A Checklist Beyond Basic Auto Repair With Towing
When it comes to keeping your car in tip-top shape, it takes a lot more research than you might think. As the saying goes, cars are a lot like people; they need a lot more maintenance the older they get.
With that in mind, all car owners need to find the best auto repair shops in their area so they can keep their cars running for as long as possible. The best way to do that is to have a checklist on hand of what to look for in auto repair shops. Read on to see what you should be looking for when shopping around for a steady auto repair shop.
Research Different Reputable Auto Shops in Your Area
Chances are there are multiple automotive repair shops to choose from in your area. With so many choices, the first step to narrowing down your choices should be to do some research on each automotive repair shop.
Starred reviews on Google and Yelp reviews are two ways that you can determine general customer satisfaction from an auto repair shop. While these reviews aren’t always going to be the most reliable, they’re going to be far less biased than reviews that an auto repair shop may hand-select to display on their website. Third-party review sites provide a more neutral view of how reliable and efficient an auto repair shop is and whether or not you should give them your business.
Visiting their websites to see what services they offer is also an important step in vetting which auto repair shops are right for you.
Determine the Best Repair Location for Your Diesel Vehicle
If you have a car that needs diesel, it’s important to find a diesel repair shop or repair shop that also offers services to diesel vehicles. Because this is a more specialized fuel, not all auto repair shops work with diesel vehicles or offer as many services to diesel vehicles as they offer to traditional cars.
Be sure to check every auto repair shop’s website to see if they service diesel vehicles and, if so, what kinds of services they offer. It’s also worth calling the repair shop to see if there are any additional services they offer that aren’t listed on their website.
Keeping the location of the auto repair shop in mind is also important. If you’re experiencing a severe issue with your vehicle, you don’t want to have to drive a long distance to get repair services. Keep distance, location, and traffic in mind when researching auto repair shops.
Decide the Best Price for Fuel Deliveries
If you have a diesel vehicle, seeing if an auto shop offers diesel fuel delivery is also something to keep in mind. Fuel deliveries can mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly and dropping hundreds a year on a AAA membership that you may only use once or twice a year.
If an auto repair shop offers fuel deliveries, it will be listed somewhere on its website. Be sure to keep an eye out for this when conducting your research.
Inquire About Brake Repairs
Brake repair services are one of the most important services that an auto repair shop can offer. However, not all auto repair shops – especially smaller shops – offer this service. Finding out that your regular auto shop doesn’t offer this service just when you need it can put you in an inconvenient, or even dangerous, position. A car without functioning brakes isn’t road-safe and must be towed to a repair shop before it can be repaired.
The best way to keep yourself from falling into this position is to ensure that your go-to auto repair shop offers the towing and brake repair services that you need. So when deciding on an auto repair shop, be sure to look at their list of services and see if towing brake services are among what they offer. If you don’t see it at first, be sure to call and confirm before moving on to the next auto repair shop.
Ask About Costs for Repairing Your Auto Body
While your regular auto repair shop needs to have all the services that you need, it’s also important that their services are within your budget.
An auto repair shop’s pricing information is likely not going to be on its website. Instead, you should call the shop, ready to take notes on the prices they give you. Be sure to inquire about the prices of specific services that you’ll likely need in the future. This should include simple services like oil changes and tire rotations, as well as more in-depth services such as car body repair services and engine repair.
You should also be collecting price information from several auto repair shops to see which one offers the best prices while still offering all the services you’ll need in an easy-to-reach location.
Discuss Prices for Tinting Your Car Windows
With more and more cars not coming with dark-tinted windows, people are seeking to have their windows tinted by an auto repair shop. If you’re one of these people, seeing if your go-to auto repair shop offers car window tinting services is a must.
Tinted windows offer several benefits to car owners, including protecting your eyes (and upholstery) from sun glare, offering some privacy, and keeping your car slightly cooler on sunny days, compared to cars with untinted windows.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure the price for window tinting isn’t outside your budget. Be sure to ask for prices beforehand so you can shop around for the best deal.
