Auto repair shops are everywhere, and it can be hard sometimes to tell whether you’ve found a good one. There might be one right up the block from you, and if your car breaks down or it needs an inspection, you may feel like proximity matters. It makes sense that you would take your vehicle to a shop that’s a short walk away rather than one that’s several miles from your house.
However, just because an auto body shop is close to you, that does not always mean it’s the best choice. There are ways that you can usually tell whether a mechanic will become your go-to whenever you need something automotive-related. Let’s talk about how you can tell whether a particular auto body shop will work for you.
You Can Read the Online Reviews
Finding a reliable auto repair shop sometimes turns out to be easy. There are competent ones all over the country, and you might luck out if you drive your car to a random one.
The thing is, though, there are probably just as many incompetent car mechanics as skilled ones. They might be unsuitable because they try to overcharge you for everything they do. It could also be that they overlook serious car problems that someone competent would immediately notice and point out to you.
Other mechanics are rude and nasty. They might act condescending to you if you don’t know very much about cars, or maybe they’ll try to take advantage of you in various ways.
You can generally find out plenty about an auto repair shop by finding reviews online. The online community can definitely help you in this area.
Many times, if someone has a horrible car repair shop experience, they will want to tell other car owners about it to warn them away. You can look on sites like Yelp or Google the name of the repair shop, and you should immediately see any negative reviews. If you notice that the garage around the corner from you has horrible feedback, you might choose another one for that reason.
You Can Check Out Their Website
The average auto body shop should have a website these days. Virtually any business needs a website, and if the shop cares about attracting new customers, they should take the time to create one and make it attractive and easy for internet users to utilize.
If the one you’re looking at does not have a website, or if their site is rudimentary and difficult to use, that’s probably a bad sign. Any auto body shop without a website is operating in the previous century. If the site looks as though no one has updated it in years, that’s also a potential red flag to which you should pay attention.
You Can Take Your Car There Once to Try It Out
You may decide that if an auto body shop is close to your home, you might take your car there for a tune-up or an inspection, even if the online reviews aren’t so great. The fact is that you can’t always trust every online review. Just because one person had a poor experience there, that could say more about the person posting the review than the auto body shop.
You can try them for yourself to see whether you have a better experience. You might feel trepidation when you drop off your car, but it may turn out that a few disgruntled customers had it wrong. Maybe the auto body shop is better than the reviews indicated.
If you have an unsatisfactory experience as well, you never have to go back there. The point is that you cannot believe everything you read online.
You Can Ask Them if They Service Particular Car Makes and Models
You might also call the auto body shop or email them to ask if they service particular car makes and models. Some auto body shops will only deal with certain car brands. If you have a more exotic car, you might have to take it to a dealer if you want the best service for it.
Of course, going to the dealer often means you’ll pay more. Still, they might be the ones who have the most replacement parts for your high-end car. They can also probably tell you what’s wrong with it more accurately than some random place on the corner that has never seen a vehicle like yours before.