It is an ongoing debate between dealers and independent auto shops on who offers better service. Just do a quick Google search and you will find hundreds of posts on why you should avoid dealers and vise versa.
It doesn’t matter if you are taking your car to the nicest, most expensive dealership or the worst back alley auto shop. The truth all comes down to the mechanic that is working on your car. He or she is the person that has the qualifications to work on your vehicle and the experience to back it up.
There seems to be a mindset among auto owners of dealers being the more qualified shop for car repairs. Maybe if we trust the company enough to buy a car from them, we trust them enough to work on that car. Whatever the reasoning is, mechanics can and should receive the same training and certification, no matter where they are working.
There are many types of certifications that any mechanic can be certified in. Certifications can be as broad or a specific as one needs to be. It’s important for you to know the different types of certifications so that you can tell if a mechanic is well experienced with repairing your vehicle.
You may see these signs plastered on the walls of some auto shops. This tells you that at least 75% of the mechanics at the shop are certified in at least one subject (brakes, transmission, engine, etc.) and have at least 2 years of experience. This is the standard certification that sets the bar for most credible auto shops.
Other certifications can come from receiving an education at a technical school like UTI. Technical schools like Universal Technical Institute offers specific programs for automotive repair where a mechanic can receive hands-on experience. Before completing the program, all students must pass an exam to become certified in their area of study. It’s ok to ask what type of training and how many years of experience the mechanic has. You are trusting them with a very important and very expensive piece of equipment so ask all the questions you need to feel confident.
The crème de la crème. Mechanics can receive certifications with specific automakers to become master technicians specifically for those cars. Our mechanics are certified master technicians for Audi & VW which means they were trained by the automakers on how to fix the cars. This is a good quality to look for in an auto shop. Auto shops are proud of this achievement and will mention it on the company’s website. If they don’t mention it online, it’s always good to ask them in person to know how skilled a mechanic is with your type of car.
Tip: The power of word-of-mouth will always be a sure sign of how well an auto shop is. A company can’t exist anymore without someone writing a review on Yelp of their work. Look at the reviews other people have posted about the shops in your area and see if people had positive things to say about the same repairs you need.
If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, feel free to give us a call.
Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us.