New to your town or city? Looking for a good repair shop?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, offers the following tips on choosing a repair facility.

  • Look for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed.
  • Ask friends and associates for their recommendations.
  • Consult local consumer organization about the reputation of the shop; inquire about the number, nature, and resolution of complaints.
  • Do not choose a shop based only on a convenient location.
  • You probably won’t find hospital-clean conditions, but look for a tidy, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
  • Ask if the shop usually handles your vehicle make and model or type of repair. Some facilities specialize.
  • Look for signs of technician competence. The customer area should display trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and ASE certifications – a nationally recognized standard of technician competence.
  • Look too for community service awards, plaques for civic involvement, customer service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups.
  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The manager, service writer, or technician should be willing to answer your questions.
  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, guarantees, methods of payment, etc. should be posted.
  • Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers as references. Call them.
  • Start with a minor job. Reward good service with repeat business and more complex work.