Choosing a Good Auto Repair Shop:
Common Misconceptions and Suggestions

Before you call any shop, please read this important consumer information!

Some Common Misconceptions, How to Choose a Reputable Shop, Seven Questions To Ask

People have so many misconceptions about auto repair that we decided to offer this consumer information so when you need to select an auto service company you can make an informed, intelligent decision.

Some Common Misconceptions

Misconception # 1: Your car manufacturer specifies regular maintenance schedules just to get you back into their shop and make more money off of you. 

No. Although manufacturers are making car that lasts longer and require less overall maintenance, they do require preventive maintenance. If maintained properly, you can expect your car to go well over l00,000 miles without major repairs.

For instance, most engines have timing belts that must be replaced (as maintenance) before they break and cause expensive damage.

Misconception # 2: A shop can give you an accurate price quote over the phone without seeing your car.

No. You can waste your time calling 20 different shops and get 20 different prices and chances are every one of them will be wrong. Unless the shop has had a chance to examine or test the car drive the car in person, there is no way to accurately diagnose your problem and give you an accurate price quote.

Beware of any shop that is willing to give you a quote over the phone without seeing the car. Most likely they will tell you a real low price just to get you to set up an appointment. Then they may hit you with a much higher price once you get there.

Misconception # 3: Most repair shops will recommend extra work just to get you to spend more money.

The fact is that any shop that does not look for potential problems is actually doing you a great disservice. Quality repair shops road test every car and want to uncover wear and tear before they cause expensive problems and breakdowns.

Something as simple as discovering and changing a worn belt can save you the danger (and embarrassment) of breaking down on a busy highway and an expensive towing charge.

Misconception # 4: All repair shops are the same.

No. In fact, there can be a huge difference between repair shops. The new car technology requires constant training to keep up with all the changes. It also requires a having the latest diagnostic equipment available.

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Here are a few suggestions that will help you to choose a good, reputable repair shop.

First ask around. Has any one you know had a good or bad experience with a particular repair shop?

Next try to find a shop that has a lot of repeat customers. Customers are more likely to stay with a shop that they trust and that does a good job for them.

And finally make sure they guarantee all their work with a 12 month / 12,000 mile warrantee.

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Seven questions that you should ask any auto repair shop before you set up an appointment.

  1. Do they have up-to-date training and diagnostic equipment?
  2. If they give you an estimate over the phone, will they absolutely guarantee the price?
  3. Are they members of the Better Business Bureau? Are they AAA approved? Are they members of any trade associations, such as the Automotive Service Association?
  4. Do they have ASE certified technicians certified as Master Auto Repair, Master Engine Repair and Advanced Engine Performance technicians?
  5. Do they have loaner cars and shuttle service available?
  6. Do they road test 99.9% of all cars before and after they service them?
  7. Do they guarantee their work for 12 months and/or 12,000 miles in writing?
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By following these suggestions and asking the repair shop these questions you should gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you are just looking for the cheapest repair possible, many companies in the phone book can help you.

But if you are looking for an honest, ethical, professional auto repair company to protect your valuable investment -- call us at Ultima Ltd. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a written estimate.

To call us for an appointment please call 781-894-0050 or E-MAIL us at

When you find a good shop, one where you are confident that you are getting good advice and service, stay with them. Give them all your business, listen to their recommendations and have confidence in their abilities and their honesty. You want a good shop, a good shop wants a good customer.

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