In Other Words, How Do You Avoid Getting Duped?
The best way to avoid getting ripped off by a dubious auto repair shop is to be prepared.
Basic knowledge of how your vehicle works and common car problems can go a long way in bolstering your confidence when you actually need a mechanic. It also helps to know which questions to ask and your consumer rights.
A good auto repair shop goes beyond providing your vehicle’s service; the package should include fair pricing, honest reviews, customer support, and overall experience. You should be assured of expert analysis and quick, reliable service to get the car in good working condition at an economical price.
It seems like an improbable list, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; we have some tips to make this easier for you.
What Should You Look For?
In Ontario, your consumer rights are covered under the Consumer Protection Act when you take a vehicle in for repair. The Act applies to any business location that offers motor vehicle repair facilities, such as a garage, auto body repair shop or mechanic’s repair facilities.
But this does not automatically translate into value-for-money services. So, what should you be looking for when choosing an auto repair shop?
Here are our recommendations:
Choose a repair shop with the same manufacturer and model as your car; they will have more hands-on experience with upgraded manuals and the vehicle’s instrumentation and employ the right tools. In addition, ensure that the mechanics are certified and meet the industry standards of knowledge and competence.
Company-certified repair shops are more likely to be scrupulous in their business as they are screened to be sure they meet specific quality standards.
Check out the business’s online reviews – this is an excellent method to learn about their customer service history.
Of course, a perfect 5-star rating is not always feasible, as people are more likely to post negative reviews than positive ones. So, evaluate the reviews accordingly, and decide whether the repair shop suits your needs.
Parts and labour estimates may vary, especially when dealing with two or more service providers. However, a good repair shop will always give you a written estimate that identifies the extent of repairs, the time required, the parts needed, and the expected labour costs.
The shop should contact you for approval before they do anything that exceeds the specified amount of time or money. Comparing the services of various service centres will also help you zero down on a reliable service provider.
A reputable gives you an in-depth, comprehensive estimate and accepts all Insurance Policies. For a comparative assessment, you can talk to the experts at repair shops such as North York Auto Collision in Toronto.
Additional Off-site Services:
Before you engage their services, ask the Auto shop whether they offer towing services or are prepared to repair your car off-site. You may need these services when your vehicle breaks down on the road, and having a reliable auto service centre will make the situation easier to handle.
Warranties are a slightly lesser point, though still important. Warranties are subject to several limitations, including time, mileage, deductibles, authorized repair shops that perform warranty work, etc.
Always ensure that the workshop honours the warranties on the replaced parts and repairs. Good warranty duration is essential for better automotive performance and guarantees a replacement at no added cost.
In Case of a Collision
If your vehicle sustains damages in an accident or a collision, you must file a claim and then get a repair price estimate to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs.
Your insurance provider may ask you to get an estimate from their network of approved collision repair shops. However, you do not have to get the repairs done there; you can opt for a quote from an independent auto repair shop, especially when you trust them to do a good job.
Usually, the repair shop and your insurance company will reach an agreed price for car repairs, and you can go ahead with the repairs.
If it is cheaper to repair the car, the insurance company will pay for the repairs. On the other hand, if the estimated repairs cost more than the car’s current value, the vehicle is declared a total loss. In this case, you will be paid the market value of your vehicle before the accident.
A Quick Recap
We have given you some tips on identifying a good repair shop.
Nevertheless, if this seems like too much work, scout for a good auto body repair shop. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and other people you can trust to give you an unbiased opinion. In addition, get referrals from your insurance company, and read online reviews of local auto mechanics and body shops.
Please make a short list of trustworthy repair shops and keep it handy. Do this before you need one to avoid a panicky, last-minute decision. Be prepared, and you shall be all right.