Tips For Choosing the Right Automotive Shop

Your vehicle may be of your most important investments. Choosing the right automotive shop for repairs and maintenance is crucial to keeping your vehicle running at its peak performance. One shop may not be appropriate for every type of automobile. Foreign and luxury vehicles may require specialized services and parts that economical models do not.

Vehicle owners tend to prefer auto shops that offer competitive pricing and quality workmanship. Finding a shop that meets both criteria can be difficult. It is best to research your choices before you actually need car service so that you can fully explore all of your options.

Listed below are some tips you can follow to find the best automotive shop for you.

Ask Friends:

Listen to recommendations from friends, family, and co-workers. These people can provide firsthand details of their experiences with various shops. Be sure to ask friends who drive vehicles that are similar makes and models to your automobile.

Check Complaints:

Look on the Internet to see any negative comments that people have posted about local shops. Contact the Better Business Bureau and other consumer organizations to find out what kind of complaints, if any, have been submitted against the shop you are considering.

Call The Shop:

Simply asking a few questions can help you decide whether or not you should visit the shop. Inquire about the mechanics’ experience with your type of vehicle and find out if they specialize in certain kinds of repairs. Ask how long they have been in business and what kind of licensing they have.

Visit The Shop:

As you pull into the shop, check out the other vehicles in the parking lot and those being serviced. Take notice if the vehicles are of the same value as yours. Determine whether the equipment looks modern and well cared for. Check to see that the facility is clean and well maintained.

Remember That Bigger is Not Always Better:

A fancy building and a large staff may look impressive, but many times keeping such a large overhead results in higher prices. Many of these high-end establishments must charge more for their services in order to pay their staff and maintain their building. Don’t be fooled by the modest garages that you see around town. Many times, these establishments have some of the most highly trained mechanics and offer competitive prices.

Ask The Right Questions:

Be sure to inquire about any warranties that the shop may offer on parts and labor. Find out what kind of replacement parts they use. Many vehicle manufacturers suggest that you only use OEM parts. Finally, ask about theft and fire insurance while your vehicle is on the property.

Get Several Estimates:

Do not be afraid to call and visit a few shops in your area. Compare prices and services to decide which shop will suit you best. Remember that the lowest price does not always mean you are getting a good deal. Whether you drive a luxury vehicle or a less expensive model, you want to make sure that all repairs and maintenance is done correctly. Shoddy work can damage your vehicle and cause more expensive repairs in the future.

Just like finding the perfect doctor, finding an automotive shop is a very personal decision. Follow your instincts and you will find a shop that will serve you well.

Benefits of a Full-Service Automotive Shop

Chances are, you’ve probably taken a vehicle or two for a quick oil change at a chain auto repair shop in between major services, or used a national chain for brake or other specific repair work.

While many of these shops may be reliable and honest, their limited service menus and low pricing may compromise overall car care. Their mechanics may not be as seasoned as those in independently owned, full service shops. They may recommend more frequent servicing than necessary for low-cost jobs like oil changes, and use a cheaper, off-brand oil that might not be the best for your car.

Primary Care for Your Car

Mechanics in a full-service auto shop are sort of like primary care physicians: they see the entire car, and not just the brakes or engine. Full-service auto mechanic shops have lower employee turnover than the corporate shops, which are notorious for high turnover. At a full-service shop, mechanics are exposed to more cars, models, and technologies and are aware of performance issues that customers bring in along with their solutions.

Independent automotive shop employees receive more training about new car specs as well as services needed by older cars. They understand the impact of a particular climate on vehicle maintenance (for example, oil changes should be more frequent in extreme hot or cold climates) and can advise customers about what they can do on their own to prolong their vehicles’ life-cycle and efficiency.

Do Full Service Shops Charge More?

In general, you will get the most reasonable charges at a full-service shop and individualized serviced. Independent full-service shops charge a flat rate for their work, which are often lower than dealership charges because of lower overhead. (They are not, after all, paying for extra space used to showcase new or used cars, which are very sensitive to greater market influences.) Mechanics and technicians at independent shops are paid by the hour or receive a salary based upon their skills and job performance, just like most businesses. This frees staff from pressure to maximize the number of repairs they do and the temptation to cut corners.

More Attention to Customer Service?

Independent shops live and die by good customer relations. A good word from a customer to friends and neighbors or placed on Google is essential for an independent shop to thrive.

