People spend $1000 per year maintaining their vehicles. Add to that the amount of money someone may have to pay when they get hit with a repair bill and it’s clear that owning a car can be expensive.
Seeing as how addressing auto repair needs is largely unavoidable, your needs should be trusted to as honest and as experienced a mechanic as you can find in your area. But how can you find a mechanic that’s going to take care of you?
While there’s no fool-proof way to know if your mechanic is looking out for your best interests, below, our team shares a handful of strategies you can lean on to give yourself the best odds of enjoying your car repair experience.
1. Know a Thing or Two About Cars
Hopefully, you don’t run away at the suggestion that you should learn about cars to have a positive repair experience. After all, cars are complicated and most people go to mechanics for car help because they don’t want to know about what’s going on “underneath the hood”.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a car expert to know things like your oil should be changed every 3 to 6 months or that spark plugs can go bad after a year.
Armed with basic auto knowledge, you can avoid falling prey to mechanics exaggerating a diagnosis to get more money out of you.
2. Understand Typical Repair Rates
How much does it cost to buy a new set of tires? How much do oil changes cost? What will a new transmission set you back for your vehicle make/model?
All of these questions can be answered via quick online searches and while mechanics at places like LeMans Milton will give you a quote that’s slightly different than quotes shared on digital forums, by having a number in mind, you can discern which quotes are in line with averages and which are way off.
Be wary of overly priced or vastly under-priced quotes.
3. Go With a Chain
A way you can sometimes take the guesswork out of the find an honest mechanic process is by going to a chain. While chains certainly employ their fair share of bad mechanics and many chains are just franchises that operate like small businesses, chain establishments tend to operate more systematically than “mom and pop” shops.
That systematic approach to car repair usually means flat pricing, consistent perspectives, and few surprises.
Again, going into a franchised Jiffy Lube doesn’t guarantee that your mechanic experience will go well. Always exercise fair skepticism when engaging any auto professional.
4. Check out Reviews
You can find a quality auto mechanic the same way you find businesses in any other niche. We’re talking about checking out online reviews, of course!
Head over to Google or Yelp and see which mechanics are operating in your area. If you can find a mechanic with a 4-star average or better and 10+ reviews, you’ve found a mechanic that’s worth assessing further.
5. Talk to Friends and Family
Are you not seeing too many promising leads on review boards? If so, talk to friends and family members.
We’re certain that you have at least one person you trust in your life that has needed to get car repairs done in the past. Ask to see if they had a positive experience with their mechanic.
If they did, take their referral and give their choice a try.
6. Get Quotes From Multiple Vendors
There’s nothing that says that once you talk to a mechanic, you’re obligated to do business with them. As a matter of fact, unless your car is in dire need of attention, we recommend getting quotes from at least two mechanics. That way, you can price compare and make sure their diagnosis’ align.
If you’re finding that a diagnosis between two mechanics varies, speak to a third mechanic. The last thing you want to do is pay a mechanic to fix an issue that’s not at the root of your actual problem.
7. Start With a Small Job
Rather than waiting to seek out a mechanic when you have a $5000 transmission to replace, try kicking the tires on mechanics when you have a smaller job. By trying out a mechanic for less serious problems, you can gauge their integrity while risking a nominal amount of money.
It’s not always easy to strategize a step ahead in this way but if you have the luxury of doing so, do it!
8. Go With Your Car Dealer’s Mechanic
For those of you that purchased your car relatively recently, your car dealer’s mechanic will likely be glad to manage your vehicle’s service needs. They’re also liable to take good care of you since they want to preserve your patronage when you look to exchange your car in a few years.
By going to your car’s dealer, you may even find that your vehicle’s repair needs are under warranty and can get addressed at no cost to you.
When You Find a Mechanic That’s Great at What They Do; Life Gets Easier
One of the biggest pains in life is dealing with car troubles. That’s why when you find a mechanic you can trust, life gets a little bit easier.
If you’re ready to make your life easier by pairing up with a quality mechanic, use our tips to find and filter through your options. We wish you the best of luck as you work through that process and welcome you to explore more car content on our blog.