By Jack Bulko, AutoAid
Finding a new automotive repair shop isn’t one of the top ten things on people’s to-do lists when they move to a new area due to college, a corporate transfer or a new job. However, it should be. Your car will need an oil change or other maintenance, new tires or a smog check at some point along the way. And when any of these instances occur, finding a shop that does maintenance, repair, tires and smog checks, all in one place, is useful. So how do you find a reliable mechanic when you’re new to the area?
Finding a Reliable Repair Shop
My friend, Charlie, was just telling me about his son who moved to Colorado for a new job opportunity. “He loves everything about Colorado,” he told me, “except he can’t find a decent repair shop.” His son was discouraged and told his father, “I can’t find a shop to do an oil change near me. It’s all these 15-minute lube places and I don’t want them touching my car.” My customer’s son also didn’t like that of the shops he found for the oil change, only one had a smog check center and it wasn’t Star Certified. He needed to get a smog check before registering his car. “I know you guys offer them, heck you’re a Star Certified Smog check and repair, but Los Angeles is a bit too far for him to drive right now. Any suggestions?”
I told him to have his son call me and I’d answer any questions he had. I also mentioned that if he wanted me to talk to any repair shop and check them out as “Uncle Jack” I could do that too.
What to Look for in a Reliable Repair Shop
When my customer’s son contacted me, I gave him the following suggestions.
- Look at a repair shops’ online presence on sites such as Yelp and Google. See what customers have posted about them.
- Go to their website, which will have information about what they do, how it benefits you and any honors or awards they have received. This is key because the automotive repair shops typically display these accolades online and in their shops.
- If you can, stop by the shop or go on a virtual tour if they include one. Is it clean?
- Do they have a clean, relaxing waiting area for customers?
- If you do go into the shop, is the staff courteous? Do they appear to be knowledgeable?
- Do they offer a warranty?
- Do they have a payment plan for larger jobs?
I also invited him to stop by and see us at AutoAid the next time he was I town. I told him our technicians would treat his vehicle to our complimentary Car & Truck Courtesy Check, and would checkout anything else required.
A couple of days later, the son sent me an email that he found a reliable mechanic in his area. He said the station is only half an hour away from his home and that it has a tire shop and is a Star Certified Smog testing and repair center. He thanked me for all the information and promised to stop by the next time he was in town.
AutoAid has been serving customers in the San Fernando Valley and beyond since 1979. We take great pride in what we have accomplished over the years and the level of trust we have built with the community. Make sure to bring your car in for regularly scheduled maintenance and any on-road troubles you may encounter.