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After you’ve found and purchased the used car that’s right for you, one of your primary objectives should be keeping it in top working condition, which means having it serviced on a regular basis and promptly taking care of any repairs when needed. If you bought the car from a dealership that has an awesome service department, you might choose to take it there for servicing and repairs. Other people like to find their own good mechanic or repair shop, but how do you go about doing that?
First of all, finding a repair shop that’s fair and which you can trust does take a bit of time and effort, so the right time to do it is when you’re not having any problems with your vehicle. If you find yourself in sudden need of an emergency repair, you’re already in the wrong emotional state to calmly and rationally figure out where to take your car to get it repaired. So do yourself a favor and take care of this task when you don’t immediately need a mechanic!
A lot of guidance you’ll find out there on this topic will say something like this: Look for membership in organizations like AAA, meaning AAA Approved Auto Repair. When a shop is a member of a group like that, it means they’ve gone through some kind of assessment or rigorous inspection in order to qualify for membership. Others include iATN (International Auto Technicians Association), ASA (Automotive Service Association), or TechNet (Carquest Technician’s Network). They also will say look for facilities that are neat and orderly, not messy or chaotic. But this rules out the small mechanic shop that is run by one guy with maybe an employee or two that doesn’t have any fancy memberships and maybe the place looks like a bit of a wreck, but they do the best repair work in town at half the cost of other places and are always honest to boot. Just because a place is decorated with acronyms and is neat as a pin doesn’t mean it’s any better than a place lacking any of that. So what to do?
First, talk to your friends and family and find out where they go if they are satisfied. And then your next stop, of course, is the Internet. Between Yelp and Angie’s List (which is finally free to join now after years of charging a fee), you can read plenty of real reviews from people who have gone to that mechanic or repair shop and who will tell you exactly why they loved it or hated it. So let’s say, as a fictitious example, you come across Tom’s Auto Service (owned and operated by a guy named Tom). He isn’t a member of any trade associations and his shop looks like a tornado went through it, but online he has absolutely perfect ratings and rave reviews from dozens of happy customers. Would you automatically rule him out because he’s not approved by XYZ organization or isn’t a neat freak?
The point is to select a place that’s going to do top-quality work that is fairly priced, and you can find that out easily enough from family, friends, and real customer reviews online – just remember to find your go-to mechanic before you need one.
At Auto City we sell cars but we service them too! We have the experience, expertise, and the latest equipment to properly service and repair your vehicle. See our service department page for more information or to make an appointment.