Four great ways to find a mechanic

mechanicFinding a good mechanic can be a particularly daunting task. I have been trying to find a new mechanic near me for quite a little while now. This task has been a little more difficult for me as my dad used to be a full time mechanic, handling all of my repairs. Now that he has switched jobs he doesn't have access to many of the tools needed to do advanced work on our 2005 Equinox. Thisrecent purchase spurred the search for a trustworthy and loyal mechanic.

The way I see it, you have 4 options for finding a reliable mechanic in your hometown. If you disagree or want to add to the list use the comments box below.

  1. Use reviews on - Click and Clack run a weekly call in show about car problems, often spiced with laughs and a DIY approach. Their website also offers a "Find a great mechanic" feature which pointed me to several local repair shops worth checking out.
  2. Ask your co-workers and neighbors - Have lunch with a co-worker you trust and get along with, find out where they take their car. If they seem happy with the service give the place a try. Same goes for your neighbor, though if they recommend "Cousin Jim's auto repair and taxidermy," you may want to make sure the shop is properly equipped and staffed with trained employees.
  1. Ask your Dad - Call me sexist if you want, but in my house dad handled any car repairs or trips to the mechanic in the rare case our garage wasn't equipped to handle the problem. Before you give the go ahead on a major repair at a new shop, call Dad and see if the cost sounds reasonable. Even if he isn't a mechanic I'd venture to say he has had enough work done over the years that he'll know if a price is right!
  2. Shop Around - Before something major goes wrong and you are too stressed out to make fiscally responsible decisions check out several mechanics. An easy way to do this is to have your oil changed at different location until you find one that fits you. You'll know you have the right place by the way you are treated and how comfortable you are dealing with the mechanic.
When you do find a mechanic you are ready to call your own, don't forget to look for certification, recent training and a tidy shop. You don't need a wall of ink jet certificates and a floor you can eat off, but you should feel like your car won't come back with a rodent hiding in the glove box. Finally be sure to ask about any kind of warranty on parts and repairs, and find out if you can bring your own parts in. Providing the parts may be cheaper in some instances, but could also invalidate any warranty on repairs, so you'll need to weigh the benefits. We just saved close to $50 on a brake job because the pads were still under warranty ,so make sure you toss the sales slip into the maintenance log you keep in the glove box. You are keeping track of your repairs and when you get new tires, right?
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