How to Select a Trustworthy Auto Mechanic

While most mechanics are legitimate, there are alway those dishonest few that ruin it for the rest of them. If you’re taking your car into an auto repair shop you’re basically at their mercy so it’s important to trust them. In 2012, the Better Business Bureau received more than 15,000 complaints against auto repair services and fielded more than 1.5 million inquiries from consumers looking to find trustworthy businesses in the industry. If you haven’t been a victim of a dishonest mechanic, chances are you know someone that has. The search for a trustworthy auto specialist doesn’t have to be hard though. The Better Business Bureau has come out with some practical recommendations to help you choose the right mechanic. Follow these simple steps and feel confident that you are prepared.
Ask around. If you are looking for a qualified, independent shop, ask friends for recommendations, or request a list of BBB Accredited Businesses that do the type of auto repair you need. Be sure to check with the BBB about the shop’s reliability at www.bbb.org.

Look for shops that display certification. For major work, such as brakes, transmission or engine repair, you will need to find a shop employing a specialist. I recommend finding a reliable repair shop long before you have a problem, that way you are not rushed to make a decision.

Check your warranty. If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which may require that repairs be made at an authorized dealership.

Before authorizing repairs, get a written estimate for parts and labor. Tell the shop to get your permission before making additional repairs. Ensure you receive notification by having the service manager write a request on the bottom of the repair order. Give phone numbers where you can be reached and, before you leave, be sure to understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.

Get everything in writing. When you pick up your vehicle, get an explanation of all work completed and get all guarantees in writing. Ask that any major new parts that have been installed be pointed out to you. Your repair bill should be itemized so, if a problem occurs later, you can prove the item is covered by the guarantee.

Ask all the questions that you need. Don’t be embarrassed to request explanations. Don’t rush the technician into making an on-the-spot diagnosis of the problem. Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and cost of work before any work begins.

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