Needing work done on your car may be a nuisance, but it’s usually necessary in order to keep your car running properly and extending its life. Most people dread having to take their car to the auto shop because many auto shops have earned a reputation for being unethical, whether charging too much or taking advantage of ignorant customers.

While you may have your hesitations about taking your car to the shop, it’s still mandatory, whether for general car maintenance and upkeep or to handle a specific issue. There are ways to make your experience more enjoyable, and the following are a few tips to know before you hire an auto repair shop.

Ask for references.

Instead of choosing an auto shop at random, reach out to friends and family members and ask for recommendations. You’ll likely have a better experience if you go to a shop that a friend or family member will vouch for. You can even mention that you were referred (and by whom). Although it may not do anything specific, it’s still nice for the auto shop to know they’re appreciated.

Use online review sites.

The Internet is a powerful tool when it comes to choosing the right business. Use online review sites such as Angie’s List or Yelp to review auto shops in your area and see what other customers have to say about them. You may find that an auto shop you were considering has received nothing but bad reviews, or you may find that the auto shop is appreciated by all of its customers. Be sure to use this information to help make your decision.

Get a quote.

Sometimes cost can play a very important role in determining which auto repair shop you choose, so if this is the case, be sure to get a quote first. Some auto repair shops will do a free inspection and let you know what it will cost to fix the issue. Others have standard pricing for general maintenance, such as oil changes or brake replacement. If you’re calling the repair shop for a general quote, be sure to give an accurate description of your car (make, model, and year) so that you receive an accurate quote. Certain models, such as those that are newer, may take a special oil or need a special filter, which can raise the price of an oil change.

Opt for a warranty.

The last thing you want is to spend the money on fixing your car only to have the issue unresolved when you leave. This is why getting a warranty is especially important. Make sure that you get a guarantee first of course before you allow a shop to do any work on your car. If the shop is unwilling to guarantee their work or provide a warranty, you may want to shop elsewhere. This may be a sign that the company does subpar work. Instead, you’ll want an honest, ethical company that is willing to stand behind their parts and service in order to give you a great experience and a well-run car.