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 47

  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
      Author

      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!

  7. I like that you suggested checking the certifications such as the ASE since it will assure you that they are well-trained for repairs and maintenance procedures. With that in mind, I will be asking them for this before I entrust my car to them. I bought a secondhand car this year, and I plan to keep it maintained as often as possible because I really like this model of car. One thing that I need to get checked is the muffler since it looks the oldest.

  8. This is the right site for everyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  9. If you are looking for a proper mechanic to help you take care of your car then there really are several factors to look for and I like that your article covers a lot of them. One of the most important ones would definitely have to be looking over the tools that they use. After all, considering how complicated cars can be you will want to make sure that the mechanic is using the most up-to-date technology available to you.

  10. For me, I would always look for certifications and get recommendations on who to pick for repairs. As you said, certifications are a clear sign that the mechanic has taken and passed special tests that prove their automotive or diesel excellence. For recommendations, I would ask around with friends and family to see who they would suggest I go to as that is usually better than going off reviews online.

  11. You’ve got some great tips for choosing a mechanic. I like how you said that asking friends, family, and neighbors is a good way to get reliable recommendations. We’re looking for a good mechanic to work on my truck, so I’ll start asking around.

  12. You’ve got good tips for finding a car repair shop. I’m pretty sure my car’s timing belt is going out, so I want someone to replace that. I’ll be sure to ask around for some recommendations, like you said.

  13. Of the things you listed here, I think that getting recommendations is one of the better things you can do. Now with that, you are right that you should ask about the work performed and how long it took. That way, you could get a good idea of how they go about doing business.

  14. I thought it was great how you said to check a mechanic’s certifications. My brother works as a semi-truck driver. It would be good for him to have a reliable mechanic that can fix his truck if needed.

  15. Thanks for the tip to ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations when it comes to trying to find a mechanic. I have an RV that I would like to use on a family vacation this summer, but it’s been out of commission for a few years. I’ll be sure to ask my neighbors if they know about any good auto services in the area that can help me fix my RV.

  16. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic after you compare the costs of several. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us replace the brakes in our car, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could afford. If we decide to find a mechanic, I will be sure to look for several cost estimates beforehand.

  17. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a price that will work for you. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to inspect a car before we choose to buy it, and it would be important for us to know that we could trust in who we choose to hire. If we decide to find a mechanic, I will be sure to look for one who’s price range will work for us, so we could still have enough to pay for the car.

  18. Finding a good mechanic is a tough job. I have been experienced some awkward situation on the road because of the mechanic’s work. I keep changing the mechanics but I didn’t find a good one. I hope the tips mentioned in this post would work this time. Get a recommendation from neighbour, friends and relatives is a good idea.

  19. Thanks for these tips on how to find a good auto repair service. It would make sense to check if they are ASE certified, as you say. My husband and I are looking for an auto repair service, so we’ll have to check with the ASE first.

  20. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who is certified. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us fix our car. If we choose to find a mechanic, I will be sure to check their certifications beforehand.

  21. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a cost rate that will work for you. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us with our car because the alignment is off, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could fit in with our budget. If we do, I will be sure to look for one who has a cost rate that will work for us, so we could be confident that we could afford their services.

  22. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who is recommended to you by your family or friends. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us with our truck, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could trust in. If we choose to find a mechanic, I will be sure to get recommendations to help us choose who to hire.

  23. I wanted to thank you for this advice for finding a good mechanic. I’m glad you mentioned that you should make sure the shop has the right equipment to work on your vehicle. Maybe it could be good to first know what equipment you can typically find in an auto shop so you have an idea of what to work on.

  24. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a cost rate that will work for you. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us if we decide to get my air conditioning fixed in my car, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could trust in. If we choose to find a mechanic, I will be sure to look for one who has a cost rate that will work for our budget.

  25. I’m glad you mentioned that you don’t always have to take your car to a dealership. There are a lot of businesses that do just as well for less! It’s nice to know that there are alternative choices to choose from.

  26. I am glad you mentioned references of neighbors to get a good reliable mechanic. My wife and I just moved so we don’t have many friends here or family. Looks like we might be going over to our neighbors to see what kind of mechanics we can go to in town.

