When something goes wrong with your vehicle, it’s essential to get it fixed quickly and correctly. Unless you’re handy and knowledgeable about cars, you’ll likely turn to a mechanic to get you back on the road.
However, finding a mechanic you trust can be challenging. There are many auto-related scams out there, and car repairs are a popular place to be deceitful. After all, the mechanic is supposed to be the expert, so you’ll likely believe what they tell you.
This trust can lead to bad mechanics claiming your car has more problems than it actually does or not repairing your vehicle up to standard, leading to more significant issues down the road. These potential scams are why you must find a good mechanic you can trust.
Pay Attention to Reviews and Reputation
The first thing to look for when finding a trustworthy mechanic is their reviews. There are many places you can look to find a shop’s reputation.
Speak to Family and Friends
The first reviews you should consider are those of people you know and trust. Family and friends may have great recommendations for you on reliable mechanics.
Since you already have a good relationship with these people, it’s unlikely they would steer you in the wrong direction for your vehicle. Ask around and see which shops are recommended to you.
Check Online Reviews
Another way to ensure the mechanic you choose is trustworthy is to look at their online reviews. In the age of technology, reviews are available on various platforms.
Reading reviews and checking the business’s overall rating can help you determine whether they are a trustworthy company or not. When doing this, it’s essential to remember that most businesses will typically have at least one negative review. Be sure to read any negative reviews to see if they have merit rather than just taking them at their word.
Chances are if there are 100 positive reviews and one negative review, it’s safe to assume that the shop does quality work.
Search the Shop on the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau — or BBB, as it is commonly known — is a great place to get information on a business. If someone has a serious complaint with a company, they will submit it to the BBB.
Each company also gets a rating from the BBB, allowing you to see how good their reputation is. If there are many complaints against a business, it will receive a low rating. Checking complaints and ratings can ensure you take your vehicle to a trustworthy mechanic.
Ask the Right Questions Before Handing Over Your Vehicle
Asking your mechanic the right questions can help you ensure they are worth using. It’s also important that who you choose is not only answering your questions correctly but answering them at all.
If your potential mechanic seems irritated by your questions, there’s a good chance you should avoid them. However, pay attention to their answers if they’re willing to answer your questions.
What are your warranty options?
An essential part of getting your car repaired by a professional is the warranty you should receive for the work. If a shop knows they provide quality repairs, they should offer a warranty for their services.
While warranties may differ from shop to shop, you’ll want to ensure it includes free or low-cost corrections if something goes wrong with their repairs. Typically, most shops will offer a warranty for the first year after your repair or the first 12,000 miles you drive.
What certifications do you have?
A trustworthy mechanic will have certifications under their belt to prove they can repair your vehicle correctly and efficiently. There are many different certifications mechanics can receive, so be sure to find someone who is certified in what your car needs.
Some certifications deal with parts specifically, while others focus on collision repair. If your mechanic is a master technician, they have passed the eight core certification areas.
What is my repair plan?
It may seem confusing to hear an answer to this question, as you’re not the expert in the situation. However, it’s essential to ask your potential mechanic what repair plan they are offering and explain why the repair needs to be done. Check your car insurance policy as well if your car insurance will pay for a rental car during repair.
A common scam among bad mechanics is selling more services than the customer actually needs to make extra money. You can avoid this by asking exactly what the plan is to repair your vehicle and doing a little research before entering the shop.
Be sure to look into common repairs needed based on your situation. If the mechanic suggests something completely out of the left field, there’s a good chance they may be trying to scam you into spending more at their shop.
Do you offer free written estimates?
Before leaving your vehicle in anyone’s hands, you’ll want an estimate for the potential work they’ll be doing. Many companies will offer free estimates to diagnose the problem. However, there could be a charge if removing parts is required to locate the issue.
Once you’ve been provided with an estimate, make sure it seems fair and ask for it in writing. Doing this ensures that when you go to pick up your vehicle, there aren’t any unexpected charges hiking up your repair costs.
If your mechanic is trustworthy, they will offer you a written estimate. The paperwork doesn’t guarantee that nothing else will go wrong with your vehicle during repairs, but it ensures the mechanic cannot charge you for extra work without your knowledge.
Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic for Your Car
It can be challenging to know whether the mechanic you choose is trustworthy or not. Since there are so many auto scams, it’s essential to do your research before deciding on a repair shop to be able to protect your vehicle.
Paying attention to reviews online, talking to friends and family, and checking the business’s BBB rating can be extremely helpful. Also, be sure to ask the right questions, which can help lead you in the direction of a quality mechanic who will take good care of your vehicle.
Once you’ve found a good mechanic, be sure to tell others about them. You may help someone else in the same situation find a great shop they can trust.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. She is a car expert who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.