Whether you need routine maintenance, a simple tire rotation, or an expensive transmission service, knowing a trustworthy mechanic can save you tons of car ownership costs and time.
Expensive repair upsells and scams can make finding an honest mechanic extra challenging.
But not impossible.
So how do you find a good mechanic?
And where should you start looking?
Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers for you!
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 11 trusty pointers on how to find a good mechanic to help you out.
This Article Contains:
- 11 Rock-Solid Tips On How To Find A Good Mechanic
- Get Solid Referrals
- Check For Online Reviews
- Select A Dealership Or Independent Shop
- Verify Certifications
- Look For Proven Experience
- Compare Your List Of Repair Shops
- Find An Easily Accessible Mechanic Shop
- Get A Written Estimate
- The Mechanic Can Clearly Explain The Problem
- Observe If They Check The Three Big Safety Items
- A Trusted Mechanic Is Your Advocate When It Comes To Costly Repairs
Let’s dive in.
11 Rock-Solid Tips On How To Find A Good Mechanic
You can find a good mechanic by checking reviews on the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports. Or, you can check out repair shops for service quality by getting a simple car maintenance.
Here are a few more solid pointers on finding an excellent mechanic and auto repair shop.
1. Get Solid Referrals
Ask your friends, relatives, and coworkers about the auto repair shops they visit for regular maintenance and repairs.
Although your friends are likely to choose a repair shop closer to their homes or offices, if an auto repair shop is good, you’ll probably hear about it from many people. Plus, their bad auto repair shop experiences will also teach you what kind of repair shops you should avoid.
Pro Tip: When you visit a referred mechanic or auto shop, be sure to tell them you were referred. This will mean a lot to them and may also get your friend referral points.
2. Check For Online Reviews
Before taking your car to an auto mechanic or repair shop, check online reviews of the mechanic or auto repair shop even if it’s just for regular maintenance. This lets you assess their auto repair services, customer satisfaction, and the shop’s overall quality.
Here are a few sites that offer auto repair shop reviews:
- Better Business Bureau
- Angi (previously known as Angies List)
- Consumer Reports (car repair estimator page)
3. Select A Dealership Or An Independent Shop
A dealership specializes in fixing and maintaining a particular car brand. They offer good mechanics who’re mostly factory-trained and know your vehicle inside-out.
Dealerships often use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, and if your vehicle’s under warranty, they’ll take care of the covered car repair costs.
However, without warranties, a dealership can be expensive and often have poor customer service.
Meanwhile, an independent mechanic shop is usually run by a local mechanic. An independent shop doesn’t necessarily specialize in a particular brand or use OEM parts. But they provide excellent customer service and cheap, quality repairs.
So if you’re out of warranty and looking for a quick repair, an independent auto mechanic or a local mechanic could save you tons of money.
4. Verify Certifications
When you visit a good auto mechanic, look for certifications from any national institute or a professional certifying body, as a trustworthy mechanic will likely have their certificates on display.
That’s because a certified mechanic would’ve undergone the proper training and skills testing necessary to address your vehicle’s issues. You can also verify if the repair shop is licensed since many states require licensing to operate legally.
This is especially important if you’re a luxury car owner cause you may need a trained, reputable mechanic who knows their way around your car.
5. Look For Proven Experience
Modern cars are run by mechanical and electronic car components. A reliable mechanic must have a solid grasp of both these areas to fix a car properly.
Meanwhile, an inexperienced, bad mechanic can misdiagnose or damage your car parts. To avoid such cases, you can ask these questions to ensure you’ve found a good auto mechanic:
- Have you worked on my car’s make and model before?
- Can you explain the necessary repairs?
- Can I speak to other customers for reference?
- What kind of warranties do you offer?
- Can I choose the replacement car parts?
6. Compare Your List Of Shops
Here are some questions to consider when you sift through your list for a reliable mechanic or a good auto repair shop:
- Does the new mechanic specialize in your car brand?
- How far is the mechanic shop?
- What are the mechanic’s working hours?
- How long will the mechanic take to get the repairs done?
7. Find An Easily Accessible Mechanic Shop
Even a good car mechanic isn’t worth the effort if their hours don’t match your schedule or are too far or difficult to reach.
That’s why people usually choose a local mechanic who is easily accessible. This saves time and effort as you won’t have to commute too far to get your vehicle to them or while it’s being fixed.
To find such mechanics and auto repair shops, you can use Google or Apple Maps to search for ‘good mechanic near me’ or ‘mechanic near (your city)’. You can also use these apps to look for directions, opening hours, customer reviews, and more.
8. Get A Written Estimate
No matter how small your repair is, ensure you get a written estimate from your potential car mechanic.
A bad mechanic may charge a hefty sum or suggest unnecessary repairs. The written estimate will give you an idea of what’s getting fixed and how much it’ll cost.
You can also use this to shop around and get a second opinion. This will help you determine if you’re getting the right repair and not being overcharged. To do so, you can either talk to someone who understands cars or compare prices from another reputable mechanic.
9. The Mechanic Can Clearly Explain The Problem
A mechanic typically gives you a very brief rundown of repairs and their costs.
But what are you paying for?
An honest mechanic will take the time to explain your car’s underlying issues. They may go through the causes and even suggest tips to avoid these in the future. Some good mechanics also show you the workings of your vehicle to point out its issues.
This way, you’ll not only know what you’re paying for and why but also pick up on some handy car knowledge.
10. Observe If They Check The Three Big Safety Items
Now, any basic car maintenance or service should include a thorough check of three essential safety items — tires, brakes, and wipers. This helps prevent accidents, expensive repairs, and sudden breakdowns.
You can observe if your mechanic checks these items when getting a simple tire rotation or routine maintenance. Then you’ll have an idea if you want to hand over your vehicle to them for major repair works like a transmission service.
If your new mechanic overlooks these parts, it’s probably a good idea to look for another auto repair professional.
11. A Trusted Mechanic Is Your Advocate When It Comes To Costly Repairs
Not every repair is worth the penny, especially if you own an old car.
A good mechanic or auto shop always weighs the repair costs against your car’s worth. If the repair costs exceed your car’s worth and they let you know about it, that’s the one you’re looking for!
But if a potential mechanic suggests an expensive repair, higher than your car’s value, look for a different mechanic.
High prices, long wait times, and poor repairs are the top reasons for customer dissatisfaction. To avoid such issues, follow the steps mentioned above to find a great mechanic before your car encounters a massive breakdown and needs a major overhaul.
Now, if this feels like a hassle, don’t worry!
There’s always RepairSmith!
RepairSmith is a mobile auto repair and maintenance service offering good mechanics 7 days a week.
And the best part?
We provide upfront pricing, a 12-month, 12,000-mile repair warranty, and a convenient online booking process. Contact us, and we’ll get a trusted mechanic to wherever you are!