Sometimes, despite our efforts, maintenance isn’t enough and we have car repairs to deal with. There are some people who have had the same mechanic for years and yet others who have no idea where to go for car care. While no one can say for certain who has the best deals and experience in car repair, there are some things you can look for to improve your odds at finding a good mechanic or repair shop.
Ask around: Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, anyone you can think of who has had car repair. Things to watch out for when getting recommendations are statements such as; “Oh, Bob has fixed my car for years, I trust him completely. There is always something wrong with my car and Bob fixes it right up.” Hmmm, maybe there is a reason there is always something wrong with the car, such as Bob isn’t fixing it right, or Bob is making sure he gets return business. If you get several referrals for the same person, however, there is a good chance they are speaking of a good mechanic.
Even if you’ve always gone there, it may be time to go somewhere else:
There are times when even a shop that we have gone to for years suddenly pulls a fast one, or tries to. Try to get answers and results if this happens. If you cannot, then the shop obviously doesn’t care if you are happy or not. This is especially true if you have been a customer for many years. It may be time to switch shops, or mechanics!
ASE means “Automotive Service Excellence” certification and is most often seen in dealership repair shops or repair shops that have mechanics who have taken courses from places such as AC Delco, or Ford. This is not a guarantee, but it does mean the mechanic has tried to reach excellence in service.
Chain Store Mechanics:
You can often get good deals at the larger chain store repair shops, but you must keep in mind that they employ mostly entry level workers. The good thing is, if it isn’t fixed correctly, you can take it back until it’s done right.
Beware of scare tactics:
Women are usually preyed upon for this type of mechanic. They will tell you that the car is so unsafe it shouldn’t be driven anywhere. (Although, in RARE instances, this does happen.) Many of the mechanics who use this line are just trying to scare you into having the repair done. If you are truly worried that it is unsafe to drive, consider having it towed…to another shop.
It may take a few tries, but eventually you will find a mechanic you can trust. Until then, you are better of taking it somewhere that offers a guarantee. At least with a guarantee you will know it will be fixed right. If it isn’t, you don’t pay, or you get it repaired again free of charge. If they do not want to guarantee their work, you are probably going to lose money.