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Choosing the Right Repair Shop

Choosing the Right Repair Shop

New to your town or city? Looking for a good repair shop?The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, offers the following tips on choosing a repair facility.

  • Look for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed.
  • Ask friends and associates for their recommendations.

  • Consult local consumer organization about the reputation of the shop; inquire about the number, nature, and resolution of complaints.

  • Do not choose a shop based only on a convenient location.  

  • You probably won't find hospital-clean conditions, but look for a tidy, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.  

  • Ask if the shop usually handles your vehicle make and model or type of repair. Some facilities specialize.

  • Look for signs of technician competence. The customer area should display trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and ASE certifications-a nationally recognized standard of technician competence.

  • Look too for community service awards, plaques for civic involvement, customer service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups.  

  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The manager, service writer, or technician should be willing to answer your questions.  

  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, guarantees, methods of payment, etc. should be posted.

Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers as references. Call them. Start with a minor job. Reward good service with repeat business and more complex work. For a free brochure with tips on selecting a repair facility, send a self-addressed, stamped business-sized envelope to: ASE Repair Shop Brochure, Dept. NUW-801, 101 Blue Seal Dr., Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175.The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals.ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.