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How to Find a Good Mechanic or Good Repair Shop

A good mechanic is one who is specialized with the make a model of your vehicle. His knowledge will bring peace of mind to you time and time again. Good mechanics and good shops are not expensive, they are priceless. Word-of-mouth advertising is best but if you have to go it alone and find a repair facility yourself, read on.


Dealerships are your best resource for repairing your car quickly and accurately. They may have many mechanics working for them. Their mechanics will have factory training that the dealership will pay for. The mechanics will have proprietary diagnostic equipment and access to information directly from the manufacturer. Their labor and warranty on parts are backed by the factory.

Here is the warning. Some mechanics are more qualified than others—even at a dealership. A good dealership will let you talk to the mechanic who will or who has serviced your car.

In fact, a great dealership will host a new car clinic for customers who recently bought a car from them. Here you can meet the service and parts team who will be taking care of your new car and get a tour of the facility.

This is the time to ask questions. But if you are like me, you will think of a few after you leave the event. Anyone at the dealer should be happy answer any question at any time.

Before, during and after a repair you may need to communicate with the repair technician. If after talking with him or her you feel good, you may request them the next time. Of course you want to make sure that your concern has been addressed accordingly. If you feel that your vehicle is not repaired or do not feel comfortable after talking with the mechanic, ask to speak to the service adviser or manager and explain your situation. They should be willing to help to keep you as a customer.

Independent Shops

Independent repair shops can be a great place to get your vehicle repaired. These places can be as specialized as the dealerships and they may have a lower labor rate.

The same criteria for selecting a dealership should be used when selecting an independent shop in addition to a few other things. First, notice how clean it is. This speaks volumes about the integrity of the shop. If you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the business, move on to the next qualifier. Find out what type of parts they use and what kind of warranty the offer on the parts AND labor. This is important because if they use inferior parts and have a less than satisfactory labor warranty, it will cause you to lose time and money.

Putting it all together

I have to mention this first because it does happen: If your mechanic tells you that your vehicle cannot be fixed and then offers to buy it from you, DO NOT SELL IT TO THEM! They may tell you they are going to part it out since it is no good to you or they will actually fix it and sell it. Either way it is dishonest unless YOU know for a fact it cannot be fixed. In extreme cases even “totaled” vehicles can be repaired. Get your vehicle out of there by any means and take it somewhere else. I have seen and heard many similar stories like this.

The things you are looking for in a honest place are a clean facility, service advisers and mechanics that listen to their customers, and guarantees on parts and labor. If you can get this at the shop in question, congratulations. Be nice when you find a shop you like. They are humans. They do not have the ability to see into the future and tell you what is going to break next on your vehicle. Get to know and trust the mechanic. Always take your vehicle to this person as they will know it and the history of the vehicle the best. If they leave the shop they are at you can follow them to a new shop and still receive the same great service.

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