How To Pick The Best Auto Repair Shop

(This article was based on numerous sources – none of which are just our opinions)

How to avoid bad repair experiences? Find a good, trustworthy shop.  Read reviews online and offline.  Establish that they charge reasonable prices.  A good resource for this is Puget Sound Consumers’ Checkbook, who have rated 474 Local Shops.

Consumer Reviews:

There are a lot of online reviews which all have their own rules for evaluating testimonials and which reviews get posted for the public to see.  It is a good practice to check at least a couple online review sites to get a balanced look at the ratings for a company.  You can also look at some offline review sources to get qualified reviews that follow a fair system of evaluation (Puget Sound Consumers’ Checkbook is one such source).


Does the shop you are considering have ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified Technician(s) on staff? This requires official testing to complete and there are 8 different certifications:

  • Engine Repair
  • Electrical Systems
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Automatic Trans/Transaxle
  • Manual Drive Train and Axles
  • Brakes
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Engine Performance

A natural thing to look for is if the shop you are looking at has an ASE Certified Mechanic, are they certified in the area of repair or service that you are looking to have done on your automobile.  If a mechanic completes all 8 certifications they earn the qualification: Master Technician.

Tips for Finding the Right Shop:

  • Try to find a shop who will allow you to talk with the repair tech – communicating directly with them can protect you from miscommunication
  • Can you test drive your car after repairs but before paying?  Or something to that effect that helps to insure you are satisfied that repairs have been done right.
  • Does the shop provide an estimate in advance?
  • Independent Shops VS. Dealerships (new cars) – Statistics of satisfaction clearly show that non-dealers (independant shops) do better on both quality and price.

We hope that this has provided you some guidelines for picking a good repair shop.  The information provided here is objective, summarized and compilied from various third party sources including: Puget Sound Consumer Checkbook (non-profit, free from advertising and outside influence), ASE Certification Program, and online research (regarding online reviews).