To begin your search for an independent repair shop, check with the automotive trade associations that list preferred repair shops. Look for shops that are listed by at least two of the following organizations...

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) boasts that an average of 78% of customers are repeat customers. ASA shops adhere to a code of ethics that outlines professional business practices. 800-272-7467. www.asashop.org.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides locations of shops that employ ASE-certified repair technicians. Note: Having ASE certification means only that the technician can pass a written test -- it has no bearing on repair skill. 703-669-6600. www.ase.com.

The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) comprises mainly independent transmission repair facilities. Members apply an ATRA code of ethics to their automatic transmission diagnostic and repair services. Member shops have at least one ATRA-certified technician. 866-464-2872. www.atra.com.

I-CAR technicians are trained in industry-accepted, uniform collision repair procedures to produce quality paint and body repairs. Go to www.i-car.com, click on “Gold Class Professionals” and enter your zip code. 800-422-7872.

The International Automotive Technicians Network (IATN) has more than 61,000 members. Look for shops where the owner is listed, in particular those that are named after the owner. 714-257-1335. www.iatn.net.

The Motorist Assurance Program provides auto-repair industry standards and has developed a series of guidelines to help consumers decide what kind of repairs they need. The site also lists repair shops. 301-634-4955. www.motorist.org.

NAPA AutoCare helps consumers find a shop that performs quality work at a fair price. 800-452-6272. www.napaautocare.com.