5 Tips To Help You Pick a Reliable Mechanic

Girl Mechanic under car

No matter if you’re going in for a routine oil change or body work after an accident, choosing the right mechanic is important. In order to make sure you end up working with a trustworthy professional, follow some of our tips below. They’ll help you rule out any sketchy shops and set you on the right track to professional car maintenance and repair. 

Tip #1: Confirm That They’re ASE Certified

Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, is a program that has been around since the 70s. Established to maintain a high level of skill and protect customers from unqualified mechanics, those who achieve ASE certification are trustworthy professionals.

Before one can apply for ASE certification, they must have either two years of working experience or one year of working experience and a two-year degree in automotive repair. After that is verified, ASE applicants must ASE pass a test written by a board of seasoned automotive professionals.

Tip #2: Find a Shop That Specializes in Your Car

ASE isn’t the only certification a mechanic can achieve. Manufacturer’s certifications also add to their knowledge and skill set. To obtain a manufacturer’s certification, a mechanic must complete a test and demonstrate excellent skills for fixing cars made by a specific auto manufacturer. Much like option to see an orthopedist for a broken bone instead of a general physician, going to a specialized mechanic who knows the ins and outs of your make and model can ensure that your make of car is in the right hands.

Tip #3: Ask if They Have Trusted Affiliations

Much like how reputable businesses are a part of the Better Business Bureau, reliable auto shops can be found within the AAA network. Since AAA works to assist customers with all kinds of roadside assistance and car advice, it is a trustworthy organization to turn to when you’re looking for a mechanic. By choosing an AAA affiliated auto shop off of their list, you can guarantee that they will be ASE certified and possibly hold additional manufacturer certifications. Since AAA only works with dependable auto businesses, if they’re not on the list, they’re probably not worth the risk.

Tip #4: Determine if They Have Warranties

Try before you buy isn’t always an option for everything in life. However, warranties can help. When you need to take your car in for an auto service, a smart way to protect yourself from wasting time and money is to ask your shop if they have a warranty program for parts or services. A lot of times, shops will have days to weeks to months for you to bring your car back at no charge if something was installed incorrectly or a part was no good. Just make sure you ask before you turn over your keys so you’re protected for a longer period of time.

Tip #5: Compare Prices

If you’ve found a handful of mechanics you’d like to do business with, make sure you shop around for quotes. Prices vary drastically sometimes from one shop to another and you can save a ton by doing this. Call shops and ask about coupons, look at Google reviews to get firsthand accounts from customers, and then decide. You can even try the handy app we discussed in a previous post that provides you with a quote and brings a mechanic to you all from your smartphone.

If you haven’t found one you like, here are some easy DIY hacks you can utilize to become your own car repair man!

  • Jeff Curtis

    These are some great tips, especially since I recently moved to a new area which means I have to find a new repair shop. I haven’t ever looked into making sure the mechanic specializes in my specific car. I could see why that would be worthwhile in finding. I will also have to go out and get quotes like you said in order to compare some local companies, thanks!

  • Jeffrey Goodman

    I am looking for roadside assistance. That is good to know that I should look for a shop that specializes in my car. I will use these tips to find the best roadside assistance for me.

  • Georgia Boothe

    Thanks for the tip on finding a shop that specializes in your car! I just moved for college and realized that my car needs a little work done. I would feel a lot more comfortable hiring a repair shop to work on my car if I knew that the manufacturer had certified them on my type of car specifically!

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