Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself needing an automotive repair shop and you don’t have a “regular” [shop] that you normally visit? There was post on Facebook recently about being prepared before you need a repair shop for either body or mechanical work.
It happens often enough. Someone will call or come in and say that they’ve never been to us, but their vehicle broke down and they need repairs immediately. It kind of reminds me of visiting an urgent care clinic. You don’t know the person that is helping you but you are dependent on them at that time. You’ve not had the time to research because you need to visit “urgently.”
My suggestion is to get some recommendations from friends regarding repair shops they trust and make a visit. Stop in, have a cup of coffee and talk to the service advisor. Let them know what you are doing and why. Tell them what make and model of vehicle you drive and ask if they have had any recent experience with that manufacturer. See if there is a comfortable space for you to wait if that is something you do.
Look for the automotive technician’s licensing, ASE certifications and business license. These are usually displayed on the wall somewhere.
Bring your vehicle in for an oil change and see if you are happy with that service. That is a good “introduction” service. It will give you a better idea of the services and customer service they offer. You need to find someplace you feel comfortable visiting.
Independent shops are all very different. That’s a plus for you because you can find a place that fits what you are looking for in a repair shop. It’s nice to know where you are going when you have a car repair emergency.