Finding an honest mechanic is a little bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. For most of us, when we look inside our engine we see a bunch of metal parts and go cross-eyed. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with our car, our own ignorance can work against us. If your car breaks down and you pull into the nearest garage, the mechanic might take advantage of that ignorance and charge you for a bunch of unnecessary repairs. However, not all mechanics are corrupt. Here are 5 tips for finding an honest and reputable auto repair shop.
- Ask your friends and family. Chances are that something has gone wrong with their own car and they both know what repair shops are trustworthy and which ones aren’t. Perhaps they even know of a friend that can repair your car for much cheaper. In most cases, though, one of your friends, family members or co-workers will know of an auto repair show that won’t rip you off and will do a great job fixing your car.
- Each state has a bureau where certain business’ activities are logged. If a business has a number of complaints they might end up in a file with a number of other businesses that aren’t trustworthy or have a poor reputation. If you suspect an auto repair shop isn’t trustworthy you should contact the bureau in your state to see if they have been listed. If they have a number of complaints or warnings, your best bet is to find another auto repair shop.
- Next, get a number of different estimates. With service charges and parts and labor, you will get a relative average down the line, but if you run into an auto repair shop that isn’t trustworthy they might quote you an exorbitant amount. They might also even go so far as tacking on other things that are wrong with your car that aren’t. It is crucial to get multiple opinions and rates, because it is easy to be taken advantage of, especially when you don’t know anything about cars.
- Do a search online. If they haven’t had some kind of online reputation management, you might be able to find dirt on a specific auto repair shop that you might suspect is doing shady business. However, if a shop has generable favorable reviews and ratings, you might have just found yourself an honest and reputable auto repair shop.
- Lastly, go in to the auto repair shop prepared. You don’t want to roll into an auto repair shop with your checkbook open. You want to get the best rates by really grilling them. In most cases, there will be repairs or maintenance that you might not need yet, so it is important to be assertive so that they don’t keep tacking things on to the bill. Also, ask about warranties on their work, discounts, and how to get the best prices for parts. Typically, if you sound like you know what you are talking about, you will get the best deals and service.