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How to Find Your Dream Mechanic

When it comes to finding your perfect match, the person who fixes your car or truck doesn’t always seem like a top priority. However, just as it’s a good idea to find a doctor before you are sick, you should seek out an automotive repair shop before your vehicle breaks down and leaves you stranded.

 

Contrary to what a dealership may lead you to believe, you are not required to have maintenance and repairs performed at the dealership. Independent shops can also perform work without voiding any warranty.

 


A woman driving a car

Photo by Matthew Henry via Unsplash

 

Start At the Beginning

 

The first step is as easy as asking your friends and family who they use for auto repair. A personal recommendation gives you a great place to start.

 

Good questions to ask your contact:

-           “Do they listen to you?” Nothing is more frustrating than trying to explain your concerns to someone who is not interested in listening. A great technician understands that you hold the key to important information that will simplify their job.

-           “Are they trustworthy and honest?” It seems like a no-brainer, but it is vital to trust the person who keeps your car on the road. Your family’s safety depends on it.

-           “Do they appreciate their customers?” Are you just a walking stack of dollar bills, or do they build a relationship?

-           “Do they work on the type of vehicle I have?” If you have a common make of vehicle, this one may not be a big deal. But suppose you have a Tesla, Jaguar, or DB-9 (I wish!). In that case, you need a technician with plenty of experience working on that vehicle.

 

 

Give it a Google

 

Praise be, we no longer must pore over the Yellow Pages to find what we need. All the info you need is a quick Google search away.

 

-           Search for automotive repair shops near you. Look over their websites. Does the site look professional? How much attention to detail is evident? Is there a page explaining who will work on your car? Do the technicians hold any certifications?

-           Check out Google reviews. What are people saying about the shop and services provided? How a business interacts with reviews is a treasure trove of information on its conduct. Don’t immediately discount a shop if it gets a poor review; look at how it responds.

-           Take a peek at any Better Business Bureau complaints and reviews. An A+ rating is a good indication of quality.

-           Scan their social media. Are they active? Does the shop culture seem like one you would enjoy working with?

 

Try the Shop Out

 

Call to make an appointment rather than doing it online, at least the first time. How does the person answering the phone sound? Friendly? Rushed? Bored? Do they take time to answer your questions?

 

You could start with something small, like an oil change, state inspection, or winter check over. These services usually include a free inspection of several vehicle components to ensure everything is in working order.

 

Now you have the opportunity to watch how the shop handles recommendations. Is there a long list of problems with your brand-new vehicle? Red light. Does the service writer recommend that each item be addressed as quickly as humanly possible? Red light.

 

A reliable shop reviews each recommended item with you and helps you prioritize them in order of most importance so you know what needs repair now and what can wait.

 

While you are there, feel free to ask questions. Any shop that values your business will be happy to answer them.

 


A hand holding a wrench

Photo by Recha Oktaviani via Unsplash

 

Other Considerations

 

Does the shop offer perks that you are interested in?

•          Loaner cars

•          Shop warranties

•          Promotions

•          Programs

 

Does the shop have any endorsements by the community? Ethics awards? Is there a clean waiting room and bathroom in case you need them?

 

The peace of mind that comes with having an automotive repair shop you trust is well worth the time investment to find one that fits your needs. The recommendations we’ve gone over will help you find a shop that keeps you on the road.

 

Do you have any other tips for finding a dream automotive mechanic? Let us know in the comments!

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