As a person who only purchases used cars, I understand the necessity of having a trustworthy and knowledgeable mechanic in your rolodex. Over the years, I’ve had mufflers and windshields replaced, head gaskets blow, weird grinding noises, a few leaks, etc. And while I can confidently say that paying cash for used vehicles has saved me gobs of money (even with the repairs they’ve needed), finding a mechanic hasn’t been easy.
If you cringe at the thought of taking your car to the shop, or suspect your current mechanic is taking you and your bank account for a ride, then read on to find out ways to find the right mechanic. Trust me, doing so is worth its weight in tires.
One of the first things to do when finding a mechanic is to ask your friends, family, and coworkers for a mechanic they trust. Most people probably won’t have found the right mechanic either (and may even ask that you clue them in once you find), but one or two may have a lead for you.
This is how I found the mechanic I’ve worked with over the last few years who has saved me gobs of money and kept my used vehicle on the road. My friend Helen referred me to this guy, thanks to point #2 below.
Test their knowledge and trustworthiness
If you know a thing or two about cars, or have someone in your life who knows about cars, then you can test out a mechanic. For example, Helen’s father knew cars, so during one of his visits, he looked over her car. He determined what needed to be fixed, what didn’t need fixing, and preventable repairs for future car health.
So he took the vehicle to several mechanics and tested their knowledge as well as honesty — and he consequently found a very trustworthy mechanic to look after his daughter’s car. Fortunately for me (since I asked), I now use this mechanic as well!
Note: Even if you don’t know much about cars, you can test out a mechanic’s trustworthiness by taking a car in for an unnecessary repair and seeing if they agree with you or save you money by being honest.
Check the ratings
Once you are recommended a mechanic, or even if you just want to check into one yourself, do a little homework. Check out sites like Yelp for their auto repair reviews, or you can actually find auto repair shops by zip code and reviews through their site.
Edmunds.com also offers a way to search for auto mechanic reviews, though theirs is specifically for people looking for a dealer mechanic.
Finally, check if your mechanic is registered with any business bureaus, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can scout this out on their website or do a search within the bureau website.
Finding a car mechanic may be a bit of a chore. Trust me, I’ve been there. But I can also say without a doubt that it’s in your best interest to find a good one.
You can also take advantage of the Turo car care program, which offers discounts on car care services at reputable outlets across the US.