By Jack Bulko, AutoAid
When it comes to professions that rank low in trustworthiness, used car lots and automotive repair shops are likely near the top. Let’s face it, the automotive repair industry does not have a stellar reputation when it comes to customer service, or honesty, for that matter. No wonder so many people are skeptical about going to a shop and being treated fairly. Below are some tips on how to find an honest repair shop and become a savvier consumer.
For years now, some mechanics and shop owners have counted on the average person not understanding how their vehicle operates, or even questioning what they say. How can you find a reliable, honest, credible and award-winning automotive repair shop that won’t try to swindle you? Do they exist? Yes, they do, and AutoAid is one of them.
How to Tell If the Shop isn’t Being Honest with You
You know the automotive shop is not being upfront with you when:
- Replaced parts aren’t returned. That gasket, belt, rotor or any other part of your vehicle belongs to you. When this situation occurs it’s typically because they haven’t replaced the part at all but are charging you for it.
- It doesn’t tell you about any additional testing or repairs and just goes ahead and does them. Then you are left with an uneasy feeling and a larger than expected bill. At AutoAid, we perform a visual courtesy check of your truck or car which covers 38 specific points. If we believe something isn’t functioning well, we will speak to you before performing further diagnostics and get your approval first.
- Needless repairs are done. They tell you need an expensive part or a costly treatment and then you find out later they either overcharged you or did work that was totally unnecessary. If you are ever out of town or in at a shop with which you are unfamiliar, call your friends at AutoAid. We’ll speak with the mechanic on your behalf. Our technicians can fix almost anything!
- You are told that repairs have been made to the vehicle only to have the same problems days later. At AutoAid, if we say we have repaired your vehicle, we have. We know that a business’s reputation matters.
- Your final bill far exceeds the estimate by a large amount. They tell you it is due to unforeseen difficulties which you were never consulted about. Or they hand you a partially completed form and request a signature saying that will fill in the rest later. Don’t believe them. Read before you sign anything!
- The customer services department is poor or non-existent. That means they are not concerned about repeat business. At AutoAid, we are proud of our talented and friendly staff who are respectful of our customers throughout the car repair process. Customers are invited to sit and enjoy light refreshments in our Customer Lounge area.
- They don’t offer any warranty on their work. AutoAid stands behind our work. We offer a three year/36,000 mile warranty on all new parts we install in addition to a Nationwide warranty on thousands of brand name parts.
- You walk into the shop and it looks disorderly. You may laugh but a disorganized shop is a sign of something being amiss. We make sure that our work environs are clean and clutter free
- There are no visible certificates or awards from industry or industry-related groups. When you come into our shop, you can see the kudos we have received. AutoAid has been a AAA Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Awards Winner for more than 35 years.
Finding the Right Shop for You
Not sure where to go? Ask your friends, colleagues or family members who they have used and why they like them. Check the shop out on Yelp Review and the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair).
Since we began this business in 1979, AutoAid has been serving the greater Van Nuys community and committed to giving customers top notch and a complete range of services. We recently moved our shop from Erwin Street to 14852 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91405. But you can still reach us at by phone at (818) 305-6632 or make an appointment on our website.