How to choose a good mechanic for your car repair needs?
If and when you’re dealing with car repair problems, it will be a time-consuming process finding the right repair shop if you are not prepared! Asking the right questions is key. Follow these 8 tips that will help you select the right repair shop.
If and when you experience troubles with your car, time can be of the essence. For many drivers, dealing with your work schedule and other responsibilities like family make having a working car an absolute necessity. At FIXXR, we appreciate this fact and take every measure to ensure we are ‘giving you some time back’ to take care of the things that really matter to YOU! A broken car shouldn’t be one of those things!
A great habit to foster before car trouble strikes is to take the time to compare several repair shops to find the one that best suits your convenience and needs. Here are a few tips on how best to go about doing this:
1. Ask around
Often the best referrals come from your friends and family who have had experience using the mechanics in your area. Getting a word-of-mouth referral from a friend or family member can also mean you’ll get an honest insight about their experience with those repair shops, which can help save you money or avoid a scam. An important point to consider when using referrals from ‘friends of friends’ is to understand what car the person who is referring you has. Quite often mechanics specialise in particular makes (ie. German cars like BMW, Volkswagen etc only).
2. Shop around before an emergency
If your brakes are grinding or your car won’t run at all, chances are you are in a hurry to fix the problem. If you are in a rush to get your car to the shop, your judgment might be clouded; this may influence you to make a hasty decision based on needing your car back immediately, rather than saving money and receiving top-notch service. Treat the health of your car as something you proactively address. Great mechanics will give you a heads up on any additional issues the pick up on your car. At FIXXR we typically include a Car Health Check as part of each service giving you an upfront indication of any additioanl items you should start planning for.
3. Don’t choose based solely on price
While price is quite often a large driver that affects your choice, since you want an affordable rate, do not just opt for the cheapest choice. Do your research and compare. The cheapest rate may not always have the worst services; likewise, the most expensive might not offer the highest level of service. At FIXXR, we pre-negotiate our labour rates with all our mechanics for the services we offer so you are able to check upfront what the cost of the actual work will be. No more needing to try decipher why different mechanics have different labour rates.
4. Check online reviews
Your friends and family could have given you great advice about the repair shops that they have used, but they might not have covered all of your options or have had a major car issue that needed attention (hopefully this is not you). Look at online reviews for unbiased consumers. As far as possible try get a sense the reviews of the repair shop quality along with the quality of the mechanics that are currently working there.
5. Ask Loads of Questions
As a consumer, you have the right to ask a shop about their credentials, experience, customer service and warranty policies. Search for places that supply customers with extended warranties on parts as well as a customer guarantee. Do not forget to ask about the certifications held by the actual mechanics as well and the years of experience in the field that the mechanics have.
6. Get estimates
If you are in a bind and your car needs major repairs, get estimates. This is vital when you do not have a regular repair facility that you use. Written estimates can assure that the shop is not going to keep tacking on unneeded services. Additionally, written estimates that are far from the same can mean that a shop has charged you for unnecessary repairs and parts. It may also signify that one shop has misdiagnosed the problem.
7. Make the shop explain it so that you understand
Mechanics are sometimes guilty of speaking in terms that someone unfamiliar with cars might not understand. Make sure you know the problem and the needed repairs before you choose from one of the auto shops in your area. Make sure you also understand the pro’s and con’s of the choices that are being presented to you as a car owner. While you might want to try save a few bucks by going with the cheapest option that gets your car running again this is not always the best choice in the long run.
8. Take your car in for a something ‘easy’
Before entrusting your vehicle to a new auto repair shop for major work, you can try them out with a smaller job, such as an oil change or a brake pad replacement. See how they do. If they suggest additional work, say you’d like to get a second opinion. The service person’s reaction will tell you a lot about whether it’s a valid recommendation.
And, while you’re at it, ask about their options for payment plans, shop warranties, and senior discounts. Offering some (or all) of these services shows they’re serious about providing good customer service and that they value their customers’ business.
At the end of the day the best way to find a not only a good repair shop but a great one is to be proactive! And if all of the above just sounds like hard work then contact us at FIXXR! We aim to ensure we only connect you to awesome mechanics at a fair, transparent price at a time that is convenient for YOU! Now you can focus on the things that really matter to you while we take car of your car!