One of the inevitable parts of owning a car is having to get it fixed. Repairs are a necessary evil that are complicated by the art of finding a good mechanic. Not all mechanics are equal and you should only go to one that you trust completely. Follow these basic steps to find the mechanic that is right for you.
Use Your Warranty
One of the best ways to find a mechanic is to make sure your warranty is still valid. If you have a valid warranty, your dealer must fix your car at no extra cost. Dealer mechanics are often a good choice as they know many types of cars inside and out and are usually expertly specialized for the models and brands offered by the dealer. However, they aren’t always the best choice if the type of car you bought is no longer sold.
Ask Friends and Family
Once you’ve ruled out a dealer and are considering an independent dealer, make a list of all the mechanics in your area. Talk to friends and family that have a similar make or model as you and ask them what they think about each repair shop. Of course, you may not be able to find people for every shop, but knowing a little bit about a shop’s reputation can help save you a lot of time and effort searching out the best one for you. Make sure each shop is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Excellence. If they’re not, avoid them.
Use the Internet
Look up your shop on sites such as Angie’s List or RepairPal to find out if there are any reviews of the shop. In a larger city this is likely but in a smaller city it may not be. You can also check Yahoo or Google business ratings in this way, and also check the Better Business Bureau for shops that have received the least amount of complaints.
Make Sure there are Warranties
Not every shop will offer you a repair warranty. A repair warranty helps make sure that your repair job can be fixed for free if there are any mistakes or failures caused by the repair later. Steer clear of places that offer no warranties or ask you to buy them.
Think of Convenience
Lastly, try to find a shop that is convenient to your location and your schedule as well as one that has transportation options if necessary. There’s no need to drive hours to a shop if one is nearby, and you shouldn’t be stranded at the shop while your car is being repaired.
January 3, 2013 by Jamie Rettig