By November 22, 20050 Comments Read More →

Need Help Finding an Honest Car Repair Shop?

Reader Question: “Austin, What should I be looking for when selecting a repair shop?”

Pay attention to first impressions.
Picture yourself on a first date. Imagine that you are a woman and are picked
up for a date by a man whose hair is dirty, his shirt is torn, and his car
looks like California after an earthquake. You’ve got an absolute slob on
your hands. He had better be very entertaining, because that first impression
is permanently implanted in your brain.

You probably won’t have a good date,
because that image will haunt you all night long. If you like the person enough
to contemplate a long-term relationship, this aspect of their personality will
certainly be something you will want to consider. Well, hopefully you and your
repair shop will also be able to establish a long-term relationship—and
even though YOU don’t have to bunk with him, your car will.

So don’t leave your car, a huge
investment in your life
, in the hands of a slob.
I know it is a repair shop
and it gets dirty, and yes, many of the employees have to get dirty to do their

I won’t eat in a dirty
, or take my kids to a school riddled with graffiti-why take your
car to a filthy dirty shop?

Let’s face it, cleanliness plays a
major role in our lives, and your auto
garage should not be an exception.
Don’t think that because the shop is a little dirtier or not as fancy as
some of the other shops that you will get a better price. I know of a few shops
in my city that are very dirty looking inside and out and they charge a higher
hourly rate than most other shops.

A new customer of mine told me the other
day that the reason she visited a competitor was because they “looked
She soon found out that looks can be deceiving, and she felt
over-charged for service that she had requested. Customers who don’t know
what to look for may perceive this shop to be a “good ole
repair shop where the mechanics spend all their time
working on cars and not on cleanliness. You are probably saying to
yourself “I just want my car fixed, why should I care about thier house keeping
habits”…you should!

I have heard this is true in certain
ethnic restaurants, that the ones with the best food have the dirtiest
kitchens. Where’s the logic there?
So do you believe the service from these shops will be less expensive than
the clean and fancy shop with the neon signs and the well-kept lawn? Probably not!

We are looking for a shop that we can call
home for a long time. You should feel comfortable in this shop while wearing
white tennis shoes or new penny loafers. A clean shop will attract clean and
well-educated mechanics, service writers, and any other shop personnel. Dirty
shops attract dirty people. We are looking for honest, outgoing, and
easy-to-deal-with people who will bend over backwards to please us. These
quality people are not working at shabby, out-dated, or untidy shops. In my book I give more advice on how you can find a quality shop at a fair price that WANTS your

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