Deserved or not, auto repair shops and mechanics in general don’t have the best reputation. Many former clients, particularly women, report they have been overcharged or had unnecessary auto repairs performed by some of the more unscrupulous members of the community.
Most repair shops and their employees, however, are trustworthy and strive to do a good, honest job for a reasonable fee. The problem for some car owners, then, may be in finding the best and most reliable mechanic who is near at hand.
Finding a good mechanic for your auto repairs is not a difficult task. Following a few simple steps will narrow your search down considerably.
Follow These Steps
First, ask around. Find out who your friends and neighbors use and recommend. Read unbiased reviews online and check with the Better Business Bureau, AAA, and other rating companies.
A good shop for auto repairs will employ mechanics who are ASE certified. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is a professional certification group that aims to improve the overall quality of repair service and help consumers distinguish between competent mechanics and everyone else.
To get an idea of typical auto repair procedures and prices, do some research online. There are sites and discussion groups dedicated to comparing prices and the reasons people may need repairs. Don’t forget, though, that location and type of car can make a decided difference in repair costs.
If you have narrowed your search down to a couple of choices, do a drive-by of each. Take a look at the number and types of cars they are servicing and see if the location is clean and orderly. If most of the cars in the lot are VWs and you drive a Mercedes SUV, there may be a better repair shop for your needs.
Finally, you may want to balance the prices that are charged with the convenience of the shop. An inexpensive mechanic who works out of his barn way out in the country may be perfect if he does a bang-up job. Then again, a nearby shop that charges more than his neighbor doesn’t mean you are getting better service. It may mean he simply has a higher overhead.
Follow these tips and you will find a reliable, knowledgeable mechanic near you with whom you can build a long-term relationship.