Taking your vehicle to the wrong import auto shop could lead to a nightmare situation. Always do your homework before handing over your car keys. Here are the biggest red flags to watch out for.
Doesn’t Have Certified Mechanics
Make sure the import auto shop has a team of certified mechanics. Unlike the typical backyard mechanic, these expert repairmen have received hours and hours of professional training. In order to be certified by the ASE, they also must pass a comprehensive exam every five years.
Make sure you see a large blue and white sign stating “We employ ASE Certified Mechanics”. If the shop doesn’t have the proper credentials, stay far away. Remember, even allowing an unqualified mechanic to perform a routine oil change is a big risk.
Can’t Give You an Estimate
A reputable import auto shop will have no issue giving you an estimate for a job. Your bill should never be a total surprise. From the labor costs to the price of parts, everything should be written down in advance. If the mechanics discover another problem while performing the repair, you will be notified before they continue.
Instead of providing a quote for their work, shady shops will try to “nickel-and-dime” customers for a greater profit. This unethical practice leads to a lot of innocent people being ripped off.
If an import auto shop has a bad reputation, take your business elsewhere. There’s a good chance you could end being put through the wringer. Before dropping your vehicle off, be sure to first read the shop’s online reviews and ratings. Consistently poor customer testimonials should definitely raise an eyebrow. While someone is bound to write a negative comment a some point, this should not be a common occurrence.
Credible shops tend to have a lot of glowing recommendations from visitors. They also tend to have plenty of repeat customers.
Poor Customer Service
When reaching out to an import auto shop, pay close attention to how you’re being treated from the get-go. Customer service should always be a top priority. If the staff seems rude or unprofessional during your initial call, don’t expect things to go any better once you drop by the shop for a visit.
The staff should maintain a courteous and helpful attitude at all times. They will take the time to fully answer any questions.
Won’t Give Your Old Parts Back
Even if you have no use for them, it’s a good idea to ask for your old parts back. The extra peace of mind is well worth it.
Unfortunately, sneaky import auto shops have been known to lie about actually replacing components. Some will also sell the old parts for scrap. They don’t care about the customer losing money.
Don’t Own Up to Their Mistakes
Reputable mechanics fully stand behind their work. They will admit when errors are made. Meanwhile, dishonest repairmen will pass the blame on to others.
Make sure the shop provides a warranty. You don’t want to pay for someone else’s mistakes.