By: DAN RYAN OF TEAM RYAN AUTOMOTIVE
People spend a lot of time researching before buying a car, but often they don’t spend much time finding an honest, qualified auto service & repair shop. Your vehicle is not only likely the second most expensive purchase you will make, it is also responsible for keeping you and your loved ones safe on the road. The first order of business is to find an honest and qualified service & repair shop before you need them…
> Look for qualified technicians and shops that have ASE certifications and the Blue Seal recognition. Shops are recognized with a Blue Seal of Excellence if the technicians of that shop meet the high standards of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) organization; they recruit the best employees, support new training and insist on the best equipment. Only 1 in 3 have one certification, meaning 2 out of 3 have none.
> A warranty is proof that a shop stands by their work. Warranties demonstrate that a shop will stand behind the work it performs. Make sure that the shop you are depending on is actually showing you that they can be depended upon. Check that the shop only buys parts from suppliers who provide a warranty.
> Choose a business that has good processes, that keeps their facility clean and properly stocked. While you may not know if a shop has the right tools, equipment or responsible processes, you can make some deductions with a high level of certainty from their restroom, lobby, and parking lot – anything that you can see. This is important because if a shop lacks proper processes, you could be sold parts you don’t need, or worse, be sent away with missing parts.
> Don’t fall into the trap that dealerships provide the best service and that auto parts stores can actually diagnose your car.
Auto parts stores sell parts (code scans) that may read helpful, but are rarely conclusive when diagnosing a vehicle. Many dealerships no longer provide the best service. Out-of-date equipment and a squeeze for higher profit margins have left most dealerships in the situation of over-promising and under-delivering. There is little to no motivation for the service writer or technician to diagnose your car correctly the first time. ■