Foreign car repair shops are a dime a dozen nowadays. Once you’ve invested in a high quality foreign car which keeps a good resale value and runs like a charm, some people find their troubles have just begun. Dealerships are not always, or even usually, the best place to get good value for your money on routine maintenance, or getting out the door without 2 or 3 other problems cropping up that weren’t evident before you drove in.
You know you can’t take your prime machine to just any domestic auto repair shop, but how do you choose a good quality shop out of all the foreign car repair shops out there?
It’s important to find a good repair center BEFORE you need one. No one can make a sound decision based on facts when dealing with a broken down vehicle needed to take you to work and transport your family. Emergencies leaded to clouded judgment, and too often regrets.
A good starting place is to ask friends or neighbors who also drive imports like yours, whether Japanese or European, about their experiences with the local foreign car repair shops.
Next, call the recommended foreign car repair shops, and survey them as to the certification their technicians have, looking for a shop which has technicians certified for your make of import, as well as ASA (Automotive Service Association) or ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) or comparable certifications. These certifications are known for the rigorous yearly inspections they make of the shops they endorse. It’s also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to make sure there aren’t any complaints outstanding against the shop or shops you are considering, as well as to search online to see if there are any online reviews of the foreign car repair shop.
Now it’s time to visit the shops remaining on your list. Ask any customers there several questions: Why do you your bring your car here; in the past, have they completed the work on time; was the estimate accurate compared to the final bill; was the job done right the first time?
While there, look around: does the shop have state-of-the-art equipment suitable for your import? Quality foreign car repair shops don’t necessarily have to look like the Ritz, but they should be clean and orderly. Is there a comfortable, pleasant, and clean place for you to wait? Do they offer a shuttle service or loaner car program?
What warranties do they offer on the parts they supply and on the work that they do? Most car repair centers focused on quality and customer satisfaction will offer at least a 1-year/12,000 mile warranty on parts and service. A high-quality shop will offer a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty as a sign of the confidence they have in their parts and their work.
Foreign car repair shops may be a dime a dozen these days, but a quality repair shop is still a pearl beyond price. Once you find one, you’ll really be able to enjoy your fine European import, knowing you’ll be able to keep it in peak condition for many years to come.
We are conveniently located in Houston TX just west of the Galleria, and service mainly the Memorial, West University, Mid Town, Heights, Downtown, River Oaks, Sugarland and Bellaire areas.