Although everyone has a different skill set when it comes to automobiles, all drivers have one thing in common; nobody wants to get screwed at the repair shop. The dread that is associated with a funny sound or pesky service light is a direct result of thousands of dishonest, under qualified mechanics trying to take advantage of the average consumer. How to find a good mechanic? Although the task may seem impossible, finding a reliable mechanic is actually easier than most people think.
Consult Family & Friends
Most people don’t buy a brand of cereal without checking with their friends first: getting a trusted opinion on an auto mechanic is a great place to start.
Mechanics are like barbers; once you find one, you generally stick with him or her for life. For this reason, asking people you trust can be a great way to find a reliable mechanic. Personal experience and satisfaction are musts for any referral, which is why talking to the source first hand can be very beneficial. If you’re lucky, you may find someone you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.
Find Online Reviews
If there’s one thing people like to do, it’s complain. Fortunately, there is no better place to do so publicly than the World Wide Web.
Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned, which is why surfing the Internet could be the answer to all of your mechanic-related questions. A good rule of thumb is this; while some dishonest businesses may post phony, positive reviews, NO businesses would ever go out of their way to post phony negative ones. The negative reviews speak volumes more than the satisfied ones, and are ultimately the only ones you can trust. Find a mechanic with little or no negative feedback, and you should have no problem getting your car fixed.
AAA (The American Automobile Association) has been helping motorists since its inception over 100 years ago. Membership with AAA comes with plenty of perks, including roadside assistance and basic service. AAA can even offer help to non-members in need of repairs.
Many qualified mechanics will be registered with AAA, and therefore will be proudly displaying the AAA logo in their shop. Seeing this logo should help lend piece of mind, as it means the mechanic displaying it is good enough for the largest automobile agency in the world.
Continuing our journey through the alphabet, the Better Business Bureau can also be a tremendous help when looking for a mechanic.
The BBB was formed to help protect the American consumer. For those who were burned far worse than can be rectified by posting a scathing internet review, the Better Business Bureau serves as a place to file complaints, and right any potential wrongs. Calling the BBB to see whether or not an auto repair shop has any complaints on file can be an easy way to see whether or not they are worth the time, trouble, or money you will no doubt be spending.
Okay, we’re just pulling your leg on this one.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in as part of FDR’s New Deal. It put unemployed Americans to work, and helped bring us out of the Great Depression. While it definitely won’t help you to find a mechanic, it was hard not to include them after mentioning AAA & BBB.
Sometimes the only opinion you can really trust is your own, which is why doing your own leg work may be worth it in the long run.
Bringing your car in for inspections to several mechanics can often be the easiest way to see which problems are real problems, and which are not. If five different auto repair shops give you five different results, but all of them agree you need a new transmission, then it may be safe to assume that it is the truth. Being honest and upfront helps keep everyone on their toes: telling a mechanic that you’ve already had the car looked at shows that you are serious about finding the right deal.
If you’ve found more than one mechanic who could easily repair your car, then it is up to you to find the mechanic who is the most proud of their work.
Some mechanics offer 30-day warranties on the repair they supply. Others offer 90-day warranties, and a select few will even promise lifetime warranties, depending on the repair. It is important to remember that a warranty is not the same as a guarantee; while the parts may break or the problem may return, a warranty gives you the piece of mind of knowing you won’t have to pay for it again.
Go to a Dealer
For those who need the break-the-glass-in-emergency-only method of finding a repair shop, you can always bring your car back whence it came.
Again, while this step should be avoided at all costs (“costs” being the operative word), it does have its advantages. Getting your car repaired at the dealership will be far more expensive 100% of the time. However, there are few people better equipped to handle your car than the original manufacturer. While getting your car fixed at a dealer will set you back far more than an auto repair shop, you can rest easy knowing that at least it was done correctly.
While finding a mechanic is an activity that most people dread, it does not have to be a difficult process. By doing a little bit of homework, the average driver can save both time and money.