Where do i find a good mechanic? is probably a question you will be asking if you are in need of auto repairs or service in your area or just moved into a new area. So where and how? Okay here we go...
Obviously first thing you would probably do is to do a search online but before you do i suggest that you first ask trustworthy people in your circle. They can be your family, friends, Co-workers, and Colleagues. Its better to get an opinion or testament from someone you know, trust and respect rather base it on online reviews alone.
Next, i would check online and perform a google search. "Auto repair in my area", "best auto repair", "Honest Mechanics", and so on. If you drive an import car, typically you would want a specialist to do the work because there are different tools and equipment to work on them and your regular brake chain or oil change place wont have the proper tools to service your car, trying to fix a car without proper tools can be a dissasster. Searching specifics helps put you on the right direction something like "audi auto repair".
Once you have honed in the shop you possibly want to bring your car in. Take a moment to do a little of research. Check for google reviews, Yelp reviews and such. Next Check the shops website, to see if they are legit. Check out their credentials, expertise, and years in experience before making a decision.
Also, check third party websites that verifies the reviews like Angie's List, Repair Pal, Mechanic Adviser, BBB to name a few.
Keep in mind, There are a lot of auto repair shops out there. Not all are qualified to work on your vehicle. Check for ASE certifications. This is a standard for which a technician knows his stuff and have spend time and resources in acquiring this certification which means they are dedicated to their craft and work, which benefits you in saving time and money.
Check to see if they are affiliated with any automotive associations like Automotive Service Association(ASA). ASA shops are dedicated to quality and follow strict code of ethics.
Lastly, give the shop of your choice a call. Ask questions...they should be willing to answer any question you may have. If they don't, then maybe this is not a good match for you and your vehicle. Its important you feel Trust and Credibility in the way a mechanic/shop represent, speak and act.
Questions to ask
- How long have you been in business?
- Are your Technicians ASE certified?
- Are you a member of ASA?
- Do you work on the make of my vehicle?
- Ask about the process - my car has a check engine light, how can you help me? what is the process to figure out the problem?
- Have you ever repaired anything like this before?
I wouldn't necessarily ask for price because until the technician looks at it, we wouldn't know what is wrong and price will not be a good indicator you found the right shop. Cheap work who doesn't know how to service your care can cost you more time and money. Time in terms of slow testing or incorrect testing procedures can lead to longer time in the shop, if the technician doesn't have the experience and know how to work on your type of vehicle. This can Cost you more money in replacing parts not needed and importantly time.
So instead asking for price...have the vehicle inspected and to find out what is exactly needed to be done. Get a written estimate, and once you have that then you will have a benchmark to be able to make a decision on price, quality and shop you elect to do the work.