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The Hunt for Auto Care

Written by: Lauralee Schmidt, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Automotive care is much like medical care. You want to find a good diagnostician, a clean & modern facility that’s reputable, and a helpful, educated team to surround you. Your car is an extension of yourself, and a healthy vehicle is important to keep you moving along in life. So, find yourself a good auto doctor because your car or truck is the second most pricey item you will purchase, following home, and I think it should be cared for by people you trust.

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You wouldn’t have surgery done at your brother’s friend’s house because they like watching Grey’s Anatomy. Why would you consider taking your vehicle to your brother’s friend’s house because he says he’s watched some youtube videos on a repair? Find a professional. Cars are far too sensitive and modernized for the average Joe to work on them out of a garage. Sure, things like brakes and oil changes can be accomplished, but leave the lights and major repair to the pros. So, how do you find a quality auto shop in the sea of Google-bought ads?


ASE Certified Technicians are a must-have, in my opinion. To reference my medical comment above, this certification is like the Ph.D. for auto technicians. It shows your technician has taken time to educate for and pass standardized auto industry tests on various levels of repair and maintenance. To me, that shows their willingness to keep their skills up to date and that they care about their ever-evolving career. The auto industry is moving at the speed of light, and continuing education is a must for a professional auto technician. A dedicated, intelligent, motivated technician is a tremendous asset not only to the shop they work in but to you, the vehicle owner. Accept nothing less for your vehicle and look for the ASE Stamp on an auto shop.


An Accommodating Advisor to guide you thru the repair process is a key player in auto care. The advisor is the person you will most likely be in contact with from start to finish of your vehicle's shop visit. That person having great communication, a positive attitude, and providing an educational moment is important. There is nothing worse than someone explaining technical car info and making it way too complicated for comprehension. There are so many things that can go wrong with a car these days. It’s mind-blowing, and having a human express the vehicle's needs in basic terms is so helpful. Having someone you feel comfortable asking questions to, having a general conversation with, and learning to trust, is such a breath of fresh air in the car care community. Take some time to find that person. You do not have to use the first shop you see.


A clean facility often translates to a job well done. A cleaning lady once told me, “a clean house reflects a clean heart,” and I always felt that was true. If you find an auto shop that takes pride in their facility, offers amenities to their patrons who visit and create an environment that feels welcoming, you have probably found a shop that takes great pride in the car care they deliver as well. It shows a little extra care is taken in the details, and that is something I always looked for in an auto shop prior to owning one. You shouldn’t get your vehicle back with sticky handprints on the steering wheel or oily residue dripping off the bottom of your car. A facility that pays attention to detail in the front of the shop will more than likely be paying attention to detail in the shop's back.


Reviews are a must to look thru. I shouldn’t even have to say this but look at their Google & Facebook reviews. Just take a moment to know where your money is going, what their business ethics are, and who they cater to. Not all shops offer the same services, and not all shops run the same way. Find one that you feel works best for you and your needs. I think you get more bang for your buck, customer service-wise, in an independent shop, but I also own one, so I may be biased. But looking back, customer service is what made our shop thrive. The shop has been short-staffed through the years, so many times I know our guests got tired of hearing it and having to wait on appointment availability. If we hadn’t had the customer service piece in place, I know our retention rate would be far less, making the shop less successful long term. Look at reviews. They are a sneak peek at your potential satisfaction.


Tour the shop. It is not an outlandish request to see where your car is going. I am visual, and if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on maintaining my vehicle, I like to see where it’s being taken. I pay attention to things like what the garage floor looks like, what the lifts look like, and what the equipment sitting around looks like. I also like to see what other kinds of vehicles are on the racks for repair. These are all telltale signs if the shop can provide quality work. Antiquated equipment, a haphazard work environment, and a lack of cars or racks are all little red flags. Are they going to analyze your vehicle’s needs accurately and deliver quality work inside an unstructured environment? Maybe, but is “maybe” a good enough option for you and the vehicle you rely on daily?


I could get knit picky and tell you to look for awards, check out their website, and check out what local community sites have to say about them, but I won’t. I will leave it with these top-line things to check for when looking for auto care. At the end of the day, you want an honest and upfront shop when the conversations on the car are difficult. You want a quality repair done, and you want it done for an amount that doesn’t bankrupt you. Those shops are out there, and they are waiting for you. Just take a little time to look around, see what they have to offer, and remember that a family-owned shop may offer a better service than those big dealers.


If you are in Ohio, Schmidt Auto Care welcomes you for Full-Service Auto Repair on Domestic, Euro, Gas, & Diesel. Plus, Fleet Care. Car Caring for our Guests since 2009.


For more information, follow Schmidt Auto Care on Facebook, Instagram and visit their website.


You can also follow her beauty pages here!


 

Lauralee Schmidt, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lauralee is a cosmetic guru turned auto care goddess. Her years inside a cosmetic education role with a Fortune 500 company armed her with knowledge and skills that paired perfectly with her passion for branding a business and educating a client base. Her goal is to educate women in car care, change the auto industry's stigma, and be a guiding post for branding and business development. From international beauty campaigns to underneath a car, she has successfully navigated the world of business and branding.

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