The more you know, the easier it is to select an auto repair
shop. To help you "Drive Smart," the Bureau of Automotive
Repair (BAR) offers the following tips to help make an informed
decision when choosing a repair shop or technician:
Select a repair shop before you need
one. It’s easier to find a good one when you’re
Educate yourself. Read the Owner’s
Manual for your car to find out what the service intervals are,
and to understand what the gauges and warning lights mean before
you take your car in for maintenance or repairs.
Ask for recommendations from family,
friends and colleagues. If they’re happy with the shop’s
services, chances are you will be too. Then let the shop you’ve
selected know you were referred by a happy customer.
Verify a repair dealer’s license.
Go to BAR’s Web Site, www.autorepair.ca.gov.
You can check the license status of a repair dealer and check
for possible disciplinary actions. The license should be posted
in plain view of consumers.
Look for the sign. Look for a sign indicating
the shop is licensed with the state of California. This sign
also tells consumers their legal rights when it comes to auto
repairs including written estimates and invoices.
California Motorist Bill of Rights.
Look for the sign informing you of the following consumer rights:
- A written estimate for repair work
provided before any work is done
- A detailed invoice of work done and
- Return of replaced parts, if requested
at the time a work order is placed
- Answers to any further questions by
the manager of the repair facility
- Assistance from BAR with any unresolved
Look for other cars in the shop like
yours. Different repair shops will specialize in fixing different
makes and models of vehicles, which means they are likely to
have specialized experience, training and equipment.
Appearance. A good repair shop should
have a neat and well-organized service floor, modern equipment,
and clearly posted policies regarding labor rates. The shop
should also inform you about guarantees and methods of payment.
Courtesy. The technicians working
on your car and other personnel should be courteous, helpful
and willing to answer all of your questions.