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Many auto repair shops have a bad reputation of ripping off their customers by charging more for maintenance on your vehicle.  At Horizon Auto Center, we pride ourselves on our diligent work ethic and outstanding customer service.  We are a local auto repair and mechanic shop in Rockwall, TX and have been part of the community for over 16 years.  We always want to be honest with our customers, so we’d like to share a few tips on auto repair basics that you may not know about.

The best way to avoid being charged more is to be prepared; knowing how your vehicle works and how to identify common car problems is a good start.  It’s also important to know how to choose a good mechanic, the kinds of questions to ask and your consumer rights.

When choosing the right auto repair shop, ask for recommendations from friends, family and anyone you trust.  It’s always important to look for an auto repair shop before you need one to avoid being rushed into a last-minute decision.  Shopping around online for any coupons and comparing warranty policies on repairs isn’t a bad idea either.  Horizon Auto Center always lists their coupons online for our customers.

It’s always a good idea look for auto repair shops that display various certifications such as an Automotive Service Excellence seal; certifications like this indicate that some or all of the technicians or the entire auto center meet basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical area.  Horizon Auto Center is considered a National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA), which means we are an American retailers’ cooperative that distributes automotive replacement parts, accessories and service items in the United States.  There are over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts stores across America.  We’ve also been awarded the “Best Auto Repair in Rockwall/Rowlett” for four years in a row.  In addition, ask the technician or the auto repair shop if they have experience working on the same make or model of your vehicle.

Before you make an appointment to have any work done on your car, ask the auto repair center what the prices are for their automotive parts; some centers charge a flat rate for labor on auto repairs.  Usually, the rate is based on an independent or manufacturer’s estimate of the time required to complete the repairs; others charge on the basis of the amount of time it took the technician to do the repair on your car.  Also, find out if there will be any diagnostic charges if you decide to have the work performed at another auto repair center.  Keep in mind that if the repairs needed on your car are complicated or expensive, you can always get a second opinion.

Once you decide to have the repairs you need to be have done on your car, ask for a written estimate; these should include:
  • Identifying the condition that is getting repaired, the parts that will be needed and the labor charge.
  • Stating that the auto repair center must contact you for approval before they perform any work that is more than the quoted amount.

So, you don’t know much about the parts that will be used to repair your vehicle?  That okay, Horizon Auto Center can help!  Parts are classified as new, remanufactured, rebuilt or reconditioned, and salvaged.  New parts are usually made to original manufacturer’s specifications, either by the vehicle manufacturer or an independent company, and prices vary for every part.  Remanufactured, rebuilt or reconditioned are parts that have been restored to working condition.  Many manufacturers offer a warranty covering replacement parts, but not the labor to install them.  Salvaged parts are used parts taken from another vehicle without any changes; they may be the only source for certain items, but their reliability can’t be guaranteed.  Be sure to get a repair order describing the work that’s been done; this order should list each repair, parts provided labor charges and your car’s vehicle odometer reading when you brought in it.


At Horizon Auto Center, we know that getting work done on your vehicle can be costly at times.  But if you put off getting the maintenance your car needs, there could be consequences and it could cost you even more down the road.  Parts of your vehicle are interrelated, and ignoring maintenance can lead to trouble with specific parts or an entire system in your car.  Neglecting even simple routine services such as having your oil changed or checking the coolant and other fluids can lead to poor fuel economy (gas mileage), unreliability in your vehicle, increased rate of wear and tear or costly breakdowns. Tow trucks aren’t cheap either so let Horizon Auto Center help prevent any unnecessary hits to your wallet.


The more you know about your vehicle, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to getting repairs done.  Horizon Auto Center wants you to know that you can detect many common problems by using your senses: looking at the area where your vehicle is, listening for strange or unexpected noises, noticing a difference in the way your vehicle handles and smelling unusual odors.


We hope these basic tips will be helpful when it comes time to choosing your auto repair center and possibly saving you from a breakdown and spending extra money you weren’t prepared to spend.  At Horizon Auto Center, we put your vehicle care needs first by striving to ensure that your experience with us is more than satisfactory.  By doing this, we’ve been able to build a great reputation and becoming one of the best auto repair shops in Rockwall and the surrounding areas.  We hope you’ll consider Horizon Auto Center whenever you need maintenance done or your car needs to be serviced.  Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be sure to exceed all of your expectations, and our auto repair center looks forward to helping you with all your needs so you can have a reliable vehicle.

We appreciate you checking out our website, you can also check the reviews of our very satisfied clients, and we hope to see you soon!