It doesn't matter where you live, from time to time everyone who owns a car or truck is going to need the help of a mechanic who can repair your vehicle at a reasonable price. All mechanical things need proper maintenance, both preventive and when things break or wear out. Finding the proper person to perform what's necessary can be difficult. Just as in every other profession, repair shops range from incredibly bad to amazingly good. So, an informed choice can save time, money and frustration.
If money is no object, or if the vehicle is still under warranty, simply take it to the dealer and have it repaired or serviced. Dealerships typically have the trained staff and equipment to get the job done promptly and correctly. Northwest Arkansas has an abundance of reputable dealers, ranging from Acura to Volkswagen, who are contract-bound to work for or with you.
However, if the repair bill payment will be coming out of your wallet it is important to have done some investigating prior to having the need to have the work performed. Start with friends, co-workers and family members who have been in the area long enough to have already done the investigative work for you. If two or more people suggest the same place then be sure to get the phone number and address of the establishment and put it in the glove-box of your car, and when the need arises, be sure to mention the recommendation when the vehicle is offered up for the work. It can lead to an even more pleasant repair experience.
If you break down on the road, hundreds of miles from your home base, then the options are more limited. An I-phone can allow you to search the internet to find an accredited service point (relying on information from people unknown), or simply ask the driver of the tow truck that comes to pick you up to recommend a reputable shop (also an unknown). Either way, you're at a disadvantage by relying on information that you haven't confirmed. The best insurance, in this case, is to have your trusted mechanic inspect your vehicle before the trip is even begun and replace the hose/belt/bearing before you leave home.
In almost every case, waiting for a vehicle to fail is more expensive and inconvenient than proper maintenance.