How to Find a Good Mechanic
Find Out Who Services the Big Business
Fleets in Your Area
Delivery vans, taxis, company cars,
government vehicles – they all have to stay on the road, so you better believe
they’re taken to a good mechanic when they need maintenance work or repairs.
Search for a Good Mechanic Online
The Mechanics Files over on CarTalk is a
great place to look for a mechanic recommendation or to check up on a mechanic
that you’re considering. It features reviews of over 30,000 mechanics!
Choose Someone From the AAA-Approved Auto
Even if you don’t have AAA, choosing a shop
from their Approved Auto Repair Network can be a great way to vet a mechanic.
All participating shops must offer 12 month/12,000 mile warranties on all
repairs, use ASE or manufacturer-certified technicians and pass an annual AAA
Look Up ASE and Manufacturer-Certified
When a mechanic is certified by the
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the manufacturer of
the particular make of car that they work on or both, that’s a pretty good
indication that they know their stuff.
Check With the Better Business Bureau
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few
mechanics, do a quick search on the Better Business Bureau website to check up
on their ratings and reviews.
Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop
It’s not uncommon for estimates from
different body shops to vary wildly. One shop might give you an estimate for
$500 while another wants $2,000 for the work. What’s the difference? And when
is it OK to choose the cheaper shop?
Pay Attention to Word-of-Mouth
Any business can advertise, but you’ll do
better with a shop that friends, family or acquaintances recommend. It’s a
business that has proven it can satisfy customers. And it might not be the
biggest or best-known shop in your area.
Consider the Operation’s Location and
“Where you get screwed in our business
is labor hours,” Mallette explains. His shop charges $40 per hour for
labor. But in ritzy parts of West Los Angeles, the per-hour labor charge is
$60-$65. In wealthy Newport Beach, California, Mallette has heard of
$90-per-hour labor charges.
Get Several Estimates
Taking your car to several auto body shops
for repair quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges, Mallette notes.
“I’ll tell people to go get some estimates and bring ’em back to me. I’ll
match estimates if I can.”
Ask the Right Questions
When choosing a body shop, “you don’t
go in with your pocketbook open,” Mallette explains. “You go in
smart,” and ask some key questions. Does the shop provide a written
warranty? And if so, for how long? What does the warranty cover?
Tips for Choosing an Auto Repair Shop
After a brutal winter, it’s important to
get your car checked over to make sure all its components are in proper working
order. But deciding where to take your car for maintenance or repairs can be a
challenge, especially when you’re surrounded by multiple chains and dealerships
begging for your business. Follow these five tips for choosing an auto repair
shop, and you should end up finding someone you can trust
Ask Friends for Referrals. The best way to
find a trustworthy mechanic is to ask those you trust for their
recommendations. Your aunt or best friend might know the perfect mechanic that
will give you straightforward advice and repair your car quickly and
efficiently. On the flip side, your friends can also warn you against bad
mechanics they might have come across in the past.
Check Out Online Reviews. In this day and
age, hardly anyone buys an item—small or large—without first checking its
Amazon reviews. Why should choosing a mechanic be any different? Check out
Yelp, Google Maps, and DealerRater for reviews from real customers—both good
and bad—that will help you choose a quality mechanic from the get-go.
Start Looking in Advance. Rather than
waiting to find a mechanic until you need one, start looking around as soon as
you buy your car or move to a new location. If you try to make a decision when
you’re under pressure—for example when your alternator is busted—you’re more
likely to rush your decision and potentially end up going someplace
Visit the Repair Shop. Look for
technicians’ diplomas or National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
(ASE) training certificates on display in the waiting room. Additionally, labor
rates, payment information, guarantees, and fees should be posted in the front
office. Also look out for any plaques or certificates naming awards, community
projects, or BBB affiliation as a mark of an honest repair shop.
Tips for Finding a Trustworthy Auto
Though many Americans depend on a safe and
reliable vehicle to get around, it’s also a big investment. And, while
maintaining your vehicle with regular servicing and tune-ups can go a long way
to extending its life, finding an auto mechanic you can count on may prove to
be a challenge. In fact, a recent survey found that more than 66% of U.S.
drivers don’t trust auto repair shops in general.
Ask Your Neighbors, Family, and Friends
When you’re searching for a mechanic to
work on your vehicle, you may feel tempted to go with a brand name or franchise
name that you know. However, a local family-owned auto shop that’s dedicated to
good customer service as a means to build the business that supports their
family, could be just as good or even better.
Pay Attention to “Auto Experts” in the
Does your local newspaper or television
news station have a local auto expert? If so, give their business a call when
looking for a knowledgeable auto repair shop. Even though they may not offer
the lowest prices in the area, if the area media are willing to showcase their
knowledge, chances are they know cars. So don’t choose your mechanic based on
Check With the Better Business Bureau
Although most mechanics are honest and most
auto repair shops are trustworthy, every year there are some that leave
customers less than happy. In 2016, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received
over 10,000 complaints against auto repair companies.
Look for AAA-Certified Shops
More than 7,000 repair facilities across
North America have the distinction of being an Approved Auto Repair (AAR)
Facility, as accredited by the American Automobile Association (AAA). An AAR
shop meets the strict professional standards of the AAA for customer service,
facility appearance, and staff qualification and certification, and may be a
good place to start when you need a new auto mechanic.
How to choose the right auto repair shop
To many, our cars are an extension of
ourselves. We take pride in the 30 minutes we take to make sure she has had a
good wash. We work hard to make sure we can put 91 octane in our babies because
that’s what they deserve!
If the mechanic answering the phone won’t
give you the time of day, speaks to you in a way that makes you seem like you
don’t know what’s going on with your own vehicle… it’s probably best to just
hang up the phone now. How this conversation goes is a sneak peek to how your
whole auto shop experience will be!
The Work Area
Would you take your children to daycare
without seeing the classroom? Of course not! You want to be able to see the
workspace where your vehicle will be at. Disorganization, mechanics standing
around, general laziness are not good signs that you’re a top priority on their
This is a MUST! What kind of experiences
have other folks in your area had? Are they continually expressing the concern
of one person or problem? Is the auto repair shop responding and taking
responsibility for any wrongdoings that may have occurred? The combination of
all these things can show consumers how well the business is being taken care
of. You should also look to see if a company has customer testimonials too!