If you’re having car trouble or just looking for a business to perform routine maintenance, your BBB offers tips to find a reputable auto repair shop:
• Shop around before you need a mechanic to avoid being rushed into a last-minute decision.
• Ask friends, family, and other people you trust for recommendations.
• Get a free Reliability Report from your BBB on a specific business or request a list of all BBB Accredited auto repair businesses in the area.
• Check with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office or the Department of Consumer Services to see if the business has a record of complaints.
• Shop around by telephone for the best deal, and compare warranty policies on repairs.
• Ask to see current licenses.
• Make sure the shop will honor your vehicle’s warranty.
• Look for shops that display various certifications - like an Automotive Service Excellence seal. Certification indicates that some or all of the technicians meet basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Make sure the certifications are current, but remember that certification alone is no guarantee of good or honest work.
• Ask if the technician or shop has experience working on the same model vehicle as yours.
When considering parts to be repaired or replaced, it’s important to understand parts’ classification:
• New: Parts are made to the original manufacturer’s specifications, either by the vehicle manufacturer or an independent company.
• Remanufactured, rebuilt and reconditioned: These terms generally mean the same thing - parts have been restored to a sound working condition. Many manufacturers offer a warranty covering replacement parts, but not the labor to install them.
• Salvage: These are used parts taken from another vehicle without alteration. Salvage parts may be the only source for certain items, but their reliability is seldom guaranteed.
For additional information you can trust, start with http://www.bbb.org/