidence, two out of three drivers have identified an auto repair facility they do trust. Here are some tips to assist with this process:
Look for shops belonging to the AAA Approved Auto Repair network
Repair facilities displaying the AAR symbol have undergone a comprehensive evaluation to ensure they meet AAA’s stringent standards. They offer member-exclusive discounts and guarantees, plus, if you ever have a repair dispute with an AAR shop, AAA can help resolve it.
Look for ASC certification
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is an independent, non-profit organization that tests and certifies automotive technicians. To be approved, techs must have at least two years of experience or one year of experience plus a two-year degree, then pass a challenging test. Retesting is required every five years to maintain certification.
Your family, friends and neighbors are probably more than happy to point you toward a shop they’ve had good experiences with – and equally glad to clue you in on which shops to avoid.
You also might consider asking your auto insurer or contacting instructors who teach auto and shop classes at local schools or community colleges.
Perform a “background check”
Once you have a few prospective facilities, do a little research to help narrow the field. Check out its reputation with the Better Business Bureau, read online reviews and review the shop’s website to see how long it’s been in business.
Do a trial run
Take your vehicle in for an oil change or other minor service to test out the experience. If it suggests expensive additional work, tell it you’d like to get a second opinion. Beware if it tries to pressure you to do the work immediately.
Following these steps can help car owners identify a reputable auto repair facility they can turn to with confidence when significant repairs are needed.