If the red light on your dash board is flashing-what do you do? Finding an auto repair shop is easy but finding a reliable shop can be a challenge.

General auto repair is almost a lost art. Years ago, the local service station would gladly perform most of the usual car repairs but these shops began to dwindle in some areas as more and more people turned to leasing. With a lease, most normal repairs are covered by the warranty, but like everything there are exceptions. Normal wear and tear items such as light bulbs, windshield wipers, brakes and tires are usually not covered. Unless you have opted for a complete service option, oil changes and general maintenance will also be your responsibility.

If you own your vehicle the warranty  usually has limitations so some repairs may still be your responsibility. In searching for a repair shop there are many things to consider. Today's vehicles are much more complex than cars of years ago and specialized skills, training and equipment are necessary to make proper repairs.  If a shop does not have those skills it is possible to do more harm than good.

Generally , there are three choices for you. The dealer from whom you bought the vehicle is one choice, as are specialty franchise shops that will perform transmission, muffler, tire or brake work. There are also the independent shops and almost every community has a garage that will do some repair work. There are some shops that can perform the full range of services from oil changes , tune ups, and  tire service to more complex tasks including engine and transmission replacement. These types of shops are a good choice as they are a one stop solution for all your needs.


What to Look For in an Auto  Repair Shop

Some things to look for in a repair shop are overall appearance of the facility and the cooperation of the personnel. They should be attentive and willing to give advice and explain the necessary repairs in simple terms. A major consideration is also the qualification of the technicians. ASE Certification means technicians are trained and certified. Are the repairs covered by a warranty? A good shop will guarantee their work and some shops participate in national warranty programs.

If your vehicle is covered by a manufacturers warranty you need to be certain that the repairs or service done will not void the warranty.

Dealer service is a good choice for warranty repairs and even after the warranty expires many owners feel that is the best choice but dealer service is generally a bit more costly than an independent garage. This is particularly true with owners of premium imports but there are alternatives to consider and as long as the service center has the necessary certifications and backs up their work with a warranty you can consider this a safe choice.

The internet is a good resource for finding qualified repair shops in your area. You can just search for "auto repair" and your city name. A good example of a certified shop that services all makes both foreign and domestic is AA Auto Tech, in Hastings MN. You can  reach them at 651 437-2218.

AA Auto Tech has an excellent reputation in the community, services all makes both domestic and foreign and offers a nationally recognized warranty program. They offer a full range of services from diagnostics and scheduled preventative maintenance  to full engine and transmission rebuilds. With the summer driving season approaching, this is a good choice for an annual summer check up.