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How to Find a Great Car Mechanic for Car Maintenance and Repairs
Studies have shown that consumers generally have a higher level of satisfaction with independent shops over car dealerships. While defining the “best” shop is often a matter of opinion, here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a reliable service team:
Find a shop for your brand of car.
Many garages specialize in certain vehicle makes. Those that focus on your type are more likely to have the latest training and equipment to fix your car or truck.
Ask your family and friends.
It’s especially helpful to seek recommendations from those who have a vehicle similar to yours.
Search the Internet.
Look for information about local mechanics on resources like Angie’s List, the Consumer Reports car repair estimator and the “Mechanics Files” at Cartalk.com.
Check for certification.
Your mechanic and shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, (ASE).
Check the Better Business Bureau.
Auto repair shops rank 12th on the bureau’s list of common complaints. Go to www.bbb.org to determine which shops you might want to avoid.
Test things out.
Before your car needs a big repair, you might want to test out some local shops with smaller repairs or maintenance items for your vehicle; for example, oil and filter changes.
Ask about warranties.
Ask the shop about what kind of guarantees it provides for repair work. Warranties can vary greatly among shops, so ask about them ahead of time. Use a common repair, like brake work, for a guide.
Make sure the shop is convenient.
Choose a shop that offers hours that will work with your schedule to minimize disruptions to your work schedule and other responsibilities.
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