Your car is one of your most valuable possessions, so it makes sense that if there is anything wrong with it you want to find a car mechanic shop with a good mechanic you trust. You’ve probably heard horror stories out there about overpriced or low-quality service and want to save yourself from the same fate. Here are 10 tips on how to find a good mechanic in your area.
1. Look for a car mechanic shop for your car make
When it comes to finding a good mechanic, you want to choose a car mechanic shop that specializes in your car’s make. The make refers to the company that manufactures the vehicle. Every car is different but choosing a car shop that knows how to speak your car’s “language” will be better for you, given their expertise and experience.
2. Get good mechanic recommendations from family and friends
Word of mouth is still a powerful tool to get recommendations for a good mechanic. Just like you’ve probably heard horror stories from friends and family about bad experiences with a mechanic, they might also have good experiences and a positive recommendation to share.
Get in touch with your closest ones to see if they have a particular car mechanic shop in mind that provides trustworthy and valuable service.
3. Look at online reviews
In this day and age, online reviews reign supreme. You can search “mechanics around me” and look at review sites such as Google or Yelp.
You also want to check out social media pages as well, which have become an extremely valuable resource for businesses. A shop’s social media page will usually give a genuine feel for the people who work in the shop and you may be able to see comments and reviews from customers.
Look for a car mechanic shop that seems personable, friendly, and at ease. You want a shop that’s comfortable with any and all questions you might have and will provide you with exemplary service.
4. Review BBB ratings
One useful tool for consumers may be the Better Business Bureau (BBB). When looking for a good car mechanic shop nearby, be sure to take the extra step to review the BBB ratings.
For example, you can use the BBB Auto Repair tool and filter for BBB accredited options. You can also see if there are customer reviews or complaints listed on the site as well, so you can make a well-researched and informed decision.
5. Verify car mechanic shop certifications
Any reputable mechanic will likely be certified. For example, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifies car professionals to help serve their customers in a better way. You can use this tool to find a repair shop near you that is certified through ASE.
6. Passion for the job
We’ve all seen people who were clearly unenthused about their job. In auto repair, that’s a kiss of death. You want to find a good mechanic that has a passion for the job. Excitement and earnestness are crucial when you consider the job. Just like you’d want a physician who cares about your health, you want a mechanic who cares about your car’s health.
A mechanic can’t just go through the motions — they must be thorough in searching for any and all issues with a car. Many vehicle issues are subtle or show only the barest signs of an issue before they become disastrous. If your mechanic’s simply plodding through their day, that won’t do at all.
A good mechanic is one who enjoys working with machines on a daily basis. They’re passionate about their own vehicle and will talk cars all day long with you. Manual labor and grease are simply bonus perks that come with the job. If you find a passionate mechanic, stick with them and let them know you appreciate them.
7. See if there are warranties available
Car repair warranties can offer an extra layer of protection. According to AAA, many auto repairs have a shop warranty for a year. That means if you get an issue fixed and it becomes a problem again under warranty, you may be able to get it fixed again at no risk or cost to you.
So before choosing a car mechanic shop, see what warranties are available on specific repairs and for how long. That way, if there’s an issue down the line, you can go back to the same place to remedy the issue.
8. Experiment with shops for car maintenance
When you have a big auto repair, the stakes are higher and there’s more to lose. You want to find a good mechanic who can solve your issue and not make the situation worse.
But if you’re in need of regular car maintenance such as changing your oil or replacing air filters or getting new tires, this could be a way to experiment with a local auto shop to see how they do and what the experience is like. If the service and quality are good, you can keep that in mind for the future when dealing with a costly repair.
9. The repair shop explains the underlying issues
There are many repair shops where you sit in your car and they’ll briefly run down the repairs before telling you how much to pay.
But what are you paying for? A good mechanic will actually explain these underlying issues. They’ll go over the causes and help you plan to avoid the sort of damage that may be affecting your vehicle. Some recurring problems are simply common with certain models. The best mechanics will stop to explain these issues and help you plan to prevent issues in the future. That way you’ll also fully understand what you’re paying for and why.
10. You’ll learn something new
When you put yourself around people who are passionate about what they do, you’re bound to learn something new. Experienced and well-seasoned mechanics who enjoy their job and are usually happy to chat about cars and offer tips.
Some mechanics may even bring you into the shop to show you the workings of your own vehicle. Don’t be surprised after a few visits to the right mechanic if you’re starting to pick up on some really technical details of car repair. That knowledge will only help you in taking better care of your car and doing the things that will allow it to run for a long time.
The bottom line
Learning how to find a good mechanic goes beyond just Googling “mechanics around me” and choosing the first option. It’s about doing your due diligence to find a car mechanic shop with a good mechanic you can build a relationship with over the long term.
As part of your car maintenance journey, make sure you have the appropriate car insurance as well. If you’re a low-mileage driver, you may benefit from pay-per-mile insurance. You pay gas by the gallon, so why not base your car insurance on the miles you drive? Using Metromile, you can get a low base rate and pay several cents for each mile. Get a quote to see how much you can save.