Speak About How to Remove Smoke Damage From Your Automobile
If your car is used, there’s a chance that there’s smoke damage that needs to be dealt with before you can drive your car on the regular. This is definitely something to be considered if you have a lung condition or someone who will be riding in the car with you can’t stand the smell of smoke for one reason or another.
Many auto repair shops offer smoke damage cleaning service packages. However, not all do. It’s important to call your go-to auto repair shop ahead of time to see if this is something that they offer, and if so, for how much.
This is a specialized service that many may feel that they can tackle at home. While there are plenty of “home remedies” to taking care of the smell of smoke inside of a car, these typically don’t get rid of the smell completely and may end up coming back over time.
Auto repair shops can do a deep cleaning of your car, utilizing specialized car detailing techniques to remove the smell permanently. In the most extreme cases, an auto repair shop can even reupholster your car seats to get rid of the smoke smell once and for all.
Look Into Replacing Your Concrete Driveway
Some auto repair shops offer services outside of their building as well. Driveway repairs and replacements are something that some auto repair shops offer. Chance are, if an auto repair shop offers this service, it’ll be listed somewhere on their website, alongside their car repair services. If you don’t see it on their website, it’s worth calling the shop just to make sure before moving on to a different auto repair shop.
If none of your go-to auto repair shops offer driveway services, they can likely give you a referral to a concrete company that does offer that service. Many auto repair shops, both local and part of a chain, often strike up partnerships and connections with other local businesses. Because of this, even if your auto repair shop belongs to a nationwide chain, the shop at your specific location will likely have a wealth of knowledge that can help you with other car-based services.
Install a Dashboard Camera
With so many changes in driving behaviors in recent years, many car owners are looking into getting a car dashboard camera. By having a camera attached to the dashboard, car owners can have recordings of everything that happens when they’re behind the wheel. This can be especially useful if an accident occurs or if something happens when your car is left unattended.
However, installing a dashboard camera can be tricky. While there are dash cams that can be manually turned on and off, some prefer a camera that turns on and off when the engine is turned on and off. For a more specialized installation, you’re going to need an auto repair shop to do this for you. They likely will need to also order the camera for you, as they’ll know which type of camera best suits your needs.
And as with any service for your car, it’s important to price shop as well before deciding on any one auto repair shop. By looking for the best deals, you can avoid overpaying while still getting quality service.
Assess if You Need a New Vehicle
Sometimes, when a car needs too many repairs, it might be in a car owner’s best interest to start looking for a new car. This can be if a car is too badly damaged or even totaled or if the repair costs are more than just buying a new car.
Yet for those trying to keep within a budget, used cars are the way to go for those shopping for a new car to buy.
While auto repair shops can’t help you much during the car-buying process, they can help you decide whether it’s time to give up on a car or get a new one. An auto repair shop can look at all the existing damage your car has, damage that might happen should you try to drive the car as-is, and what needs to be repaired and for how much. They can also explain to you the chances of a car being repaired and safe to drive on the road again and whether or not it’s safer to get a new car.
If you decide to get a new car, some auto repair shops may be able to refer to you a reputable car dealership. This is especially the case if you’re new to the area and unfamiliar with the dealerships in your area or if that repair shop is most familiar with a certain type of car maker.
Overall, having a regular auto repair shop to go to that you trust is deeply important. Not only does it ensure that you can extend the lifespan of your vehicle, but it also ensures that you save money in the long run by going to a trusted dealership.
However, car owners need to keep in mind that they must do their research before settling on a regular auto repair shop or two. Price checking, looking at online reviews, seeing what services they offer, and the location of the repair shop are just some of the things that a responsible car owner should be looking for when deciding to give their business to an auto repair shop.
Neglecting to follow a checklist and settling on any repair shop can end up costing a car owner a lot of money and time. Whether that’s because they received low-quality work, having to pay way too much for simple work, or going out of their way to drive to an auto repair shop that doesn’t offer the services that they need.
In addition, by not conducting research and settling on a reputable auto repair shop, a car owner might even find themselves with an unusable vehicle. This can be because a repair shop isn’t properly advising you on whether or not a vehicle can be salvaged and is refraining from advising you to get a new car because they continue to assure you that repairs can be made.
So, long story short: do your research! Your wallet and sanity will thank you.