When your car breaks down, there are some things you need to consider first before you decide to bring it to a dealership or an independent repair shop. Going to one rather than the other might cost you more or not fix your vehicle completely.
Points to consider
Before you think of bringing your broken Subaru Forester to a Subaru repair shop, you should check first if your warranty is still valid. Going to a dealership is really the preferred option compared to going to an independent repair shop because with the former, you won’t have to spend any money on the repairs if your warranty is still valid.
But if your car is out of warranty, that means the dealership will no longer shoulder the expenses on fixing your vehicle. So, you will have to go to an independent repair shop to have your car fixed. Now, if you’re bringing your car to another repair shop, you should make sure that it’s a legitimate repair shop with employees who are knowledgeable in your vehicle.
Back then, anyone can fix a car because the engines of old cars were simpler compared to the cars of today. Nowadays, most cars have state-of-the-art electrical systems that only experts can figure out. So look for repair shops that are knowledgeable in your car. Fortunately, you can assess all of the repair shops near your location by merely going online and checking out if previous customers were happy about the repair shop you’re checking out.
But if you have faulty equipment that is exclusive to the model of your car, then even if your warranty is already invalid, you should still go to a dealership and have it fixed. This is because your dealership has the necessary replacements you might need, which other repair shops don't have.
Choosing a mechanic
If you’ve decided to go with an independent repair shop, it would be wise to do some research on the repair shops near and far from you. For convenience’s sake, looking for a nearby repair shop should be your sole priority. But it’s not a 100% guarantee that the mechanics nearby are a lot better than the mechanics far away from you and vice versa so be prepared to search far and wide for that great mechanic.
But in order to make things easier for you, start conducting your research online first. You can check the repair shops online and see if their ratings are high. But don't be easily swayed with high ratings because sometimes some people fake these ratings so that their business would garner more customers.
If you find a repair shop with a high amount of customers praising them for their service, check other sources if they confirm that that repair shop is indeed exceptional. After that, visit that repair shop and talk to the mechanic/s and ask about their training. If they say that their mechanics are ASE-certified, that means they’re good at their jobs. Then, you’re in good hands.