The average American household with two vehicles spends 1.5 percent of its annual income on car repairs.
For exterior repairs, walking into a body shop typically costs upwards of $1,000.
Quality mechanics can be hard to find, so it’s crucial to do your research and find a great mechanic before your car needs work.
If something happens to your car and you receive a quote that you feel is too high, don’t feel pressured into handing over your ride. Take your time to make a few calls to find trustworthy mechanics that’ll treat your car and your pockets honestly for years to come.
Do you want to ensure you find a great mechanic for all your vehicle needs?
This guide will provide seven tips on how to find a reliable mechanics.
1. Don’t Wait Until a Breakdown or an Accident
No matter how big or small, automobile accidents are stressful and traumatizing. Depending on where you live, tow trucks can show up in minutes, asking where to take your car.
If the tow truck driver pressures you into choosing their favorite shop, it may be because they have a relationship with that auto shop.
Don’t wait until your car breaks down or you get in a fender bender to find honest mechanics.
If you’ve chosen your mechanic beforehand, it’ll be one less stressor to deal with as you wait on the side of the road.
2. Make Sure They Have ASE Certification
All good mechanics should be ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified. The accreditation proves that the mechanic has at least 2 years of industry experience and has enough knowledge to pass a written test.
There are different areas of certification, too. Whereas one mechanic might be certified in brake repair, another could be certified in transmission rebuilding. Find out who will be working on your car and what certifications the mechanics at your shop have.
If there’s an ASE-certified master automotive technician at the auto shop, that means they can work on all parts of your vehicle.
You can also check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website to determine if the shop you’re considering is accredited or rated.
Shops with the Approved Auto Repair (AAA) designation agree to provide high-quality, reliable service performed by mechanics with ASE or manufacturer certifications.
3. Follow the Reputation
Reliable mechanics always have reputations to show for their consistency and their work.
Look for reliability when you ask about certification. Check online reviews and do some research to find out how long a shop has been operating.
Ask around the neighborhood to see what other people say, too. If someone you know had an excellent repair service at a particular shop, find out if the online reviews and history match up with their account.
4. Pay Attention to Communication
Honest mechanics understand when car owners want explanations concerning what their cars need.
Does the mechanic you’re considering answer all your questions? If something is wrong with your car, will they take the time to show you the issue and explain how they’ll fix it?
Good mechanics aren’t afraid to take the time to answer your questions in a helpful and friendly manner.
5. Ask About Their Warranty and Equipment
Warranties for car repairs at auto shops vary. Be sure to ask ahead of time what’s covered and get it in writing for any repairs.
According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), there is no standard warranty on repairs.
Most reliable mechanics offer warranties on the parts they use and the work they do to your vehicle. If anything goes wrong with one of their repairs down the road, you could save when they either fix the issue or cover the cost because of the warranty.
Sometimes warranties are subject to limitations, including mileage and time. Find out what your mechanic offers to determine if it works for you.
Ask about their equipment, too. Modern cars are advanced computers, which is why it’s important for mechanics today to have the latest tools or diagnostic equipment for your vehicle.
Ask what they have and to see how they work.
6. Don’t Make a Decision Based on Pressure
Don’t be pressured into a decision. Mechanics know that your number one priority is to have a working car, but don’t give in to anyone who tries to take advantage of that.
If you’re presented with a bunch of unexpected repairs, get a second opinion. Don’t feel obligated to comply if you feel a quote is too expensive.
If you find another mechanic, they’ll likely offer to pick up and tow your car for free to their shop. It isn’t as difficult as you might think to change your mind, but it can be an awkward interaction.
Save yourself the trouble by finding your mechanic before any unforeseen emergency.
Don’t forget that you also have rights under 1 800 lemonlaw, especially to help distressed drivers during times like quarantine.
Don’t hesitate to take your car in for service as you may have claims under federal warranty statutes and state lemon law.
7. Test Out the Mechanics
If you think you’ve settled on the best mechanic for your future car maintenance needs, test them out.
Ask them to do a routine maintenance task, like an oil change. Were you satisfied with the professionalism, price, communication, and quality?
Routine maintenance can be a clear indication of how they handle their customers and their cars.
Quality Mechanics Are Easy to Find
While there are mechanics who are dishonest or will try to overcharge, quality mechanics aren’t hard to find.
All you have to do is research, check for certifications and reviews, and be mindful of how they treat you.
The best thing you can do is find your mechanic before any emergency. If you wait and find yourself in a predicament, don’t feel pressured to make a decision you aren’t comfortable with. You can always get a second opinion!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our automobile maintenance blog for tips and tricks to keep your vehicle in excellent shape!