Finding a good mechanic can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what to look before. There’s also another problem. Whether nature or nurture, women are less likely to know about cars. This puts us in a very vulnerable position. Not all mechanics are honest, and some will take advantage of a person they suspect doesn’t know anything about cars.
Before you start looking, educate yourself about your car.
The easiest way to do that is by reading the car manual. Then learn about what’s wrong with your car and what the repair options entail. Look at diagrams and infographics. Find out the average costs of parts and labor. If you know what the mechanic is talking about and what questions to ask, you’re less likely to be fooled.
Read online reviews and get recommendations from family and friends.
Read the comment sections on the websites of local mechanics. Visit websites where you can read reviews by other consumers.
Check with the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and other trustworthy sources.
Look into major complaints about the company. Find out if there are any lawsuits or legal actions taken against the company.
Get information about available part warranties and service guarantees.
Find out what they cover and how long they last.
Observe the staff.
The staff should be courteous and professional. Mechanics should have the minimum certifications and licenses required. Does the staff wear a uniform? A uniform demonstrates attention to detail.
There should be clear communication between you and the mechanics.
You should be able to have all your questions answered clearly and completely. If the person you ask cannot answer, he or she should be able to get you to someone who can. They should be able to explain things in terms you understand without being patronizing. Insist on clear pricing.
The work area should be safe and mostly clean.
It’s a work shop so it’s obviously not going to be spotless, but the floor should be clear of obstructions — trash, tools, car parts, and so on. It doesn’t hurt to ask what measures they take to keep your car clean while they work.