|Reply to WSJ2000 http://web.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=auto&MsgID=283687
I don't live in bay area so I can't give you a reasonable recommendation. But I can tell you how I'll select shops doing such un-sophisticated jobs:
- Don't go to dealers (to me they are for recalls or buying scarce parts that no other parts stores carry, or the parts quantity is too low or inexpensive that isn't worth of ordering online)
- Don't use entry level car care centers like Walmart, Sears, Pep Boys, etc. Those places hire mostly those just having gotten out of mechanic schools to gain experience, you surely don't want to be a donor of such practice (just like you don't want to be a patient under surgery of a resident doctor)
- Don't go to grease monkey places like J lubes, Lube Express, etc. There are not many experienced mechanics there, and most likely they are not trained to do repairs or maintenance or not hands-on on daily basis.
- Select those owned by individuals, established for long time, with high traffic customer base (you can think of the same way that a Chinese restaurant always getting full of customers must be good on somewhere) .
- Penny Saver helps a lot - find the weekly magazine to see what are being offered. Those shops normally are small, but not necessary bad. So call around and compare prices.
- Least but not the last - check BBB record of target shops before bring your car in. More than often a good shop is always a member of BBB, best are those with no complaints or complaints having all been resolved. If a shop isn't a member of BBB, you know it does not want to be under microscope, good or bad no body knows; you don't want to take a chance, so forget it; those with a lot of complaints and never resolved, stay away absolutely. If you go through these rules, I am sure you'll be safe and happy down the road. Athough this means you might need to spend some time to do homework, but the reward is huge, and once for many years. Good luck!!