You don’t have to be a car buff to avoid getting ripped off at an auto repair shop. Whether your priority is cost, quality or convenience, knowing the right questions to ask can save you money and protect you from being swindled. We researched the best auto repair in Detroit to find everything you need to know to get a great auto repair shop experience.
You can’t drive a mile on most major roads in southeast Michigan without passing an auto repair shop. They’re in every city and almost every neighborhood.
The Motor City, in particular, is home to a large number of auto repair shops. In areas like Bagley and MorningSide, you can pass three or more shops on a leisurely walk. Still, finding one you can trust is no easy task. Keep reading to learn what to look for, ask and do to ensure the best possible experience the next time you need car repair.
Most reputable auto repair shops in Detroit have a few things in common: They offer written estimates, provide quality service and employ trained mechanics.
Getting an estimate on auto repair in Detroit
When it comes to finding the right shop, written estimates are a great way to narrow options. Michigan requires facilities to provide a written estimate for any work to a vehicle that costs $20 or more. The final bill can be no more than $10 or 10 percent, whichever is less, more than the estimate without customer approval.
Make sure the estimate includes a description of the specific work needed, the parts required, an estimate of the number of hours required to complete the job, the cost per hour and the anticipated cost for each part needed.
Collecting estimates from several auto repair shops in Detroit allows you to shop around and compare before you commit to any service.
How to find a quality auto repair shop in Detroit
If your vehicle was involved in an accident and insurance will be covering some or all of the repair costs, double check that the auto shop works with your insurance provider before you spend time vetting them.
Asking questions in advance ensures everyone is on the same page and deters potential scammers. Depending on the nature of your car trouble, your questions will vary. Engine repair, collision repair and scheduled maintenance will likely need very different auto repair shops. Adapt the lists below to fit your situation.
Critical questions for all repairs:
Do you offer written estimates?
Is the estimate free?
How long do you expect the repair to take?
Will you contact me about all unexpected costs and service needs?
Does your work come with a warranty? What about the parts you use?
Important questions for some repairs:
What will happen if I don’t get this repair?
Will you explain the details of any necessary repairs?
Do you use aftermarket or original equipment manufacturer parts?
What type of paint do you use and how long does it last?
Will I receive a detailed invoice?
How is your lot secured overnight? Is it insured?
What certifications should mechanics in Detroit have?
The Federal Trade Commission recommends using state-licensed auto repair shops and suggests consumers inquire about membership associations and warranties on parts and labor to determine the quality of auto repair shops in Detroit.
Most reputable shops will share where their mechanics learned their trade. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers the most common certification for individual mechanics. ASE-certified technicians have to pass tests and accumulate work experience to achieve their rank.
Membership in an automotive repair association is another telltale sign that you’re working with a reputable repair shop. Look for signage, plaques or stickers that indicate membership in groups like AASP, AMRA, CCRE, NABC and SCRS.
You can also look up membership online or search for repair shops in Detroit on many automotive association websites. The Michigan Chapter of the ASA features a shop look up and member search on their website.
What rights do auto repair customers have in Detroit?
In Michigan, auto repair shops are required to have a sign with consumer information hanging in a location that is easily seen and read by customers. If you don’t see the sign, think twice before handing over your keys.
Another sign to look for is the shop’s state license. You usually see them hanging near the service counter. If you don’t see it, you can look it up with a vehicle repair facility search online.
Under Michigan law, consumers have the right to a written estimate, itemized final bill, a copy of any forms signed and to inspect or receive any replaced parts.
If you stick to reputable repair shops and remember to ask questions in advance, your vehicle repair experience should be problem free, but if you have problems, you can file a complaint with the Michigan Department of State.
Detroit Auto Repair Center #1
Whether it’s a brake job, oil change or repair, Detroit Auto Repair Center #1 can get the job done and get it done right. They offer year-round deals and complimentary courtesy checks on fluids, belts, hoses and batteries. Customers say the employees are patient, knowledgeable, trustworthy and professional.
Offering free local pick-up and delivery, decades of experience and prompt scheduling, this auto repair shop in Detroit is also Better Business Bureau accredited. The technicians at Pointe AutoTech are known for their prowess in diagnostics and their ability to fix just about anything. Customers love the quick service, quality work, fair prices and honest staff.
That's Minor Customs
For fair prices on paint jobs, racing modifications and classic car restorations in the Motor City, car lovers count on That’s Minor Customs in Clinton Township. Customers call their work impeccable and say the shop can completely transform a vehicle’s performance and appearance.