One challenge in our industry is the public perception that auto repair shops are only out to separate people from their money. This is frustrating for us, but more importantly, it’s saddening to see clients who are jaded by previous bad experiences with auto repair shops.
Rather than spending our time telling you why we’re different (we are), we have prepared this article to arm you with the tools you’ll need to help determine if the Kelowna auto repair shop you’re considering is an honest one.
Reputable shops don’t try to play on your emotions when it comes to automotive repairs. When you hear language like “Well, it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t let MY wife/parent/child drive this car” they’re using the scare factor. If you have driven your car into the shop, it is unlikely that the problem is so serious that real danger is imminent. Feel free to keep driving to a technician that doesn’t attempt to manipulate you!
Replaced Parts Policy
Ask a shop about their policy for replaced parts. A reputable repair shop should be willing to give you back any parts that were replaced. In fact, they should take the time to show you the damage, offer some clues as to what caused the damage, and give you some suggestions about how to avoid the problem in the future. If there is any hesitation to return parts that were replaced, that’s a big red flag.
Lack of Transparency
An honest technician will point out signs of trouble they notice while examining your vehicle, but they will also specifically note what is and is not related to the issue that first brought you to the shop. If they can’t, or won’t, provide an explanation for a recommended repair, you’re right to be suspicious. If this is coupled with a reluctance to return replaced parts, it would be wise to get a second opinion.
No Online Presence
An automotive repair shop’s approach to customer service when things don’t go as planned is arguably as important as the service their technicians provide. You should be able to see reviews and customer feedback to get a sense of how the business handles customer complaints and queries. In this day and age, if you can’t find any information about a shop online, it should make you wonder why.
Not in Business for Long
While every business was once a new business, a newly opened shop should be able to provide some details on their history. Be on the lookout for a location that has closed and opened “Under New Management” multiple times. It’s possible that beyond the phone number and the sign over the door, not much has really changed.
Automotive service technicians are more than car enthusiasts who happen to be handy; they’re highly trained professionals and should conduct themselves as such. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions about your vehicle and what you can do to get more out of it, it’s time to look for a shop that makes you feel more at home.
Motor Werke is an auto repair shop in Kelowna, BC, that specializes in the service and repair of European imports.