If your car is having trouble, it’s vital to know what to look for when you need car repairs. Our automotive experts at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton can answer your questions, show you our quality standards, and provide friendly service. We’ll keep you informed of repairs, pricing, and schedule, and we complete all repairs in a timely manner.
So, let’s start with a short list of things you need to consider when choosing an auto shop and what to look for when you need car repairs.
Choose quality over convenience
It may be tempting to use a repair shop that is located close to your house but that could be a bad decision. You should choose the shop based on their range of quality of services, not the convenience. It’s all about superb repairs, maintenance, and customer service.
Look to your owner’s manual
If you need the make and model specific information, your owner’s manual is the first place to look. Your car’s owner’s manual will be able to specify the engine size and configuration, transmission and other important features. It will even tell you the color codes for your vehicle’s exterior paint and interior upholstery. Make sure you have your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy because you may need it when scheduling service.
Expect good customer service
You should feel like the technicians and shop manager are looking out for you. What to look for when you need car repairs is a shop the will inform you of the service they are suggesting and the pricing before work begins. They should try to accommodate your schedule and keep you informed of the expected time of its completion. They should be courteous and honest. If you do not feel you are receiving the kind of excellent customer service you deserve, go elsewhere.
Refer to your vehicle’s repair records
You should keep the records of all the work that is done to maintain your car. They should be placed in the same location, a file or notebook, so you can refer to them when you need information about past repairs and maintenance. Some people even keep the repair records in their car. The records can help a repair shop that is not familiar with your vehicle, diagnose the problem. It can also prevent doing something over again that’s already recently been completed. A thorough record of repairs and maintenance proves you take care of your vehicle and can help when you want to sell your car.
Insist on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts
During the repairs, if parts need to be replaced ask for genuine OEM components. It’s important to keep the exact manufacturer specifications in order to get the best performance out of your car or truck. Don’t be swayed by the slightly lower prices of the aftermarket parts. Always insist on OEM quality. It will be worth the few extra dollars to get the factory-approved equipment. It can help improve performance and vehicle longevity.
Keep up on factory scheduled maintenance
Today, every car, truck, and SUV has its own specific tune-up schedule that is recommended by the manufacturer. Follow that schedule and don’t listen to a shop that will try to divert you from that schedule. Keeping it maintained and repaired according to the needs of your specific vehicle make and model will keep the systems clean and your vehicle will run better.
Ask if the technician is trained or experienced on your specific vehicle make
As you know, cars, trucks, and SUVs are very complicated machines now. They can vary widely in technology from the different brands and models. What to look for when you need car repairs are shop technicians with training and experience in your particular vehicle – whether you drive a Toyota, Chevy, or BMW – as well as have the right tools and equipment.
Don’t leave until you’re comfortable with the answers
You should feel free to ask questions until you are comfortable that your vehicle’s needs will be met and you are treated with courtesy. Always feel free to question why something needs fixing or how it will be repaired, and how the technology works. If you feel like the repair tech is dodging your questions, then it’s time to move on and find another shop.
Ask about pricing and labor rates
Like any informed consumer, what to look for when you need car repairs are the shop’s pricing and labor rates. Ask about how you will be billed. Are you billed according to estimated repair times set by the manufacturer? If so, then a repair that seems minor to the auto technicians could be a labor-intensive repair according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Find out if the service technician is A.S.E.-certified
The auto technicians at your repair shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To become ASE-certified, our technicians at Dakota Ridge Auto have passed a written test and have at least two years of work experience in auto repair service under their belt. If the technicians at your repair shop have their A.S.E. certification, then you know they are among the top mechanics in the auto repair industry.
Keep in mind, there will be variations to consider, like the climate and your own driving style. For example, if you drive in a dusty area you will want to check your air filters more often. If you mostly drive shorter distances you should have your exhaust system checked out frequently. Whether you live in very hot or cold climates, or both like here in the Denver area, will also determine how much maintenance you need.
Bottom line, if you follow this list of what to look for when you need car repairs you will be able to find a repair shop that fits your needs, like Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton where we provide bumper-to-bumper service for all makes and models, both foreign and domestic. You can trust our experts to diagnose, repair, and maintain your car, truck or SUV. Locally owned and operated, we’re dedicated to providing quality auto repair work at fair and honest prices. Contact us or stop by the shop and we’ll take great care of you and your vehicle.