Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Find a Reliable Mechanic

Extended warranty or not, sooner or later you’re going to need a good mechanic. But where do you start in looking for one? With so many options, it can be overwhelming trying to decide who and what to trust. There are ways to and resources out there to help you find the best for you, including these tricks and tips.
  • Talk to friends, neighbors, family members about their experiences with local car mechanics. This is really the best way to find a good service provider. Word of mouth is one of the oldest methods of finding anything, and for good reason. Asking people whom you trust gives you a sense of security to know that they have already been through what you are about to embark upon.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau. The BBB lists most local businesses and rates them based on feedback they themselves have received about the establishment. A high BBB rating is not a guarantee, but is a good screening device for finding a good mechanic.
  • Also look up mechanics via the American Automobile Association. They list mechanics by area, and to stay on the list a provider must meet certain requirements. Again, this is not a guarantee that the company will do right by you, but is at least a starting point. AAA has been around a long time and has quite a solid reputation, and millions of drivers trust their package of services.
  • Crosscheck! Do the legwork by yourself, getting a few estimates from several shops, then comparing your data and overall “feel” for the places. This is time consuming, but many drivers swear that it is the single best way to find a new mechanic.
  • Ask mechanics what kind of warranty they offer, if any. Shops that flatly refuse to provide any warranty, even an extended warranty, are usually not good bets. It is typical for reliable mechanic shops to offer at least a 30-day warranty on parts and/or labor, so expect to find something along these lines.
  • In addition, yes, you can always take your car back to the dealership for repairs. However, be warned that this is almost invariably the highest-cost option. Sometimes, if you are stuck in an area you do not know well, and have no time to do any research on your own, the dealership is your last resort. At least you will get the work done properly, but you had better be ready to pay a high price for this choice of convenience.

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