Import car repair shops can be a good dealership alternative that can save you valuable time and money if you know how to go about finding the right one.
One of the first things to do is to determine if they are ASE certified. Before the 1970s, there were no regulations in place to distinguish between incompetent and competent mechanics. In 1972 an independent, non-profit agency was established in response to this need. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) came in and saved the day! They set out to improve the quality of car repair and service through the testing and certification of service and repair technicians.
To become ASE certified, your import car repair shop has to pass one of the exams, provide proof of two years of relevant work experience, and get retested every 5 years. Approximately one out of three fail the test which demonstrates the complexity of the tests. The core of the training is focused on job related skill sets.
ACT is a renowned academic and occupational testing organization which is responsible for providing the ASE exams. There are over 750 locations around the country that administer paper and pencil tests twice a year. There is also a computerized version that is offered in 200 locations for two 5 week intervals a year. ASE has structured the training program in a way that zeros in on a specific field of study. For example, the information studied by an auto service consultant would be much different than the tests for engine machinists.
Another good thing to know about your import car repair shop is their policy on warranty coverage.
According to The Ram McFerguson Act, you do not have to take your car to the dealership for repairs and servicing in order to keep your warranty, as long as the repairs and services done by your technician adhere to the original manufacturer’s guidelines. 90 days, or 6 months is the Industry standard for warranty work on repairs. If your technician replaces an OEM part, they should match the factory’s warranty on that part which is usually 12 months or 12 thousand miles, again, depending on which part is being ordered.
A responsible import car repair facility should not only replace parts, but repair problems.
Do they have specific tools and diagnostic computers specialized for your nationality of car? They should be equipped to perform the necessary diagnostics to solve the original problem and prevent further problems from jumping out. Preventive care and maintenance is equally as important to the life of your vehicle, so you should be able to form a comfortable, trusting relationship between yourself and your certified mechanic.
Staying updated with the latest technologies and developments of the cars they specialize in is a valid expectation on your part as a customer. This shows dedication in providing the highest quality service possible for your prized import. Do not be afraid to ask questions. A reputable import car repair shop will be happy to provide you with their credentials and service history.
We are conveniently located in South West Houston TX just west of the Galleria, and service mainly the Memorial, West University, Mid Town, Heights, Downtown, River Oaks, Sugarland and Bellaire areas.