If your car is damaged in an accident, you will need to make sure that you find a good auto repair shop. The following article will provide some qualifications that the best auto repair shops have in common, as well as some tips you should follow to ensure that these repairs are performed to your expectations.
- The shop has the proper certifications. When you get to the shop, make sure that you look for blue and white “ASE” emblems. These emblems indicate that the shop’s technicians have passed certain skills tests and been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
- The shop has a good reputation. It is important to find a shop that has a good reputation with its customers. You should be able to look at online reviews to determine whether a shop provides good customer service and quality services.
- The shop has a clean rap sheet. You should be able to find information about the shop online at the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) site. This site will show you how long the shop has been in business, how many complaints have been filed against the shop, and the shop’s BBB rating.
- The shop shows pride in its appearance. It is important to find a shop that is generally clean and tidy. It is not uncommon for an auto shop to be messy from time to time, but the messier a shop is, the less likely the technicians are to pay attention to detail.
- The shop’s technicians communicate well. Communication is key when dealing with an auto shop. You will want to make sure that the technicians are able to clearly tell you what is wrong with your car, how they plan to fix it, and an exact estimation of the cost of repairs.
- The shop has a clear warranty policy. Make sure that the shop has a strong, clear warranty policy. This will help ensure that the shop fixes the car right the first time and that if there are any issues in the future, that the shop will take the necessary steps to fix them.
- The shop fits into your life. The shop should offer some type of convenience for you. Consider some of the following- Is the shop located nearby? Will a shop technician give you a ride home after you drop off your car and/or pick you up when it’s ready? Is there a comfortable and sanitized place that you can wait at in the shop while the work is being done? Is there a secure place for you to leave your keys if you want to drop off the car the night before?
What should I check for before leaving the auto shop with my repaired car?
Typically, your mechanic will call you to let you know when your car is ready for pickup. Before you leave the shop, you should complete all of the following tasks:
- Ask the mechanic to walk you through the repairs that were made.
- Go through the itemized bill and make sure that you thoroughly understand the charges.
- Check that the bill closely resembles the estimate that you were given before the repairs; if the bill is different, figure out why.
- Go for a test drive to ensure that your car is functioning normally.
What should I do if I am not satisfied with the repairs that were made?
If for whatever reason you are unsatisfied with the repairs, you can take any of the following actions:
- Contact the insurance company and the repair shop. Make sure that you are able to clearly explain what your issues are and that you provide pictures of the repairs.
- Ask to speak to a supervisor. If you feel like you are not getting anywhere with the insurance representative, ask to speak to the representative’s supervisor.
- File a complaint. If you are still having trouble, you can file a dispute with your state’s insurance department.
Consult an attorney. As a last resort, you may consider hiring a personal injury attorney to sue the insurance company.