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How To: Find a Trustworthy Mechanic When You Know Nothing about Cars

Mechanic posing in shop

August 24, 2018 Topic: Tech Talks

The auto repair industry is universally despised, and unsavory trips to the repair shop often result in distrust. Having your vehicle serviced isn’t like calling someone mow your lawn. Knowing what’s causing that annoying noise or why your car won’t start is a different animal altogether. This helpless feeling can be avoided, all without feeling like you’re ‘getting taken to the cleaners’.


When faced with these conundrums, the first thing you should do is a little research. Enter your vehicle’s year, make and model into Google, followed by your car’s symptoms. This will yield search results detailing common symptoms experienced by others with the same make of car. These results could potentially help you diagnose the problem yourself. If you’re still in the dark, head to some trusted review sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, or the BBB. Review sites have become so predominant on the web and offer much-needed perspective. With the added bonus of keeping auto repair shops in check.

Call for a Quote

Once you find a trustworthy shop nearby, call ahead and speak to a service advisor. Explain your vehicle’s issues and they can give you a list of quotes or an hourly rate. Try to find a shop experienced with your vehicle’s make so they can give you extensive insight and an idea of what you’ll be spending. You can also double-check the price for the repair on a website/app called Repair Pal. This gives you the lowest and highest prices for repairs in your region so you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal. Don’t trust a shop that gives you a high hourly rate for diagnoses without a time frame for repairs. This gives the shop ultimate power; they may even put a mechanic’s lien on the car if you refuse to pay.

Ask Questions

Once you’ve received your diagnosis, ask to see the broken parts or for a thorough explanation of why this part would cause the issue you’re experiencing. Once again, check this diagnosis on the web by typing your car’s year, make and model followed by the failed part. This will give you a list of problems other people have experienced in the past. The final step to take before handing over your vehicle is to ensure the shop stands behind their work. Typically, reputable shops that only install quality parts will provide a nationwide warranty. Once you’ve completed your research and feel comfortable with the information you have gathered, you can approve the repair work.

Follow – Up and Rate

Once your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction, make sure to follow up with the mechanic and provide them with any feedback that concerns or delights you about your car’s recent fix. This way, you can offer them valuable insight into the problem, which will help them better service other customers down the line. After this step, make sure to rate your repair shop on one of the trusted review sites so you can help other car owners experiencing the same problems, who are searching for the same answers that you once were. This ensures that more people are educated on the issues and helps other vehicle-repair customers find the best, least expensive repair choice for them.