How to Find a Good Mechanic to Avoid Being Scammed

Written by Crystal Consylman

You just bought a vehicle, now you need to make sure that you maintain your investment. Sadly, mechanics are known for charging outrageous amounts for repairs that may not be done correctly (or at all). What can you do to find a dependable mechanic who is dependable and trustworthy?

Did you buy a new vehicle? If so, consider using a mechanic that is employed by the dealership where you purchased the vehicle. These mechanics are usually very knowledgeable about the makes of vehicles that are sold at the dealership. They are kept current on recalls, parts, and warranties from the manufacturer.
If you want to go with an independent garage, here are some ways to know you are dealing with a trustworthy mechanic:

  1. Word of mouth – who are your friends and family members using? Are they happy with the mechanic and have they had good experiences with them? If someone has had a bad experience with someone, they will likely tell you about it because bad news spreads a lot faster than good. A successful mechanic lives off a happy customer. They want repeat business, and they want their customers to send their friends and families.
  2. They are easy to contact – Their phone number is in the phone book or easily searchable on the internet. Someone is answering their phone, or you receive a return call in a reasonable amount of time. A good mechanic will stay in touch with you and keep you apprised of what is happening with your vehicle.
  3. Appearance – The mechanic is presentable and polite and does not seem bothered with questions you have. They discuss the nature of the problem with your vehicle and collect your contact information.
  4. Estimates – A good mechanic should always provide you with a free estimate. Whether you have dropped your vehicle off or are waiting for it, if there is something wrong, they will work up the cost to repair your vehicle with the cost of parts and labor and provide this to you before fixing the vehicle.
  5. Itemized Bill – A good mechanic/garage will always provide you with an itemized bill that should have your vehicle’s identifying information. This will break down what was done to the vehicle, the ending parts costs, labor costs, and shop costs.

There are things that you should do on your end to ensure a good relationship with your mechanic as well. Be sure to pick up your vehicle and pay for your mechanic’s services as soon as possible. Remember, they are there to do business and the longer your vehicle is there, that takes up space for another customer to have repairs done. Always expect to pay for your vehicle’s repairs in full before having your vehicle released to you unless prior arrangements have been made with the mechanic. Again, a mechanic cannot expect to keep their doors open by allowing jobs to leave without being paid for them. Most of all, be patient! While you would not expect a mechanic to keep your vehicle for an extended period of time, certain repairs do take time and you should allow your mechanic the proper time for parts to arrive and the repairs to be done properly.

Finding the right person to repair your vehicle is important. You want someone who is going to respect you and your vehicle, and be honest, fair, and dependable. Once you have found that person, you will hopefully form a relationship with them like no other. Your vehicle is a huge investment, so it is important that you are comfortable with who is caring for it.