What Should You Ask Your Mechanic? (and other important consumer auto repair questions from RepairPal's 2017 ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year, Michael Aubrey)
Intimidated by going to a repair shop and asking questions? Don’t worry—it’s normal.You’re afraid of paying for repairs you don’t really need or (worse!) bypassing recommended services and later regretting it. If only you had a trusted resource, someone who’d give you the straight scoop…Good news! At RepairPal, we specialize in transparency and consumer education, and so do our 2000+ Certified Shops. That’s why 4 million automobile owners visit the RepairPal site every month to use our Fair Price Estimator and get referrals to quality repair shops in their area.Today we’re proud to introduce Repairpal’s ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year 2017, Michael Aubrey. Michael is an ASE Master Certified Technician at Spartan Automobile Care Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, and he sat down to answer a few questions about finding a good repair shop.
What are the most important questions customers should ask their mechanic before taking their car to the repair shop?
“These are the basic three: Do you provide a written estimate? Do you offer a warranty? Are your technicians certified?”(By the way, these are three things you’ll always get at a RepairPal Certified Shop.)
What do you think keeps your customers coming back to your shop for car repair and service?
“First, they get customer service by the same people every time they come in. We also help them keep track of what maintenance their car needs and will need.”All RepairPal Certified Shops are required to use a shop management system to track repairs and maintenance for customers. You don’t have to explain the history of your car every time you take it in for service.
What makes a repair shop trustworthy?
“They have to stand behind their work, get the job done when they say they will, and stick to their estimate.”With the Fair Price Estimator, extended warranty, and verified customer reviews, consumers can trust that a RepairPal Certified shop meets these “trustworthy” guidelines.
What three pieces of advice do you have for car owners who are looking for a reliable auto repair shop?
“Look for a Shop that can offer a nationwide warranty. Make sure their technicians are ASE certified. And then make sure the shop is recognized or certified by an Automotive Association like RepairPal or AAA.”
What was your reaction when you found out you received RepairPal's 2017 ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year?
“I was shocked. I have seen articles about and interviews with winners and have wondered what it would take to win it. But I never imagined that I would win it.”Michael shouldn’t be so modest! To even be considered for the award, a technician must be ASE Master Certified (the highest level) and have taken 1 or more tests in the automobile test series in any administration in the preceding 12 months and must have the highest average passing score across all automobile series tests taken in the last 5 years.Michael exceeded those requirements, and as shop foreman for Spartan Automobile Care Center in Massachusetts, he’s led his team to reach an impressive 93% on RepairPal’s Overall Quality Scorecard for repair shops. Ever the gentleman, Michael is proud to be in the company of the other technicians who’ve won ASE awards this year. “It is humbling I’ve been working on cars for a long time and I’ve met so many great technicians. It is an honor to be recognized with them.”Michael will be recognized at an awards banquet during the annual ASE Board of Governors meeting in November, held in San Diego.
What drives your passion for the Automotive industry?
“I have always been fascinated with anything transportation related—planes, cars, boats, motorcycles. I was a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force working on supersonic fighter jets. I’ve worked on race cars and street rods. I have a couple of vintage motorcycles. So it is just natural for me to be working on cars and understanding how they work. The advances in technology and what it has done for performance and reliability and economy amazes me and it has driven me to learn more and stay current. I look forward to what the future holds for this industry."We couldn’t agree more with Michael, and we’re proud to award him with ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year.Michael is a fine example (though far from the only one) of the kind of quality people who work in the more than 2000 RepairPal Certified Shops across the country. If you’re in West Springfield, Massachusetts, be sure to stop by Spartan Automobile Car Care and say hello.And if you’re in some other part of the country, know that you can always find trustworthy technicians like Michael Aubrey when you need an auto repair or service.Want to learn more about becoming a RepairPal Certified Shop? Fill out the form below.