Auto Repair and Services
If your vehicle is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer's requirements, which may include having repairs made at an authorized, franchised dealership, to keep your warranty in effect. If your car is not under warranty, ask friends and family for recommendations, check with BBB about a shop's reliability, and look for shops that display certifications such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Seal. ASE certification indicates that some or all of the technicians have met basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Make sure the certificates are recently obtained. Remember, however, that certification alone is not an absolute guarantee of good or honest work. If major repairs are required, you may want to find a dealer or repair shop specializing in the type of repair needed. If you are in doubt about what the problem is, let the shop diagnose the problem. You may cost yourself money by requesting a specific repair that may not in fact solve the problem. Nevertheless, be as specific and accurate as possible in describing the problem. Always get an estimate for parts and labor. Make sure the estimate states that the shop will contact you for approval before performing any work exceeding a specified amount of time or money. When you pick up the car, ask the service manager to explain all work completed and all replacements made. Also, ask that any major new parts that have been installed be pointed out to you, if possible. If the shop guarantees its work, get the guarantee in writing. Be sure that your bill itemizes the repairs so if a problem occurs later, you can prove that the item in question is covered by the guarantee.