The wrong auto mechanic can really ruin a week. Finding the right shop and the right person to fix your Four-Wheeled Baby takes a bit of foreknowledge and a bit of work. Here’s your guide:
An oil change makes a nice, inexpensive way to give a prospective repair shop a ‘test drive’. Your transmission should not be left in the hands of strangers.
Check the BBB
The BBB remains the easiest way to determine whether a business is reputable in the eyes of those who know best: its past customers.
This is the most obvious thing to do. Even if you don’t trust the consumer information, you’ll at least know what shops are out there, what their hours are and how to call them.
Find A Teaching Mechanic
Ideally, every time you go to a repair shop with a new problem, you should leave knowing a little more about cars. That’s about having a mechanic who is excited by his work.
Check For ASE Certification
There’s no better way to verify that a shop really does know something about cars – that it isn’t a bar and grill with a little amateur auto repair shop out back.
Ask About Warranties
Don’t be afraid to ask. No repairman thinks his fix will hold forever. It only makes sense to ask, ‘How long?’ – then get that in writing.
Find A Specialist
One of the most annoying things a mechanic can tell you is ‘We’re gonna have to order that part’. The best way to hear that is by bringing your German import to a shop that works on GM models 99% of the time.
You’ll find that people who have a great mechanic love to talk about how great their mechanic is. Pigeon-hole family and friends. A cop can be a great source, too.
Remember that once your car has broken down, it’s quite possible you won’t have a car anymore. A 30 minute drive might not be such a burden till it turns into a 2 hour journey involving three buses.
Pay For Extra Effort
Tipping a mechanic isn’t typical. But if you have one who goes the extra mile, maybe you should, too. This might be the guy who you have to call one Sunday at 5 AM with an emergency. This might be the guy you’ll need to trust you one day on a partial payment.