  27. Thanks for the suggestion to look for mechanics who are ASE-Certified or have received other licenses to ensure they can complete many maintenance procedures. My husband and I need to get a tire alignment and maybe even a replacement since the vehicle pulls quite a bit to the right when we’re driving. We’ll have to start looking for great, certified auto shops in our area!

  28. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who is properly certified. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us if we decide to fix up our car before we sell it, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one that will be good for us. If we decide to find a mechanic, I will be sure to look for one who is properly certified.

  29. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a good reputation. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us if we decide to fix my car, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could trust in. If we choose to find a mechanic, I will be sure to look for one who has a good reputation.

  30. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a pricing rate that will work for your budget. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to fix our brakes, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could afford. If we choose to find a mechanic, I will be sure to check their prices beforehand.

  31. I like how the article explains that you should make sure to look for the right certifications when looking for a car mechanic. We are needing some repairs on our car and we want a certified person to be able to do the repairs. We will make sure to look for a mechanic with the right certifications.

  32. I like what you said about checking what the mechanic’s hourly rate is. I would imagine that can vary a lot based on the area and the mechanic’s expertise. If I needed a car repair, I would want to pick a professional with good quality work.

  33. I believe that independent mechanics from automotive repair shops are ones that I can rely on. Thanks for telling me that I should get recommendations for the shop that I should go to for an oil change. I’ll make sure to look for certifications as well.

  34. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who has a cost rate that will work for you. My wife and I have been talking about trying to get new tires for a price that will fit in with our budget, and it would be important for us to know before we hire anyone that we could afford their services. I will be sure to check their costs beforehand, so we could be confident in our choice to hire them.

  35. I like the tip that you gave to choose a mechanic who is properly certified. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us with our car to replace the brakes, and it would be important for us to know that we could find one who we could trust. If we decide to find a mechanic, I will be sure to check their certifications before we hire them.

  36. I like the tip that you gave to check the costs of a mechanic before you decide to hire them. My wife and I might need to get new brakes. If we do, I will be sure to look for a mechanic who has a cost rate that will work for us.

  37. I like the tip that you gave to get recommendations for who you should hire as your mechanic. My wife and I have been talking about finding a mechanic to help us figure out if it would be worth restoring our car before we decide to wreck it. I will be sure to get recommendations to help us choose who to hire.

  38. I like that you suggest asking your family and friends for recommendations. My daughter recently ran into a pole and we want to get the dents in the hood fixed. I will keep this information in mind and ask my brothers if they know of any car body damage repair shops in the area.

  39. Of the things you listed here, I think going with a recommendation would be the best idea. That way, I could see how they did their prior work and see how people liked the way they go about doing business. I’d also be sure to check their certifications as I would only want repairs done by someone who is certified.

  40. Thank you for these tips, my car has was broken last week and I’ve been meaning to go to an auto repair shop, but I haven’t gone to any yet because I am not sure on to find a reliable one. As you have mentioned, it’s important to look for their certification and if they possess the right equipment for my vehicle such as having Computerized diagnostic tools. I’ll keep these in mind, I hope I’ll be able to find an auto repair shop that can provide me a excellent service.

  41. My girlfriend bought a used car, and we need to find a mechanic to give the vehicle the service it needs. It helped when you said to check the costs the mechanic is giving you before accepting their service. This will be kept in mind so we cand find an auto service that suits our needs.

  42. It was really helpful that you mentioned that you should look for an auto mechanic who has the proper certifications. My wife’s car’s engine burnt out because she didn’t get the oil replaced, and it would be important for us to know that we could find a mechanic to repair it who we could be confident will do a good job. When we look for one, I will be sure to check which certifications they have beforehand.

  43. It was helpful when you said we should look for certifications when choosing a mechanic. My car’s brakes need to be repaired soon. Your tips should help me find a reliable auto service to use!

  44. One of my sisters moved to a different neighborhood, and she needs to find a good mechanic. It was nice you advised looking at the shop and see if they have the right equipment for her car to be served. Thanks for these useful tips on finding the right auto shop.

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