Since car repair bills can quickly add up, you want an auto repair mechanic you can trust to do good work and charge fairly. Here are our tips to find one.
When it comes to finding a new car mechanic, many of us are afraid of being taken for a ride. Car repair bills can add up quickly, so people need to trust that their mechanic is being fair and charging only for what needs to be done.
Whether you seek the security of work performed at a large dealership or garage chain or the personalized service of one of the small independents, here are some ways to make sure that your motor is left purring in the rights hands.
1. Get a recommendation
Speak to family, friends, and colleagues—the people you trust—and get their recommendations for mechanics. Give greater weight to the opinions of those with similar cars, or who seem more knowledgeable about their repairs and their mechanics. You can also try asking for recommendations through your social media networks on Facebook and Twitter.
2. What do others say?
A variety of consumer protection groups exist online, including ones specifically dealing with the car industry, that can provide information about local mechanics, as well as give advice about what to look for and potential issues.
3. Check qualifications
Is your mechanic a licensed professional? Check that they are certified auto mechanics. Also, many garages specialize in certain makes or kinds of cars. Does their area of expertise cover what you require? And can they handle your work in-house or will your car be sent to another mechanic with the right specialization?
4. Do they communicate clearly?
Does the mechanic clearly explain what they are going to do and take the time to answer your questions? Do they give you an estimate and stick to it? If extra work does need to be done, will they check with you first before the new charges are incurred?
5. Start small
Before entrusting larger jobs to your mechanic, start with a small, innocuous job like an oil change or a tire rotation to see how they perform. Make sure they do the work well, on time and on budget.
6. Do they stand behind their work?
Find out what kind of warranties they provide for work, since these can vary from shop to shop. You can take a common repair, such as brake work, as a point of comparison.
7. Location, location, location
Since your car may be in the auto repair garage for a day or longer, the facility should be easily accessible to your home or place of work by public transportation. Some garages will offer to pick up and drop off customers, and larger operations may have courtesy cars available.