Auto maintenance shop – Since most people are keeping their cars and trucks longer, the need for qualified automotive repair services to fix these vehicles has increased. But what is the best way to find a reliable automotive maintenance shop that doesn’t overcharge? Here are some tips to help pick an automotive maintenance shop that can get the job done right.
Choose Businesses that Offer Specific Automotive Repair Services
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), vehicle owners should go to an automotive maintenance shop that specializes in the car’s specific problem. For example, if the car is having transmission problems take it to a transmission specialist. Most dealers and general repair facilities don’t employ a transmission specialist. Instead, they send the car over to outsourced transmission specialist to perform the work and markup the repair cost to make a profit.
This advice is especially applicable to those who own a hybrid vehicle. Make sure the automotive maintenance shop has experience with these newer types of vehicles. An independent automotive maintenance shop usually ends up getting hybrid car parts from the original dealer, so it may take longer to repair. In many cases, it is better to take the hybrid car to the dealer for repair as they can easily obtain the necessary parts.
Get References for the Automotive Repair Shop
Ask for references. Ask friends, coworkers, or family members which automotive maintenance shop they have used and are happy with. Also, go online and look up local reviews for mechanics and automotive repair services at the Better Business Bureau. When calling or visit a facility, ask for the specific mechanic by name that was provided by friends.
Performing a simple internet search will also often result in favorable and unfavorable reviews, blogs and message board comments regarding specific facilities. While one of these comments should not hold much weight, several negative or positive comments may sway the decision.
Choose a Certified Automotive Repair Shop
Always go to a certified automotive maintenance shop to ensure the repair is done properly. Although certification is not required for an automotive repair shop, it is a sign of a professional organization. Look for the following certifications: Automobile Service Excellence (ASE), Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). It’s also a good idea to find an automotive repair shop that is AAA certified. AAA certified facilities are more likely to employ mechanics that are well trained and must offer a minimum of a 12-month warranty on the repair.
Decide Between a Dealer and Independent Automotive Maintenance Shop
Consider an independent automotive maintenance shop as well as automobile dealerships. In general, the newer the car, the more likely it should be repaired at the dealer. Having the repair done by an independent automotive repair shop can sometimes void the warranty. In addition, dealers are more familiar with newer model cars and trucks. Once the car gets to about five years old, it is generally fine to take it to an independent automotive repair shop and save money.
Although a reputable automotive repair shop is likely to cost a little more, the extra money is well worth it. Repairing a vehicle right the first time means that more expensive failures do not occur later.
Competitive Auto Repair Parts and Car Insurance
Auto insurance agencies, when paying for repairs after a car is damaged, may at times opt to purchase parts from a company or manufacturer other than the vehicle’s manufacturer when such parts cost less. Insurance companies guarantee that the replacement parts which are not by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will work just as well as, or better than their counterparts from the car’s manufacturer when they use replacement parts from other companies. Following is a description of how the practice of purchasing competitive auto repair parts works, and why it is beneficial to both the insured and the insurer.
Competitive Auto Repair Parts and Car Insurance
Following a covered car’s being damaged, auto insurance companies will set about finding the most affordable way to repair the car without sacrificing the quality of the replacement parts. Although the vehicle’s manufacturer often has the best prices on replacement parts, sometimes other companies sell parts (non-OEM parts), that is of at least the same quality for less. In such cases, insurance companies will opt to go with the manufacturer that, though not the maker of the car being repaired, sells parts for less.
Competitive Auto Repair Parts and the Insured
The driver whose car is covered by an insurer who elects to purchase parts from a manufacturer other than the maker of the car also benefits. When auto insurance agencies do this, it is because money is saved, and when money is saved by the insurance provider, the overall cost for repairs following a claim is less, and the at-fault driver presents less of a burden on his or her insurer.
This means that rates will not spike as much as they would for the at-fault driver, because the auto insurance agency was able to save. If the insurance agency had not purchased cheaper repair parts that may have been available following an accident but had instead bought parts from the damaged car’s manufacturer for more, it would have spent more covering the at-fault driver, and that driver’s rates would increase more.
Big Picture Advantage of Car Insurance Companies Using Competitive Auto Repair Parts
When car insurance companies do what saves them money, without compromising the quality of the replacement parts, both agency and client are helped out. Clients of agencies that are able to repair cars for less likely do not see rates spike as high as they would if agencies paid more, but another, big picture advantage helps out both the insured and the insurer.
When agencies are able to save often, they are able to offer lower rates and extend advantages and benefits to clients on a large scale. Policies such as accident forgiveness and safe driver discounts would not be possible if agencies spent even slightly more for repair parts each time that auto was damaged, which likely they would if car insurance companies only purchased repair parts from a car’s OEM.
Although the use of non-OEM replacement parts has been controversial, it is certainly a worthwhile practice when competitive auto repair parts from outside companies are not of lesser quality than those from the original manufacturer. Money is saved by both the insured and the insurer when damaged vehicles are repaired for less.
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