Q: How do I know I am getting quality service from my car mechanic? With these tough economic times, is my mechanic adding unnecessary items to the repair list of my car?
A: Ask around-starting with neighbors and friends-and find out where they go and don’t go. I would always look for a place that has ASE certified technicians. ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes, steering & suspension engine repair, etc.). A reputable repair shop representative should be able to explain what kind of work they are recommending and why. They should also advise you if the repair work is preventative maintenance or something that is safety or break-down related. Keeping good records will also help you determine what might have already been done on your vehicle so you can inform the technician accordingly. Once you have chosen a repair shop, a professional auto repair business and technician will always take the time to fully explain the repairs or services being performed. They will offer you options and make sure you understand the benefits and features of all your services which will include preventive maintenance items. If you have gotten your repairs done in a shop that has displayed honesty and integrity in the past, it is likely because this is the character of the individuals in the shop and that will not change with the times. Are the technicians able to help you prioritize you repairs such, needs now, maintenance later and can be put off for the future? And finally are they as pleasant with you from start to finish, even if you decline the repairs? If you still don’t feel comfortable get a second opinion. You have the right to say no if you are not at ease with what you are being advised to do.