Choosing a mechanic can be stressful since you want to make sure that you choose someone who will give you good work at an honest price. A trusted auto mechanic is an asset, but how can you tell if you can really trust your mechanic? Here are 10 things to look for when evaluating whether a mechanic is worthy of your trust (and your repeat business.)
1: Certification. A trusted auto mechanic should at the very least have Auto Service Excellence (ASE) accreditation, and may have manufacturer-specific accreditation as well. Look for accreditation certificates and logos when visiting the mechanic.
2: Recommendations. One sign of an auto mechanic that you can trust is the recommendation of friends and family. Other sources you can check for recommendations are your local Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau.
3: Written Estimates. Good mechanics are generally willing to offer you an estimate in writing at no charge. If the mechanic you choose is unwilling to do so or wants to charge you for the estimate, they are much more likely to try and pad your bill when they actually work on your car.
4: Doing Necessary Work. A trusted auto mechanic should only do work to your car that is necessary, and even then will consult you before doing anything more than the work you asked for. Beware of mechanics who do additional work without asking you beforehand.
5: Explanations. A good mechanic will explain what the problem is and try to make sure that you understand. Ask questions if you need to; your mechanic should answer them to ensure your understanding before proceeding with the work your car needs.
6: Price. You don’t want to pay too much for the work that is done on your car, but at the same time you want to ensure that the work is done right. Trusted mechanics may not always have the lowest prices for their services, but they also shouldn’t have the highest.
7: Source of Specialty Repairs. Some repairs such as transmission work are often subcontracted to specialty shops. Many trusted auto mechanics will tell customers if their car will be sent to another shop during the course of repairs, but if it isn’t mentioned you should ask. This way you will know whether the same mechanics will be working on your car through the whole process, or if part of the work will be completed by someone else.
8: Choices. A good auto mechanic will offer you choices when your car is being worked on. These choices often include alternate parts so that you can choose the option that best fits your budget. After repairs are done, they should also offer you the option to keep the old parts… this will let you inspect them and see if the replacement was truly necessary.
9: Referrals. The best auto mechanics will offer referrals to other shops if they can’t meet your needs. This shows that they care about their customers, since they’re willing to lose the sale if it means that the customer is better taken care of.
10: Warranties. Not every auto mechanic offers warranties on their work, but a number of mechanics do offer some sort of guarantee. These “shop warranties” ensure that the work they do on your car is done right; if it isn’t, they will generally fix it at no additional cost to you.