If you are used to doing the work on your car but can no longer do it, you will need to find a service shop that you can trust. The hardest part is knowing where to look and what to ask. There are a few things you should consider during your search but none of these are hard fast runs.
Close To Home Or Work
Finding a shop that is conveniently located is a good first step. A shop that is close to your home or work is probably the best but only if you are comfortable with the work they do. The ability to drop the car off and walk to work from the shop is great. You get some exercise and they get the car for the entire day while you work to pay for it. When you need an oil change, tire rotation, other minor repairs, it can be easier to get the car in if they can just fit it into the shop when time allows.
Giving Them A Test Run
If you want to try a new shop, the best way to do it is by starting with something small like an oil change. You can get a feel for the customer service and the quality of the work with this one small task. Sometimes they are just really good at one thing but most of the time, if they do a good job, are friendly, and reasonably affordable, you might want to give them a little bigger job next time to see if they are consistent. Be careful though, if you give them something major and they can not do it, that could cost you more to have the vehicle towed to the dealer or another garage that can do the work for you. Not to mention, you might get a bill for the work they did do.
Judging By Reputation
Another great way to get a feel for a shop is by the reputation they have in the community and with your friends and family. If people are happy with the work and find them to be a good shop at good prices, they give them a shot. The shop may or may not do all the things you need to be done but sometimes small shops with surprise you with how much they do. When you ask around, if people tell you they do great affordable oil changes but they don't do major work as well, that might be a flag for you.