Posted by Kai Hall in Uncategorized on
We all live in a very transient world. We are picking up and moving our families to new places more frequently than ever. Every time we do we have to build up our local network of resources. You know what I am taking about…the new auto repair shop, the school, the dry cleaner, the plumber, the electrician, etc, etc. The one that I usually always find myself dreading is the auto repair guy. Why? Because for some reason I always feel no matter where I go I am going to get taken advantage of monetarily. It’s like I have a sign on me that says “I obviously have no idea about how my car works or how to fix it“.
Let me give you an example. The last week in August I went to a Subaru dealer to get an oil change and tire rotation for my Subaru Outback. 2 hours later I found myself glaring at this laundry list of repairs that were presented to me by the dealer to be urgent and potentially dangerous if I did not act soon. Oh, ya did I mention that this list was also estimated upwards of $1500. I left there thinking my car is falling apart. Should I sell it, get a new one? I better get these fixed now or I could be on the side of the road, stranded with two kids. Life seemed to take a hold of me and the repairs on my sweet Subaru, Betty went to the way side. Two months later and I have finally gotten around to choosing a local shop to do my repairs. Here is how I narrowed it down;
Networking Group: I am a member of a mom’s group in the Denver area and I find it to be a tremendous resource for anything from where to buy diapers to what restaurants are good and who is reputable in the service businesses around the city. If you have one of these in your area and you are a parent, join it. You will thank me later.
Read Reviews on the Business: Go to your local BBB and type in the name of the business that you have heard about or been referred to. See if there are any complaints. Go to the search engine of your choice and type in “auto repair Denver, CO” and read reviews from Google, Angie’s List, Yahoo, Bing, Google, Yelp on the local auto repair shops. There are so many customer testimonials on the web. Educate yourself.
Check to see if they are reputable: Look to see if the shop is
http://www.ase.com/Content/NavigationMenu/Service_Professionals1/Other_Programs/Blue_Seal_Recognition_Program/What_Is_The_Blue_Seal_Of_Excellence_Recognition_Program_.htm”>ASE certified? This certification carries a lot of weight. How long have they been in business? Can they do Factory Warranty work on your car?
Get more than one estimate: If you have a major repair like I did please, please, please take-the-time to get at least two estimates on the work.
Research Car Repairs: What is the shops average labor cost per hour? You will find that the normal range is $90-$120. Visit a parts store like AutoZone to check to see what the cost of the part is. You will be able to figure out really quickly if the shop is fair or not in their estimates.
Finally talk to the owner of the repair shop yourself. See if they are honest and will let you know if a repair can wait or if is a necessary to fix now. I ended up doing a lot of research and in the end it was worth it. I took my first estimate of over $1500 and found a repair shop that was fair in price, honest about the repairs that were urgent and I ended up cutting $1100 off by bill. Next time I need a repair I know where I am going to go. If any of you live in the Denver area I have all ready done the homework for you.
Visit Al at Pro Auto Care [http://www.proautocare1.com] located at 2030 S Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80222 or call them at 303-756-6300.
Megan Martell Owner of Localize-It Online.