Is the only consideration in selecting an auto repair facility how well your vehicle is repaired? In other words, does it really matter who fixes your car as long as it is running well? The answer is yes for a number of reasons that you may have never thought about.
Custody and care – Like it or not, you are entrusting one of your largest investments for an extended period to the repair shop. What they do with it is largely out of your control, so take precautions in the selection process. Make sure that the shop’s reputation reflects good business practices in both its repair competency and adherence to the law. Confirm that it is only driving your vehicle for road tests by noting the odometer reading when dropping it off.
Environmental commitment – Depending on the method used to service your vehicle you could be unwittingly contributing to a fouled environment. Are the fluids (motor oil, coolant, etc.) being disposed of in a responsible way that conforms to the industry’s best practices? Are vehicles being worked on out of doors with no provision to recover drained fluids? Is every effort being made to recycle these spent fluids?
Collateral damage – There are a number of scenarios in which the “real” price of the completed repair far exceeds the cost of parts and labor. For example, if you are required to rent a vehicle when there is a delay in completing your job, that cost should be attributed to repair costs. Likewise, if you need to involve an attorney to resolve a complaint, your “cost of repair” has significantly risen. If you think that this could never happen to you, consider the “On Your Side” segments of the local news broadcasts.
Community involvement – It is very unlikely that the repair person soliciting auto repair work outside of the local AutoZone store is sponsoring a little league team. The point here is that there is a local impact to the dollars you spend on auto repairs. A brick and mortar facility pays taxes, employs your neighbors and supports local programs of all kinds. It is important to you and your community to discriminately spend your auto repair dollars. If there is a way to make your dollars go further, it is to spend your money with those who are involved where you live.
Conclusions – You are in control of what you spend on your car. Of course, your first concern is the efficient and competent resolution of your vehicle’s issue. However, the impact of your expenditure can extend beyond your automobile and wallet into your community and the environment at large.