As with any service-oriented business, customer service can make a huge difference. Independent shops understand that customers value trust and work to build relationships with their customers. They will, for example, be more likely to get customers in a routine to bundle repairs, such as oil changes (at proper intervals) with tire rotation and balancing, which can save time and money.

Surveys Show: Independent Shops Preferred to Dealerships

Consumer Reports asks car owners each year about how satisfied they are with repairs they had over the past 12 months. The most recent data from 2012 follows a long-term trend that shows overall preference for independent shops over dealerships. Not surprisingly, dealership customers complained about high prices more than customers of independent shops, 42% to 32%.

Who prefers independent shops the most? An even mix of owners of mid-range and high-end cars and include Chrysler, Dodge, Jaguar, Jeep, Nissan, Mercedes, and Volvo owners. Dealership fans tend to be owners of the most expensive cars including Porsche.

Get Hassle Free Handling of Your Car With Appropriate Automotive Shop Equipment

As a car owner you regularly need to take your car for servicing to a professional auto repairing shop at least once in six months. But while choosing an automotive shop, it sometimes becomes a bit of a confusion to choose the best repair shop for your car maintenance and checkup. Therefore it is best to keep some points in mind while selecting a car maintenance shop where you can entrust your vehicle to a capable auto mechanic that would give you hassle free years with handling your car. There are some factors that you should always consider while choosing an auto shop to get the best technologically advanced services.

Firstly, it is important to find out the type of automotive shop equipment they have for repairing cars. A reliable and truly professional automotive repair shop will have all the modern auto body tools to help rectify the problems of your car. After becoming completely sure about the equipments that they will be using, you should leave your car in the shop for repairing. Your automotive repair shop of choice should be composed of well skilled and certified mechanics as well, since they are the ones who would be handling your vehicle for some days. By checking these points, you will at least have peace of mind that your vehicle has not been entrusted in the wrong hands. It can also help if you would have friends and family members who can recommend good repair shops or cross check the ones that you have chosen.

As mentioned earlier, it is very important to take your vehicle to a professional auto repair shop, but apart from that it is equally necessary to keep some basic auto body tools at home or in your car. Repair shops usually have the heavier and expensive automotive shop equipment like lifts etc. But maintaining basic car engine repair tools can be of great advantage since they come handy in situations where you do not have access to a mechanic to get your car fixed. At times it does happen that the problem with your car can be very minor, but you may have to shell out an exorbitant amount since you do not have ready tools or simply not aware of how to use them. Therefore having such auto body tools will not only save precious time but also a lot of money.

Who Uses Automotive Shop Equipment

Do you own a body shop? Are you looking for some good equipment for your personal hobby shop in your garage? There are many different pieces of automotive shop equipment that you can use in your own home. Everyone is entitled to at least some of the automotive shop equipment out there.

People that like cars and have a mini shop set up in their garage often use car lifts and various automotive tools. Having your own shop is a fun thing to do for a lot of people. This is why lots of people buy their own equipment and set it up in their own home. You don’t have to work on other people’s cars to have your own shop. As long as you have a use for it, it’s yours to buy. Maybe you are into building cars or fixing up old cars. Automotive shop equipment will help you out and make everything go faster and more efficiently. With the right gear you can make anything happen that the guys in the auto shop down the street can.

There are many different types of shop equipment that people use that don’t necessarily need a shop to use it in. You don’t even have to like building cars. For example: There are charging systems for batteries that people use in their own home just for charging their car battery. Maybe they have an electric car and need to charge the battery at night. There are many different reasons to have this type of equipment in the house.

People often like to detail their own car. That is a great reason to buy all the body shop grade equipment for your house. It is nice to be able to just detail your car on your own time however often you like. This means that you can detail your car at three in the morning if you want to!

More serious equipment like hose reels, lifting equipment vises and pressure washers can be used in-home as well. Things like pressure washers are not just used for cars though. They can also be used on driveways, houses and roofs for cleaning and stripping paint. So, not just people who are interested in cars can use shop equipment.

Painters often use pressure washers. Painting has nothing to do with automotive shops but it still uses some of the same equipment. Pressure washers help get flaking paint off of a house, they help clean window panes, and remove gunk from gutters. If you are looking to buy your own cleaning supplies like this, look in to buying shop equipment.