Tips on Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop

As the weather gets warmer, motorists should begin thinking about getting their

vehicles ready for the busy summer driving season.

Given today’s busy schedules and complex vehicle systems, many drivers prefer to take their cars to repair shops than do the work themselves. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers these tips for choosing an appropriate repair facility.

* Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.

* Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations. Also, consult local consumer groups.

* Arrange for alternative transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based on its location.

* Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.

* Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant willing to answer all of your questions.

* Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

* Ask if the repair facility specializes or handles your car’s type of repair work.

* Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area, such as civic, community or customer service awards.

* Look for evidence of qualified technicians. This includes trade-school diplomas, certificates of advanced coursework and certification by ASE.

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals.

Its certified technicians wear blue-and-white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign.

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