It's no big secret that cars need to be maintained, and once in a while, they'll probably need more than just a tune-up. Car owners can become very attached to their cars, and want to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. It can be hard to turn your car keys over to someone else when something goes awry. You'll want toe find a trusted auto body shop with a trustworthy and knowledgeable staff and mechanic to work on your precious car. Here are a few tips for finding an auto body shop if you don't already have one.
Word of mouth actually means something. Do you know a guy who takes his car to a mom and pop auto shop in town, or swears by taking his car to the dealership to have work done? Folks who love their mechanics aren't afraid to tell others about their stellar work. Whether they have all around good customer service, the best prices in town, or the mechanic is a family friend who will fix your baby up and treat you right, don't be afraid to ask for their recommendations. Who knows. you may even wind up with a discount if you mention the name of the person who referred you!
What's the size of the shop and operation? Large auto body shops probably have a lot of customers, and they have to hire enough staff and mechanics to manage the customers and their vehicles. They have to pay all of these staff members, and therefore, might have to charge higher prices for their services. They might also have a nicer team, better atmosphere and more amenities for their customers. You just have to weigh the options, and decide if you can live with paying a little more for cushier service.
Ask questions. If you know a thing or two about cars, don't be afraid to ask your mechanic questions. Often times, many folks wind up getting swindled by auto shops, because the mechanics think that the car owners don't know any different when they tell them what needs to be done. If a part needs to be ordered, do a little research and price comparison online before giving the go ahead for the shop to order the part for you. If you think you're being overcharged, you can always find another shop to give you another estimate.
Go with your gut. If something about a shop or mechanic feels off to you, you don't have to stick with them. You need to feel secure with the person you leave your car with. Make sure the shop has insurance to cover any damages that may occur when your car is left on their property. Remember that car break-ins can and do happen all over the place. If your car has to be worked on for a few days, ask if the shop has a loaner service. Don't allow the shop to make any major repairs without your consent. Always ask them to call you with an estimate before making a repair or ordering a part for your vehicle.
If the problem with your car is minor and you feel comfortable tackling it yourself or with a friend, you might be able to save a bit of money. It's best, however, to leave any major repairs to the pros.
Brought to you by Patrick Auto Body.