Get the Most Out of Your Auto Service

Mar 21, 2014

By Staff Writer

Many people dread visits to the mechanic: Auto shops consistently rank among the top complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). But putting it off could risk your safety and cost more in the long run. Schedule your service today, and use this advice to help avoid dishonest mechanics, excessive repair bills and common scams.

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Find a Reliable Mechanic

Ask friends and family for recommendations, and check that your options are certified by an automotive repair organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Seek Out a Reputable Shop

Look for one that specializes in your make of vehicle. It does not need to be a respective dealership: Federal law protects your warranty should you choose an independent business for routine maintenance work. Read online reviews and complaints filed with the local BBB or consumer protection agency.

Prepare for Your Visit

Clean out your car and be ready to provide a detailed explanation of the issue. Also bring a copy of your warranty, if applicable, and your vehicle’s service history. A maintenance record can give the service technician a better picture of the car's health.

Reduce Risks

Unscrupulous shops may trick you into higher payments or unnecessary repairs. Tactics include ignoring maintenance schedules, completing repairs without your permission and insisting your car needs more work than you came in for. Protect yourself:

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