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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

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Reviewed by Joshua Adamson
Joshua Adamson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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5 Tips To Help You Pick a Reliable Mechanic

Girl Mechanic under car

Your car is running fine now, but what happens when it doesn’t? Whether you have a brand new car or you bought an older model, having a repair shop you trust is critical. They can typically do your oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance. This gives you an idea of who charges a fair price and how trustworthy they are. So when you need major auto repair like replacing a transmission or engine, you know you’re not getting ripped off.

How do you find auto mechanics you can trust? Some people go in unsure of where to look, putting it off until they really need the service. The good news is finding a mechanic can be easier than you might think.

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. They know the ins and outs of auto repair. So you can go in confident the job will get done the right way.

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.

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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.

On this note, you can also ask your trusted contacts for referrals. This could include friends and family or online reviews from sites like Yelp.

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.

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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!


3 Responses to “5 Tips To Help You Pick a Reliable Mechanic”

  • 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!

    Jeff Curtis -
  • 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.

    Jeffrey Goodman -
  • 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!
    http://newtontire.net/services

    Georgia Boothe -

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