There are a number of auto repair shops that you can take your car to. They all will do a good job with your car, but you'll get a little different service from each one. There are three basic categories of auto shops - dealer, independent and specialty. When sorting through the various repair shops, here are some considerations when dealing with each one.
The repair shop at a dealership has access to all of the latest information on your make and model of car including defects, recall notices and service bulletins. The mechanics in these shops are taught to do repairs in a standard fashion, using official manufacturer replacement parts.
When you take your car to the dealership, you'll know that it's being repaired per the official guides. These shops rarely deviate from the manuals, nor do they use aftermarket parts, even if they are less expensive. The dealership is the place to take your car if money is no object and you can drop the car off and tell them "make it like new."
The mechanic down the street from you works on many types of cars and trucks. In any day, they will work on two or three different manufacturer's cars. Auto components are similar between cars so this is normally not a problem. But the independent mechanic must know a little about a lot of different makes and models of cars and may not be aware of the quirks of a particular car.
The independent shop can also set their own prices. There is room to negotiate, something you can't do at a dealership that uses a fixed price list. The mechanics can use aftermarket parts which can be less expensive than the manufacturer's brand. If you're on a tight budget, the independent shop may be your best choice.
These are independent auto repair shops that work on a limited group of cars. They may advertise themselves as a European auto repair shop and work on a number of foreign manufacturer's cars. Or they may only work on one manufacturer's cars. The mechanics in these shops become very familiar with individual cars including all of the quirks of a specific make and model. Because of this, these shops will often find a problem that eludes mechanics in other shops.
The aftermarket parts for these cars can be limited so the prices may be higher. Like the independent shop, these places set their own labor prices, which may be open to discussion. There also tends to be fewer of these shops in any city so you may have to travel across town to find the right one. If you own a classic, vintage or foreign car, the specialty repair shop may be the only place to get your car maintained.
For more information, contact Sterling Service Inc. or a similar company.