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How to Find an Honest and Reliable Mechanic

When you take your car out for a repair, you’re going to want a mechanic that knows what they’re doing. At the same time, you’ll also want someone that isn’t trying to tack on unnecessary repairs and costs on top of your already expensive repair bill. There are many unscrupulous mechanics out there, and they’re waiting on uninformed customers to waltz in through their doors so that they can grift them. To avoid being one of these, you’re going to want to recognize the signs that separate the good mechanics from the bad ones. Here are a few notable examples worth remembering.

Stick to rated mechanics

If you’re looking for a new mechanic, chances are you’re going to run into both rated an unrated auto shops. Websites like AAA.com assign a rating to auto shops and people often check them out before venturing to the business. The question remains: is there a significant difference between them? Obviously, there is, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a need for this type of rating. 

Auto shops that are rated are required to follow certain guidelines that are set by AAA. For starters, the technicians working at the shop must be certified by the ASE or automotive service excellence. Every repair is handled by a certified technician, which increases the chances that you’ll get quality repairs for your vehicle. The ASE is an independent organization that allows mechanics to go through voluntary testing and certification to prove their knowledge. It’s a kind of tangible proof that helps customers feel reassured that their vehicle is in the right hands.

If you’re not getting explanations, steer clear

Fixing any vehicle is far from simple. Sure, some repairs will only require a change of filter or a small adjustment on a bolt here or there, but not every problem is so simple and clear-cut. In most cases, the cause will be complex and it will need some expertise and knowledge to solve the issue. However, that’s no excuse for keeping the customer in the dark about the repairs.

If your mechanic can’t provide you with an explanation for what’s being done to your vehicle, you probably shouldn’t visit the shop anymore. The problems can get complicated, but it’s not rocket science no matter how you present it. There’s always a way to explain the issue in a simplified way, even if it doesn’t include every detail. Getting a rough idea of what kind of repairs to expect is important for a variety of reasons. You can’t get an accurate estimate without being informed of what’s being done.

Look for the three crucial inspections

Before you hit the road, you want every part of your car to be in working order. There’s hardly an element that isn’t essential, save for your radio. However, not every element has to be in absolute peak condition. Various parts will have normal wear and tear that is expected of them. The car can keep running just fine even when they’re somewhat damaged or dirty. On the other hand, there are three main elements that must be in good condition for your car to run without problems.

The brakes, tires, and wipers should never be overlooked during an inspection. They’re absolutely essential for your vehicle’s function and they need to be in top condition. If you find that the mechanic hasn’t taken a good look at the brakes or tires, you should look around for a new car mechanical service, because this is an essential part of the inspection. Missing a problem in one of these parts would endanger the driver, so it’s not something you want them to overlook.

They reasonably weigh the costs

It’s crucial that your mechanic is reasonable when it comes to costs and estimates. Just like with any type of repair, you’ll want to weigh your options before making a decision. When you’re dealing with a reliable mechanic, they will often do this for you to save you the trouble. Some things just aren’t worth repairing, especially if they’re particularly expensive.

What happens when a very expensive element breaks and the repair costs are too high? An experienced mechanic will note the cost of the car and then give you their opinion. Why bother with a repair or modification that out-classes the cost of the whole car? You might as well buy a new vehicle at that point. A shadier mechanic, on the other hand, will probably keep quiet about the total cost until the repairs are already finished. You’ll want to take a good look at the estimate and determine two things. First, see if the maintenance is worth the trouble and cost. Second, figure out whether or not you should change mechanics based on the price listed. If they’re looking to make a quick buck with huge estimates that aren’t worth the repair, ditch them for a new one.


Finding an honest and hard-working mechanic isn’t all that difficult. There are lots of people that just want to make an honest day’s work and help fix your car. The trick is to avoid shadier mechanics that aren’t looking out for your interests. Use the handy signs above to find an ideal mechanic for you, and avoid any excess costs or unnecessary repairs.

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