Original article by Consumer Reports
This version of the article has been truncated and enhanced by the Dale Adams Automotive staff.
Before you consider where to take your vehicle for maintenance and repair, you need to understand the difference between the two. Routine maintenance items are those listed in your vehicle's owner's manual as part of the model's service schedule. They are intended to keep your vehicle in top operating condition. Repairs are service that needs to be performed to fix a problem. Where you take your vehicle may depend on what needs to be done.
Scheduled maintenance can be performed at any dealership; you don't have to go to the one where you bought the vehicle. Likewise, you can take your vehicle to an independent auto-repair shop or franchise, which are typically less expensive than dealerships. Because maintenance items are fairly basic, however, any professional auto shop should be able to perform the necessary tasks.
Repairs can range from basic tasks such as a brake job or auto-body repair to complicated service such as overhauling a transmission or diagnosing an electronics-system problem.
If the vehicle is out of warranty, the type of problem may determine where you take it for repair. A reputable independent shop should be able to handle most common repairs. A good technician will let you know when a problem warrants a trip to the dealership or a speciality shop.
Based on annual surveys, we find consumers generally have a higher level of satisfaction with independent shops over car dealerships.
But identifying a mechanic you can trust for your car takes a lot more than letting your fingers do the walking. You have to do a little old-fashioned sleuthing. There's no single clue to what makes a good repair shop, but here are some things you should look for:
We at Dale Adams encourage you to ask around about us and other garages. There are many great garages in the city. We have proudly served Calgary for over 40 years now and we stand by our impeccable reputation.