To protect themselves from excessive car repair bills, it is important that every car owner know how to find a quality and trustworthy mechanic. Below are five tips for finding a quality mechanic:
1. One of the best ways to find a quality mechanic is to ask friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family for their recommendations. They will be able to tell you if the mechanic performs quality work, if the prices are fair, and if they were satisfied with the work.
2. It is important to inspect the auto repair shop. Check to see how organized it is. A messy repair shop that looks disorganized may reflect the quality of work. As well, examine the outside area of the repair shop for non automotive vehicles such as RVs, boats, motorcycles, and cars and trucks, which do not look like they are in for repair. This could indicate that vehicles were left at the shop because customers could not pay their bills. It may be a sign of a dishonest repair shop or the mechanic is not telling the customer the price before performing the repair to find out if the customer could afford the price. As well, while you are looking around the shop, look for ASE Certified Mechanics certificate or ask if they have them. The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence conducts various tests in many areas of auto repair competency. Many reputable repair shops and other auto service shops require all their employees have an ASE certification. This certificate confirms that the employees are properly trained and qualified to work on automobiles. It also tells customers that the staff is often taking training programs to keep their skills up-to-date and learn new skills. ASE-certified technicians wear white and blue ASE shoulder emblems and have credentials outlining their areas of certification. The shop will display the blue and white ASE sign.
3. When you are looking around the exterior of the car repair shop, check to see if there are fleet vehicles such as Government vehicles, school vehicles, police vehicles, and taxis. If there are these types of vehicles, this likely means that they are trusted by a big company or institution that has researched the repair shop. It also may mean that the car repair shop offered a low bid to secure a contract with them which does not always mean quality work.
4. When you take your vehicle into the shop for the first time, make sure it is for a small repair such as tune up, tire installation, or oil change, so that you can assess their work and not have to worry about paying an expensive bill. You can assess the quality of service, how fast they worked, if you had to wait a long time, if you were given a price quote before they performed the work, the type of payment methods that they accept, and if staff was friendly and courteous.
5. When you take your vehicle in for repair, it is always helpful to have some basic knowledge about how a vehicle functions so that you can better understand the mechanic and ask the right questions. As well, it will also help you learn what to look for if you have a problem with your vehicle.
If you have your own vehicle, it is essential that you take it to an honest and reliable mechanic. Knowing what to look for when you inspect the shop, what questions to ask, and developing a good relationship with the mechanic, will ensure that you are treated fairly, provided with quality service, and receive a fair repair bill.
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