Finding a One-Stop Auto Shop

BYAmanda Flatten
Do you have a trusted auto shop you’ve been using for years? Or would you have to scramble in an auto emergency to find a place to take your car for service? These days, most people fall into the second category, but that’s like flipping a coin, just hoping you get quality service for a fair price. 
What’s the best way to find a one-stop shop you trust before a major problem arises? AAA Auto experts suggest considering the following when searching for your “home” auto shop.
Warranty. Ask the shop what kind of warranty is offered. Quality shops offer a 24-month/24,000-mile parts and labor warranty. If you travel out of state and the shop is part of a chain, ask if the warranty will be honored at all locations nationwide.
Certified technicians. Are the shop’s technicians ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified? ASE-certified mechanics are trained on the latest auto technology and have passed rigorous testing. Also, make sure the technicians have diagnostics training and will take the time to test or replicate the problem your car is experiencing. 
Convenience. In addition to being close to home or work, does the shop offer a shuttle service to get you where you need to go while your car is being worked on?
Pricing. Many shops lure customers with coupons and then try to upsell additional, unnecessary services. Look for a shop with good pricing and quality parts above all. And make sure to get a written estimate before any work is done.
Test it out. Get a basic oil change or vehicle inspection at the shop you’re considering. If they don’t pressure you into additional, unnecessary services, and you are impressed with the experience, you may have found your one-stop auto shop.
AMANDA FLATTEN is the managing editor of Highroads.
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