Selecting a Shop for Car Care and Repair

As an automotive consumer advocate and a long time valley car talk show host, one of the questions that I’m asked most often is “how can I find a honest and reputable repair shop?”

Recently, I interviewed the Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard on my radio show and his statistics mirror those of the Phoenix area Better Business Bureau which show that some of the highest number of complaints that their offices receive concern automotive issues.

As a member of the BBB’s Auto Repair Advisory Committee, I can attest to the severity of the problems with some shops performing poor quality repairs, overcharging customers and inexperienced technicians performing the work.

It’s common for many folks to select a repair shop that is convenient to them or has a coupon. However, not all auto repair shops are created equal!

Before you need a repair performed, use the shop for simple maintenance items. Make sure that you are comfortable with the management and facility, the quality of their work and the price that they charge.

When having repairs performed:

  • Have the diagnostics performed first, then discuss your service options with the shop to insure a first time repair solution.
  • Request to have your old part(s) back for your inspection.
  • Use a charge card so that you can dispute the charge if the repair did not fix the issue.
  • Check their BBB rating and the number of complaints filed against them and how long they have been in business.
  • Check for online testimonials and complaints.
  • Get a written warranty.
  • Until you’ve found a trusted shop, a second written estimate that shows like quality parts and labor operations is a wise decision.

Independent shops typically charge about 34% less than dealerships (according to Consumer Reports) due to lower overhead costs and more flexibility with the parts they use.

If I can assist you in finding a quality shop near you, please email me through the Contact page at We have researched the majority of repair shops in town and are happy to provide you with this information!

Happy Motoring! 

Cary Lockwood of is an automotive consumer advocate,  and host of the “Calling All Cars” radio show heard in Phoenix on KXXT 1010 AM Fridays at 10:00 am. Cary serves on the Better Business Bureau’s Auto Repair Advisory Committee and has over 30 years in the auto industry. Ask Cary your automotive questions at


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