Servicing our vehicles is not fun; it’s often a financial burden, but as undesirable as it can be, it’s also a necessity. If we don’t seek service, it’s possible the vehicle will not run, and if that happens, we will be put in an even more undesirable position: seeking alternate transportation.
There is a difference between regular (routine), preventative maintenance and repair, so bear that in mind when seeking a shop.
• Car maintenance – Preventative and regular, or routine, consists of those items in your vehicle’s manual designed to keep it running in tip-top shape. This includes things like oil changes, brakes and tires.
• Repair, of course, is fixing something on your car that is broken. Keep in mind, depending on what’s wrong with it, will sometimes dictate where to take the vehicle for service.
People service their cars for many reasons, but here are a few of the most important ones:
If a car isn’t safe to drive, there’s no use in climbing into it. Regular car service can prevent issues. Many accidents are caused due to things like faulty brakes, or tires that need to be replaced, so regular maintenance will prevent safety issues on your car.
Again, if a vehicle isn’t reliable, it won’t get us where we need to be, so ensuring that it’s reliable is paramount. If a vehicle is serviced regularly, it will be reliable, so things like oil changes need to be completed in the recommended time period, generally every 3000-5000 miles, depending on the car. A reliable vehicle will actually end up in the repair shop much less than a car that offers unaddressed problems and leaves you on the side of the road.
As mentioned, a reliable vehicle leads to happier owners, and less problems. If a vehicle is serviced regularly, it will be reliable for a longer period of time, keeping it in operation—getting you from place to place. This, in turn, means you can keep the same car longer, and have to spend less money on having to seek a new vehicle.
Choosing a car servicing center can be a challenge, because you have to make a decision of whether or not the place is good at what they do, if you can trust them, and if they’re the most economical choice. Basically, are you getting the most bang for your buck, as well as the best service for your car?
When choosing a car service shop, keep the following things in mind:
1. Find a Shop for your Brand of Car
Sometimes issues with vehicles are specific to whatever brand/make your vehicle is. Many shops specialize in certain brands. Taking your car to a specialized brand shop ensures the mechanics have the most up-to-date training and information about your kind of car.
2. Ask Family and Friends
If your family and friends trust the shop, chances are you can, too. Another thing to keep in mind, ask those who have a vehicle similar to yours, too. Where they take theirs is likely a good shop for you to take yours.
3. Search the Internet
Do some research for shops near you. Read reviews, check local consumer sites, and read anything you can that rates the shop. Sometimes you can even locate websites that will have a repair or service estimate online, so you can have an idea of cost before you go.
4. Ask about Warrantees
Does the shop have any guarantees for their repair and/or service work? Most reputable shops will warrantee their work, in case something goes wrong. These warrantees may vary greatly among shops, but if they have none, it’s a red flag, and that shop should be avoided. Get details before you go.
There’s no real science to choosing a shop to have your car repaired or serviced, but make sure your decision is an informed one, before you spend hard earned money on your car.
Make sure the mechanic and/or shop is certified, and if you have doubts, make sure your research is sound, from sources you feel you can trust.
You can always try the shop out for a small repair and/or service, and that can help you decide whether or not they’re the place for a bigger job.
No matter what, getting regular car service will give you the peace of mind to know you and your car will be together on the road for years to come.