The quality and cost of auto repairs have been a major source of consumer complaints for many years. However, efforts to improve the automotive repair process have been hindered by lack of reliable quantitative data on factors thought to be significant contributors to consumer complaints.
This paper presents quantitative data from three recent national surveys, including: (1) a personal interview survey of 1,512 automotive service industry owner/operators; (2) a personal interview survey of 591 mechanics employed by those owner/operators; and (3) a telephone survey of 2,434 recent customers of those service facilities.
The paper presents data on repair industry equipment, procedures, practices, and reference materials, as well as mechanic skills, experience, and compensation. Relationships between customer assessment of the repair process and characteristics of the repair facility are also examined.