Six Questions to Ask a Shop

Once you’ve checked their credentials as thoroughly as possible, call the top shops on your list to narrow down your choices. Following are the six simple questions you can ask any shop. (As a word of caution, let me note that it’s extremely dangerous to choose a shop based on their pricing. There’s simply too much room for misunderstanding and manipulation if price is your only criteria.) In addition, price quotes over the phone are inviting trouble since the shop has not actually evaluated the vehicle’s needs. If the price changes, you will feel cheated or lied to when that may not be the case.

That’s why I advise you to ask these six questions and compare the answers you receive:

  1. What is your warranty?
  2. Are your technicians ASE-Certified and do you have any ASE Master Technicians?
  3. Are your technicians required to participate in continuing education/training?
  4. Do you provide a free round-trip shuttle or loaner vehicle?
  5. Do you have the software and any specialized tools required to work on (my vehicle)?
  6. Do you have a system that keeps a maintenance schedule for vehicles and notifies me when it’s time for service?

These six simple questions will successfully point you to the best shop in your area. Rarely will you find a shop that’s actually well prepared to answer these questions. When you do, you’re really on to something!

But sometimes, even when you’ve found an excellent shop, things don’t always go as expected. I’d like to prepare you for those situations in an upcoming post titled “Dealing With Your Repair Shop”.

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