An auto repair shop is a place where trained auto technicians and auto mechanics repair cars. They are also known as auto service centers or auto body repair shops. They offer repair, tune-up and other services for cars and other vehicles of all makes and models.
There are a variety of automotive service facilities located across the United States. The most popular auto body repair shop chains are located in the large cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta. Many smaller shops are also beginning to appear in suburban areas. Most auto repair shops work in conjunction with car manufacturers, so the repairs they perform are always original and usually of high quality. Auto repair chains also tend to specialize in a particular type of vehicle, such as import or high mileage cars.
At any auto repair center, you will find a wide variety of basic services. These include routine maintenance and tire services. Most facilities offer full tank maintenance, oil changes, transmission and engine inspections. Car owners are often given the option of scheduling routine maintenance and tire services on their own, although many facilities offer a do-it-yourself service card upon request.
Depending on the size of a city, there will be a wide selection of specialty automotive technicians who perform more complicated repairs. For example, a shop may only have specific specialty tires available, such as Michelin Super Sport tires. A big-city auto shop may also have wheelchair lifts and other equipment for easier access to vehicles. Many larger repair chains cater to sports car enthusiasts and have mechanics who are more likely to know the specific make and model of a vehicle than the owner. In a smaller town, you will probably find general repairs and minor bodywork work available at most repair shops.
Before hiring a mechanic, the customer must decide what type of repairs he needs. If the customer simply wants a battery recharging, he must show the shop his bill of sale or lease paperwork. If he has already hired a mechanic and requested certain repairs, he must show proof of those purchases. Some companies require customers to show proof of auto insurance before they can start any repairs.
Every state has a consumer protection office that enforces complaints involving services provided by local automotive shops. Consumer protection officers usually visit shops at least once per year. They collect information about the types of repairs, the quality of the repairs and how long the shop has been in business. Complaints can be filed with the local consumer protection office either by phone or in writing. At least one complaint must be reported within a three-year time span for the auto shop to be investigated and reprimanded.