Before scheduling a service appointment for your vehicle, there’s a few steps you can take to guarantee a better experience. While the majority of auto shops and mechanics do have your best interest in mind, just exactly what that means can vary from place to place. In order to get the best service and the best value, you want to do a little research to cover your bases.
Before You Schedule a Service
Give yourself, and your pocketbook, peace of mind by taking the following steps before scheduling a service appointment.
Read the Manual
Your vehicle’s manual includes a scheduled maintenance guide, which details how often certain maintenance and check-ups should occur. Although what's printed in your manual may differ from your vehicle's specific needs, taking a moment to familiarize yourself with those recommendations could save you in the long-run.
Check Your Warranty
If your vehicle is still under warranty, the dealership you purchased from might perform the service for free or at a discount. Also, many warranties require a certain level of maintenance otherwise they can become void.
Get a Little Help from Your Friends
Being in need of vehicle maintenance is a situation every vehicle owner eventually finds themselves in. If you don’t have a trustworthy service technician, ask your friends, family, or coworkers for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool - rely on your network.
Check Online Reviews
Get Price Estimates from Various Shops
Researching what the repairs typically cost in your area provides insight into the type of deal you’re getting. Some shops charge for labor by the hour, others charge by the job. It’s good to remember that the least expensive deal isn’t necessarily the best.
Check for Certifications
While most technicians can address standard vehicle maintenance, sometimes vehicles need service that’s greater than what a background in general mechanics can offer. Certified technicians must meet ongoing education and performance standards in order to remain certified.
Are You Ready to Schedule Service?
The best time to find a qualified, trustworthy mechanic is when there’s nothing wrong with your vehicle, because you’re under less immediate pressure. Depending on the type of service your vehicle needs and the timeline your under, I hope you’re able to take some or all of the steps listed above before you schedule a service. Even if your search is urgent, know that a quality mechanic will also be a good businessman. And a good businessman understands the value of repeat business.