Heart in Hands

Tricks of the Trade - Mechanics' Little Secrets

Choosing an auto repair shop for your vehicle's service and repair can be daunting, as we've all heard stories about unscrupulous mechanics finding and fixing a small problem but billing for the repair of a big one. Experts say three out of ten auto shops are unethical, and only half produce better than mediocre work. So where does that leave you when your car or truck needs work? Here are some tips that'll help you recognize auto repair shops to avoid.

Big One: Watch for scare tactics that come in phrases like, "Good thing you got this in here when you did! I wouldn't have driven this one more mile." That's almost always a good signal to pack up and be on your way right there and then.

Reputable auto repair shops display certifications and the more the better. If you don't see any displayed, ask to see them. Meaningful certifications include, but are not limited to, the American Automobile Association (AAA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While you're asking about certifications, also ask about warranties, licenses and how long the shop has been in business.

A 'messy' garage can also be a red flag. While an auto repair shop constantly deals with grease and oil and can't be expected to be spotless empty oil cans, worn out tires and mounds of cluttered old parts and tools is a warning that efficiency and pride of workmanship may be lacking.

Auto repair shops that don't have the right equipment for the job should be avoided at all costs. Computer diagnostics are necessary for any car built after 1990, so 'the good ol' fashion' methods are just plain not good enough anymore.

Finally, look for online reviews and talk with friends and family. A reputable auto repair shop will have very few bad reviews. One highly rated auto repair shop in Vancouver is David's Auto Repair. Call 360-524-9443 or visit online for a special offer at www.DavidsAutoRepairs.com.

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