It is easy to assume that all auto shops provide the same services. However, there are actually four specific areas that most auto shops specialize in: simple maintenance, specialized repair, auto body repair, and warranty items. Before you start calling around and asking for quotes, make sure you understand the type of repairs that you need done.
Simple Or Routine Maintenance
It is easy to find shops that specialize in simple maintenance issues. Simple maintenance issues include
- changing your oil
- refilling your washer fluid
- replacing any broken lights
- refilling transmission fluid
Most instances where fluid has to be changed out in your vehicle is considered a simple maintenance issue. Even repair jobs such as replacing your brake pads and rotors is considered by many mechanics to be a routine repair job.
You can find lots of places that do routine maintenance. Most quick oil-change locations do this type of work.
If you have a warranty on your vehicle, certain repairs will fall under your warranty. The repairs that are covered by your vehicle warranty is unique to your particular warranty. Before you go in for any repairs, check and see if your warranty will cover the repairs.
If the repair is covered by your warranty, you generally have to take your vehicle to a dealership for repair work.
Auto Body Repair
If your vehicle has sustained cosmetic damage, you will want to take it to a shop that specializes in auto body repairs. Many auto body shops employ mechanics who are trained in collision repair. These mechanics are able to diagnose and fix mechanical issues with your vehicle that it sustained as a result of a collision as well.
All other repairs fall under the category of "specialized repairs." Specialized repairs include such work as
- engine rebuilds
- transmission repair
- replacement of sensors
- computer diagnostics
Most quick, in-and-out oil shops do not perform specialized repairs. However, most independently owned auto shops as well as dealerships do specialized repairs.
Before you start calling around for a quote, make sure you understand what type of repair job you need done. You can save yourself a lot of time by knowing what type of repair shop you need to call in the first place, and what type of work you need to ask if they specialize in before you get into specifics with them. Talk to a professional like NAPA Autopro for more information.