When it comes to finding a repair shop, how do you go about finding one that is the right price and provides good service?
Well, just keep reading if you want to find out.
Look for a Local Shop
Word of mouth means a lot to mechanics in San Diego. After all, that is how local shops get the majority of their business.
You can just call multiple auto repair shops in your area and ask for a quote — for both the repair and the hourly rate for labor. You have a right to know how much it will cost you for a repair. If the shop does not want to tell you, treats you rudely, or seems too pricey, you should take your business elsewhere.
You can also ask if the shop has any certifications. Are the mechanics registered with the National Institute or Automotive Service Excellence? Are they affiliated with other trade associations, such as the American Automobile Association?
If so, it is not necessarily a degree of a decent shop, but these associations require that mechanics go through specific training in order to obtain a certification, so it is likely that they will know what they are doing.
Look to the Better Business Bureau
At the same time, you could always look to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if there have been any complaints about mechanics or shops in your area.
A few slight complaints should not make you discount a shop completely, but a shop that has received a particularly high rate of complaints should typically be avoided. In some cases, a higher price will not necessarily mean better service.
You should look for reviews, or better yet, sites like Yelp can be a good indicator of a good shop. The Internet offers people the ability to complain about a business with complete anonymity, and they do. You will know if someone had a bad experience with a certain mechanic or auto repair shop.
However, not all mechanics are going to have a serious online presence. The best ones may not even have a website or Facebook page because they already have all the business they need due to word-of-mouth referrals. So, how do you get a referral if your friends do not drive the same kind of car that you do? You should look at online forums. There are at least one or two active forums for every make and model of car that you can think of. If you are lucky, you will find a thread discussing local mechanics in your area. If not, you can just make a post and ask for a recommendation.
If Your Warranty Is Expired, Do Not Take It to the Dealership
A good rule to follow when you have an older vehicle without a warranty is to never take your vehicle to the dealership. They charge more for everything, from parts, hourly compensation, you name it. Certainly, the dealership is your cheapest option if you have a warranty because it will all be covered — at no cost to you.
There is a good chance that you will not really be met by the mechanic when you go to the dealership, which would happen at a smaller shop. There will probably be someone hired specifically for customer service that will tell you what is wrong with your vehicle.
If you enjoy good customer service and friendly relationship, you are better off going to a private repair shop. We are not saying that all dealerships are bad, but from previous experience, they are not always the greatest.
However, it is best to bring some kinds of cars to the dealership. For example, some mechanics hate to work on Saturns because they are not in production anymore, meaning it can be hard to find parts. Saturns were a short-lived production from General Motors (GM) that did not work out.
GM dealers are able to find these parts much easier and their mechanics know how to work on these types of cars. While it may be more pricey in the end, it may be for the best if you are in a similar situation. You may want to take your car somewhere that knows what they are doing.
Do It Yourself
Major vehicle repair issues are going to require a mechanic, but you may not even realize how much you can do on your own.
You can easily change the oil, windshield wipers, headlight bulbs, spark plugs, and more without a mechanic. This can allow you to just pay for the parts you need instead of the added labor charge.
Fortunately, we live in an age of advanced technology where you can use Google for most of your big issues, helping you find your answers more quickly. YouTube is also filled with useful tutorials if you prefer videos.
You can also just do what they did back in the day and read a car repair book, or even take a shop class. Community colleges and vocational schools usually offer night or weekend courses for under $100 that can teach you the essentials of vehicle maintenance.
Finding the right mechanic for you can take some work. You want to be sure that they will fix your car and not cheat you out of a lot of money.
Ask your friends, family, and the INternet which places near you are the best, and you will probably find some good advice on a mechanic in your area.
San Diego Auto Repair Shops
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.