How to Find a Reliable Mechanic

Whether you need routine maintenance or a more in-depth repair for your vehicle, having a reliable and trustworthy mechanic that can provide quality and timely service can save you money and your valuable time.  Finding an honest shop can be a daunting task that many car owners struggle with purely based off of the variety of choices out there.

Before you settle on a shop that suits best you and your vehicle, check the following to make sure you’re making the best choice:

1. Dealership, National Brand, or independent?

If your vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer warranty or is on the newer side, you may think that you can only take your vehicle to a dealership. This is true (to a point). If a repair is needed and is covered under warranty, it likely needs to be taken care of at a dealership.  However, if you’re seeking out-of-warranty service or routine maintenance, it will be much easier on your pocketbook to select a national brand or an independent shop.  As long as the service is performed and is properly documented by a licensed mechanic/ shop, you will not be at risk of voiding your factory warranty.

While many may think that the most reliable service is performed at a dealership, the fact is that reliable and trustworthy service can take place at the local independent or national brand shop around the corner.  These shops are competitively priced and still hold the certifications and training needed to provide excellent service.

2. Get recommendations

Ask your family, friends, and neighbors.  Ask questions about the work performed, how much they paid, and how long it took.  Find out how the shop communicated & explained the repairs and if the estimate matched the final cost.

3. Look for certifications

The most commonly recognized automotive certifications come from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE for short).  Mechanics that are ASE-Certified, have passed tests covering a wide spectrum of repair and maintenance procedures.  Technicians can opt to earn advanced certifications in repairs such as diesel, or alternative fuel cars.

4. Check out the equipment

The cars of today are quite complex.  You should check if the shop has the right equipment to service your vehicle.  Computerized diagnostic tools are necessary to accurately assess many vehicle issues.  Online computer systems help mechanics efficiently identify problems without taking half of the engine apart to make a diagnosis.

5. Check their hourly rate

Shops commonly charge an hourly rate for services.  If there are two shops that are equally qualified and have good references, but one charges $25 more per hour, choose the more affordable option (within reason).  Some situations can be too good to be true.  A shop that offers an extremely low rate, may likely provide lesser service or may take longer to complete a job so buyer beware.  If you have found a shop that meets all of the criteria with a reasonable hourly rate, you have more than likely found the right one for you.

Finding an affordable and trusted shop can be difficult.  CarAdvise makes the process of identifying and scheduling service with a reliable shop easy.  Select one of our CarAdvise Certified Shops and rest easy knowing that you have made a good choice with a reliable car-care professional.  If there are ever questions during a transaction, CarAdvise has ASE Certified Advisors standing by to validate what is being recommended by the shop so that you know you’re making the right decision. Avoid unnecessary work and never over pay.  CarAdvise, decide with confidence.

Comments 7

  1. I like that you mentioned to look at the equipment of a mechanic shop. It makes sense that the best shops would be suing the most cutting edge technology and tools. I need to find a shop that can work on my high performance vehicle, and it is important that I choose the best. I will definitely keep this in mind as I search, thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. I like that you mention that most shops charge an hourly rate, so it’s good to keep that in mind when looking for an auto shop. It’s good to do your research to ensure that you find a reliable mechanic that can do a great job on your vehicle. Finding a good mechanic is a good sign that you’ll trust them enough to take your vehicle to them anytime you have an issue.

  3. It’s great to know how to find a mechanic I can trust. We just moved towns, so finding a shop to take our cars to is a priority right now. I’ll be sure to look for ASE certified mechanics, like you said. I’ve never done that before, so it’s good to know.

  4. I like that you mentioned to look into the equipment used by a mechanic. That way, you can know that they are using equipment that is both up to date, and of high quality. I need to find a mechanic to help me work on my transmission, and I want the best. I will keep this in mind as I search, thanks.

  5. As a car owner our duty is to find out a good and reliable mechanic who can perform the repair work efficiently at reasonable prices. For this we have to refer to our family, friends and neighbors for the names of good mechanics. Before selecting a mechanic we must check whether he is ASE certified or not as certified mechanics have the skill to diagnose the problem correctly and repair it accordingly.

  6. Thank you for providing the advice that when looking for an auto shop you should make sure that they are certified by a national automotive organization because this means that they have a properly trained and licensed staff. I recently noticed that is difficult for my car to switch gears smoothly, so I think there is something wrong with the transmission. I will definitely look for an auto shop that uses the newest equipment because this shows that they will have the best tools to diagnose the car problem.

    1. Post

      We appreciate your response Rosie and are happy you found our article helpful! Best of luck in your search and remember ALL CarAdvise shops are ASE Certified!

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