How to Select an Auto Repair Shop

A shop that repairs the internal workings of an automobile. The term auto repair shop is often used to refer to a full-service auto maintenance and repair facility, but it can also be used to describe shops that specialize in certain types of repairs, such as brakes or mufflers. Auto repair shops typically employ certified professional technicians who are trained to diagnose and fix problems with cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. Many shops also sell new and used auto parts. Some auto repair shops offer a warranty on their work.

If you’re having trouble with a repair shop, talk to the manager or owner first. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, contact your state’s consumer protection agency or Attorney General. They may have information on alternative dispute resolution programs in your area or on how to file a complaint in small claims court.

In addition to fixing your car, anĀ Auto Repair shop can help you keep it in good shape by providing routine maintenance services such as oil changes and tune-ups. It can also replace or repair your tires, exhaust system, brakes and electrical components. It can even perform body work, including painting and welding.

When selecting an auto repair shop, ask about the types of parts they use. Some shops use only original equipment (OEM) parts, which are manufactured to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. These parts can cost more, but they usually fit better, last longer and are covered by a warranty. Other shops use generic replacement parts, which are made to the same specifications as the OEM parts but are sold at a lower price. Still others use remanufactured, rebuilt or reconditioned parts, which are used parts that have been restored to like-new condition. Finally, some shops use salvaged parts, which are taken from recycled vehicles and aren’t guaranteed to be reliable.

Whenever you leave your car at an auto repair shop, make sure you get a written estimate of the parts and labor that will be needed to fix the problem. This should clearly identify the conditions that need to be repaired, explain why they are necessary, and list all parts and their costs. In some states, it’s required that repair shops provide you with this written estimate before beginning any work.

Compare the shop’s maintenance schedule with the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Some shops create their own maintenance schedules that call for more frequent servicing than the manufacturer recommends. If the shop’s schedule is more frequent, ask the shop why.

When the repairs are done, check that the invoice matches the written estimate. Look for the name and phone number of the person who gave you the estimate, the date of the service, the part numbers that were replaced and their costs, and whether they were new or used.

If you think the shop has overcharged you, try resolving the issue with the management. If you are unable to reach a resolution, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles regional office or your state’s Attorney General. A DMV inspector can investigate your complaint and take appropriate action, such as issuing a warning letter or scheduling a hearing.