Getting the wrong mechanic can mean being scammed out of thousands of dollars or getting shoddy work done on your vehicle. Unfortunately, movies aren’t far off when it comes to the outrageous scams that can happen at some auto shops. So when I look for a mechanic near me, I look for a few tips and tricks to ensure this doesn’t happen that I wanted to share with you here.
Finding a sincere mechanic who will do good work for a fair price doesn’t have to be a huge chore. If you can build a professional relationship with a good auto repair shop and its mechanics, you’ll be able to drive away knowing your vehicle is in the best shape for a fair price.
Especially if something goes wrong, it pays to have a good mechanic on hand. By knowing a trustworthy mechanic, you can be sure you’re getting the right work for the right price when an emergency strikes.
Seven Signs of a Trustworthy Mechanic
You can use AAA.com to check if an auto shop is rated. AAA has guidelines that certify whether a shop has Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE is a completely independent standard that certifies mechanics with a voluntary test. If a shop has enough ASE-certified mechanics, you can be assured that they at least have the technical know-how to repair your vehicle.
Most respectable garages will offer to look over your vehicle’s problems and provide you an estimate for the cost of repairs. You can ask for this estimate in writing, which allows you to record the cost if they then quote you a much higher price after they are finished with your vehicle.
Explaining the necessary repairs so customers can understand is an excellent sign that they are looking out for their customers. It may be challenging to explain, but the effort to give an adequate explanation is what’s important. It’s also a sign they don’t know what they are doing if they can’t explain the repairs well.
It’s no sure-fire guarantee, but most great auto shops are organized and tidy. Their bathrooms should be clean, and the lobby should be presentable and comfortable. It’s a dirty job, but it’s crucial to provide customers with a good experience in today’s day and age. A mess in the front is a sign of disorganization in the back.
It’s unfortunate, but one of the reasons there can be such variation in cost and quality for auto repair is that there is no official license for the industry. However, affiliation with the ASA can be a good substitute. They are a not-for-profit trade association for independent automotive professionals. Part of their mandate is that mechanics always give estimates and that they provide excellent customer service.
It’s essential as part of their front-face that a trustworthy mechanic has an internet presence. If they find it too hard to provide reliable information online, they are probably not looking out fully for their customers. Generally speaking, they should make it easy for you to contact them, including a website or social media.
The three most important safety items on a car that should be inspected every visit are your brakes, tires, and window wipers. These must be kept in good condition and break down often, so they are crucial to check every time. A decent auto repair shop will look through all three of these every visit, as brake and tire wear are two of the most common repairs needed.
Search Method For Finding an Mechanic Near Me
The basics of finding the right auto repair shop are first to make a list of shops you might consider. Then, examine the shops online or by calling to get an idea of what they do. Next, go to the most promising shops and get a simple service done while examining the points we mentioned above. You can consider this an ‘interview’ for the shop. Keep going until you find the shop that best suits your needs.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. First, you need to know how to build a list of good potential shops in the first place. For example, if you were looking for break repair Sacramento, you might ask your network in that area or search the local listings.
Your social network is your best first line of recommendations. If your trusted friends and family already have an excellent repair shop they use in the area, this is a great way to source the wisdom of the crowd and simply get an excellent recommendation with little effort. However, if no one is providing a great response, you might have to move on to Google and Yelp.
There’s no great secret to it, but the next best way I like to find a mechanic near me is to use Google and Yelp to add to my initial list of candidates. Google will show you on google maps a whole network of auto repair shops in your neighborhood with reviews and ratings. Yelp is similar, providing ratings and reviews for all kinds of businesses, including auto repair shops. You can use these reviews and ratings to help form a list of garages to check out more in-depth.
Finding a good mechanic near me can be a daunting exercise, but saving on the expense and danger is worth it in the long run. After you have found a mechanic working for you, building up that trustworthy relationship is critical for a real emergency. You’ll know exactly who to call and can have peace of mind knowing who is repairing your vehicle.
Many people don’t spend the time and effort building these relationships anymore instead of chasing good deals. But with vehicle care, in particular, it pays to build a relationship of trust with a sincere mechanic so that you can be sure your vehicle is always in the best shape it can be for a fair price.