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  • Smog Pros Milpitas

Building Trust With Your Auto Repair Shop

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

Do you have a bit of anxiety getting your vehicle serviced? Has your free or prepaid scheduled maintenance with the dealer already expired? If so, you may no longer want to pay for dealer prices, but you also have a bit of anxiety going to a local, independent auto repair shop.

We get it. Independent auto repair shops usually get a bad rap due to many people experiencing first hand, or through friends and family of getting ripped off by a shady mechanic. Yes, there are many out there who certainly take advantage of unsuspecting customers, and they usually ruin it for the auto repair shops and mechanics with good reputations - the ones who understand that earning a new customer's trust is more important than making a quick buck. So, how do you find them?

Ask your friends, colleagues, or family for a referral. If that isn't an option, do your research. A great place to start when researching a local auto repair shop in your area is to check out their customer reviews and ratings online. What aspects are a consistent theme in their reviews? Do they have great customer service? Do they have the best prices in town? How is the quality of the work? And does the work come with a warranty? You can usually gather most of this information from reading the customer reviews. But, if you don't find the answers you are looking for its best to send the shop an email or give them a call and speak to a service writer.

This leads us to a common concern for customers - communication. An auto repair shop with a good reputation will listen to your needs and will take the time to answer any questions you may have. This is usually a good first step in putting you at ease and the start of developing a relationship. More importantly, shops that value customer service will take the time to guide you through the process of a vehicle repair or service every step of the way. This includes explaining all aspects of the service or repair, give a true cost or estimate without any hidden additional charges, and to caution and educate you on any potential worst case scenarios if your vehicle may require additional repairs. (Keep in mind, some vehicle's may require multiple steps and replacement parts to fix a single problem.)

It is this type of scenario where many people will feel like they got baited and switched after agreeing to a repair only to find out there are additional repairs at an extra cost. This is why communication and transparency is key in developing a good relationship and ultimately, building a trust.

When you find an auto repair shop you want to try out, it's always best to start with a smaller service or repair like a smog test or an oil & filter change. This will give you a preview of the level of customer service and the quality of work without spending a large sum on a repair. During an oil & filter change, most shops will notify you with any recommendations your vehicle may need at the time or in the near future. If some repairs may need your immediate attention like bald tires, a radiator leak, or brake pads that are worn at the indicator, you may ask the mechanic to show you the problem before making a decision to proceed with the repair.

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