How to Find a Good Mechanic or Repair Shop

Published: 11/24/2010 by AutoShopit

How to Find a Good Mechanic or Repair Shop

There are times in life when we don’t know where to turn, or whom to trust. Even in the Information Age of the Internet, cell phones, satellite television and hyper-fast communications, we are often challenged when it comes to finding a doctor, hair stylist, or auto mechanic and repair shop that we can trust.

Fortunately, here on AutoShopit, we can help you with the auto mechanic and repair shop choices. We’ve already taken some of the uncertainty and guess work out of choosing a local repair shop for you. Here, we’ll examine some of the basics with you to help make that choice a little bit easier and less frustrating. 

  • Who do you know? – When it comes to auto repair, you must have some other friends or family members who can make a recommendation. Which local repair services do they use, and why? What have their experiences been there, and, important, how have they worked through disagreements, improper repairs, and other challenges with the service that they use? The question and answer method will help you take the first step to finding a dependable repair facility.
  • Reputation – As you narrow down your possible choices for vehicle repair, check with your local Better Business Bureau to see how they measure up. Even the best of repair shops has to deal with a disgruntled customer or two; even the best customers have to deal with improper repairs now and then. Also, check with your local, city or state, department of consumer protection, which can also offer additional helpful tips on choosing auto repair facilities and more.
  • Drive By – As you drive to and from wherever it is you go, pay attention to the repair shops that you pass. Are some always empty, or are their parking lots over-filled with cars that appear to have cob webs, flat tires, and other either positive or negative signs? When you see what looks like a good repair shop, stop in and speak to the manager, owner, or mechanic. Try to assess what type of people they are and what kind of service you can expect. Ask them how they handle difficult repairs, and customers. Inquire about their general reputation, any significant law suits that they’ve been involved with, the Lemon Law, and more. They may chase you out of there with a jack handle, or they may become your new best friends.
  • Observations – While you’re chatting with the personnel at the repair shop, pay attention to other customers if possible. Observe who is coming and going, take a look at what type of vehicles the shop services. Is the place clean or grimy, inviting or deplorable, is it one you would want to go to or would you rather check out another shop down the street – these and other observations of course are important from a first-impression perspective – but always consider the work that they do and whether they do it right the first time and charge a fair price.

Ultimately, you will have to make a decision and move ahead. Fortunately, you have the consumer protection acts and laws on your side, although usually it will never have to come to that level of escalation. Choose a repair facility that you’re comfortable with in terms of location, honesty, reputation, price, and overall satisfaction. Over a course of time, trust is earned by truth and sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself sharing with a friend or other loved one that you know a great place for them to have their vehicles repaired. 

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