Ask around, do research, and trust your gut before choosing a new auto mechanic
Finding a good auto mechanic is much like finding a good doctor. When you have one, you never think about it, but when you don’t, it can cause serious stress– especially if your car is sick– i.e. in need of repairs. When it comes to auto mechanics, making a bad choice could mean more than just another repair bill in the near future. Unfortunately, in some situations, it could also significantly increase the risk of an accident occurring on the road. If you’re in need of a new mechanic, it pays to do your research and make a good choice. Following the tips below might just be able to help.
Ask friends, family and research online to locate a quality shop
If a close friend or family member who lives in the area likes their auto shop, it could be a good idea to ask them where they take their vehicle. Instead of relying on secondhand information like reviews or hearsay, or risk trying your car at an untested shop, you might as well benefit from the experiences of people you already know and trust when trying to find a new shop.
If you’ve recently moved or otherwise can’t find any good recommendations from friends, family, or acquaintances, you might want to start researching online to find a quality shop. The most popular ranking services, like Yelp and Google Reviews, will often list a wide variety of businesses and feature a large amount of user ratings, but may also feature a decent amount of inaccurate or outdated information. Member’s only services like Angie’s List may feature more accurate reviews than Google or Yelp, but there is usually a cost to membership.
If, after checking out all the major online rating services, you still haven’t found any good candidates, you might want to start looking through online car forums and, if you have the time, post a few questions in local car groups asking for suggestions. While this may be the most time intensive method, online groups for car-junkies can often provide the most accurate information about parts, prices, and shops in your area.
Closely examine any potential auto shops and see what kind of vehicles they service
Much like a good doctor’s office, a good auto shop is generally clean and tidy. However, unlike in a doctor’s office, a few slightly rusty tools and some fresh oil stains on the floor aren’t usually cause for alarm. In addition to being generally clean and neat, a good auto shop is usually somewhat busy, at least during peak hours.
In addition to viewing the overall condition of the shop, it’s also important to observe the kinds of cars that are currently being serviced. If the shop is full of rusty boats, it could be cause for concern; perhaps the shop’s billing practices are terrible and owners have abandoned their cars, or perhaps many of the cars are simply undrivable decorations left there by the owners to make the shop look more crowded. In comparison, if a series of relatively new and gently used vehicles are constantly making their way through the shop, it’s a good sign that a lot of car owners currently trust the shop with their cars.
Speak to the mechanics to get a feel for a potential auto shop
While getting a feel for the auto shop is important before making a choice, it might not be as important as getting to know the mechanics who might be working on your vehicle. In general, good mechanics should be generally clean and tidy, but you shouldn’t be concerned if they have a bit of grease on their smocks. A good mechanic should also be friendly and somewhat easy to understand and should be able to easily answer specific questions about your vehicle as well as cars in general.
Trust your gut before making any big decisions
When it comes to deciding on a new mechanic or shop, all the facts in the world aren’t as good as your gut intuition. Even if the shop looks clean, it’s recommended by friends and family, and the mechanic says all the right things, if it doesn’t feel right, you likely shouldn’t trust your car with them.
Remember, choosing the right mechanic isn’t just about getting a good deal, it’s about maintaining your vehicle for the long run, and, most importantly, keeping you and your passengers safe– wherever you choose to drive.
To learn more smart tips to help save you and your family money, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.