How To Find A Good Auto Repair Shop

  • By Dave Denmon
  • 28 Dec, 2016

When Is The Best Time To Look For A High Quality Auto Repair Shop?

Answer:  Before you need one.

Because making a sound decision is difficult when you are faced with a car problem and time restraints, finding a shop takes time and patience; you want to research and evaluate the facts in a relaxed fashion. Emergencies create an emotional climate that thwarts a clear and objective evaluation. So find a repair facility before you need one.

The Prime Time To Visit A Shop

The process of evaluating repair shops is really quite simple. Call or visit shops in your area. The best time to call or visit is between 9A – noon because it is after the morning rush and cars are in the bays being evaluated. By noon the techs have completed their diagnoses, come up with an estimate of repairs, and customers are being called to discuss the necessary repair work. Thus, 9A – noon is lag time for the owner/shop manager and the best time to talk with them. Catch them any other time and you might find them curt.

Acronym Hunt

Once you have the owner/shop manager's undivided attention, tell them you are looking for a repair shop. Ask them what professional automotive repair associations they belong to. Membership in associations such as AAA(AAA Approved Auto Repair), iATN (International Auto Technicians Association), ASA (Automotive Service Association), or TechNet (Carquest Technician's Network) means the shop and/or technicians care about their level of expertise and have met the standards of membership. In addition, look for membership in such associations as the BBB (Better Business Bureau), SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), ASP (Automotive Service Professionals), and NAPA Auto Care Center.
Involvement in these organizations tells you that the owner of the repair facility is interested in the quality of the workmanship, and most likely operates by a code of ethics expected by the organization. In addition, membership in these associations often requires that the shop subject itself to an arbitration process that is binding, should the need for arbitration between customer and shop arise.


To further make this point, consider the following: To become an "AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility," a shop must undergo a rigorous investigation. In addition to having state-of-the-art equipment, training, qualified technicians, and information systems in place, the shop must score high with its customers. AAA contacts roughly 100 of the shop's most recent customers and conducts a CSI (Consumer Satisfaction Index) study (the number varies from club to club but it represents a significant number of the shop's most recent customer base). They ask the customers questions such as:

  • Was the estimated bill the same or close to the actual bill?
  • Was the job done on time?
  • Did they fix it right the first time?
  • What kind of warranty did they give you?
  • Was the shop clean and presentable?
  • Did they offer a ride to work or somewhere you needed to go?
  • Was there a comfortable, pleasant, and clean waiting area?

If the repair facility meets their standards, it is granted membership and they can hang the "AAA Approved" shingle. As you can see, membership in such an associations is a significant qualifier when evaluating a facility.

Use Your Time Wisely

While visiting the shop(s) you're interested in, note whether they are clean and orderly (or do they look like they ought to be condemned by the health department).

If there are customers there, be bold and ask them questions, such as, "Why do you do business with this shop?"

Some answers don't hold much credibility, such as: "They are the cheapest." "They offer a lot of specials." "Because the owner is a friend of my father's."

Look for responses such as: "They fix my car right the first time." "I can trust them to do the job at a fair price." "No surprises when I pick up the car." "The price is always what we agree on." "They welcome my questions and concerns and take the time to answer them." "They explain in plain English what the problem is and what my options are... patiently." "Their technicians are the best in the area." Good "word of mouth" is a great qualifier.

While at the facility, look for technician certifications displayed on the wall. If the walls are bare, ask to see the techs' certifications. This will tell you a lot about the people that work at the facility.

More Articles:

By Dave Denmon 28 Dec, 2016
Dear Dave, Aaron and Staff,

We just want to thank you for the professional, honest service you provide. Our aging vehicles needed a lot of work in 2012. We are grateful that Dave's Car Care is always there to help us out. We want to thank you for the excellent customer service. Not too many businesses these days will send a check because they forgot to apply the returning customer discount like you did a couple of months ago.

In addition, we thank you for the notes and movie passes you sent to let us know you appreciate our business. We also want to thank you for the complementary use of the loaner car when our truck was being fixed last month.

Last, but not least, we very much appreciate the time and labor that went into fixing the van this week. I'm sure you could tell I was frustrated when I dropped it off. I realize you were just as frustrated trying to diagnose and repair the problem.

Thank you so much for taking responsibility for that. We have two sons, and we try to teach them the Christian values of honesty and integrety. Apparently, I have used the way you treat your customers as an example of this before. Yesterday, when I began to explain how you took care of the problem with the van, our oldest son cut me off and said," We know, we know, Dave's knows the right way to run a business." On behalf of John and myself, we will continue to be loyal customers of Dave's Car Care.

Thank you for everything!

Sincerely,

Janet
By Dave Denmon 28 Dec, 2016

September 10, 2015

By Dave Denmon 28 Dec, 2016
Check out the letter from the Automotive Service Association here .
By Dave Denmon 28 Dec, 2016
For over 30 years Dave's Car Care has striven to offer our customers repair quality and customer service that is among the best in the industry. Our business has been independently reviewed by top professional auto organizations such as AAA and NAPA. They recognized us as maintaining the highest levels of operational integrity (examples: Better Business Bureau and AAA), repair quality (examples: ASA) and industry training standards for our employees (example: ASE).


What does this mean to you?

You can trust that Dave's Car Care quality of service has been verified independently at least every two years by our professional affiliations. You also receive benefits and guarantees to assist you such as: AAA members receiving free maintenance inspection with any paid service.)

We hope that you learn more about these professional organizations as you read on.
By Dave Denmon 28 Dec, 2016
Answer:  Before you need one.

Because making a sound decision is difficult when you are faced with a car problem and time restraints, finding a shop takes time and patience; you want to research and evaluate the facts in a relaxed fashion. Emergencies create an emotional climate that thwarts a clear and objective evaluation. So find a repair facility before you need one.
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