The best time to locate and check out a repair shop is when you don't need one! Don't wait until you have a serious problem and are in a panic, that can make you a prime candidate for making a costly mistake.
1. Ask friends for shops they have been satisfied with. Word of mouth is a very good source; good and bad.
2. Have an oil change and lube and see if you feel comfortable with the way the company operates.
3. Have your tires rotated if needed and see how you are treated. Again, do you feel comfortable with the way the company operates?
4. Building rapport and being a regular customer will give you peace of mind that you should be treated fairly if you have a major trouble.
5. When you have a company you are satisfied with stick with it, don't keep bouncing around always trying to get a better deal, loyalty pays off.