What's up everybody! Dave the Car Guy!
Today, I'm going to let you know the best way to find your forever Auto Repair Shop Mechanic!
This is a question that people ask a lot, and with good reason. There truly is some misconception out shops out there and some of it came from some poor actions of individuals owning a business.
Many auto repair shops out there today have great integrity, are convenient, and do have your best interest in mind. There are many more of these type of shops than the ones that you have heard horror stories about.
The great thing about being a consumer today, is that the internet has leveled the playing field. You can get a glimpse of any company in which you would like to do business with in the privacy of your own space, by searching them online. This is how we will start our search!
Step 1: Ask a friend, family member, or colleague if they LOVE the auto shop that they use. Whether they have great leads for you or not, it gives you a starting point. This may sound hard, but really try not to focus or base your choice on price alone. It obviously is important, but price has factors, quality of parts ( there is a big difference in those ), quality of skill ( Great shops pay their great Mechanics well, they are hard to find ), and perks/benefits that come from the shop, like longer warranties, shuttle/Lyft/Uber services, nice waiting area, etc.
Step 2: Use the search engine of your choice to type in what you are looking for, like "auto repair near me", or even specifically
like "Honda Service" or "Toyota Prius Repairs".This will give you an idea of who is around the area in which you are looking.
Step 3: Read their reviews, whether it be Google Reviews, or Yelp Reviews. Most of us will go straight to the negative reviews to see what was written.
Sometimes, they seem ridiculous, but sometimes may be a heartfelt poor visit. Get a very good feel of the shop by how the owner responds to these reviews.
If this passes your test, go on to step 4.
Step 4: Call the auto shop on the phone. How they answer, how you feel, and how you are treated is what you are looking for. Most great shops will not be able to give you an estimate on the phone about your car if they are not looking right at it. Here is the reason why, my car at 110,000 may look very different than someone else's car at 110,000 miles because of who has been taking care of it. A great shop will want you to bring the car in so they can see it to give you an accurate quote, that way the first 10 minutes of your relationship will not be spent on explanation of why the price is different that what was quoted over the phone.
Step 5: Set an appointment or just bring the car in to visit them in person. An oil change is a low cost opportunity to try the shop out to see if they are a fit as your new mechanics. If their goal is to have a long term relationship with you as your mechanic, that is a good sign they have your best interest in mind.