12 Must-Read Car Repair Tips to Find a Trustworthy Mechanic

Car breakdowns are never a good thing. But breakdowns in freezing temperatures and on icy roads are just plain dangerous.

This winter, make sure you and your family are protected when you take to the roads. Get your car checked out by a trusted repair shop as soon as possible.

To help you find the mechanic that’s right for you, check out these 12 car repair shop tips from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE):

1. Don’t Wait ‘Til It’s Too Late: Start shopping for a repair shop before you need one. That means now!

2. Some Solid Advice: Ask your friends for their recommendations and tips for a car repair shop. Or consult local consumer groups.

3. Plan Ahead: Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you aren’t forced to choose a shop based solely on location.

4. Neatness Counts: Look for a well-organized shop, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.

5. Service With a Smile: Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant or technicians willing to answer your questions.

6. Read the Fine Print: Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

7. References, Please: Ask if the repair shop specializes or if it usually handles your type of repair work.

8. Bragging Rights: Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community or customer service awards.

9. A Degree of Success: Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and certification by ASE indicate the presence of professional, trained technicians.

10. It’s a Sign: Look for the ASE sign. ASE was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification, while their employers display the blue and white ASE sign.

11. Open Up and Talk: Be ready to describe any changes in your vehicle’s handling or performance or other issues. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for definitions for any technical terms you find unfamiliar. And while you’re there, ask for some simple car repair tips to get you through the winter.

12. Come Back for More: Reward good service with repeat business and customer loyalty.

Learn more seasonal automotive care and car repair tips from ASE.

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