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Find the Right Auto Mechanic

Auto Repair
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Your car represents a considerable investment, and you don't want to entrust its care to just anyone. That's why it's important to find the right auto mechanic for your vehicle service and repair needs. So where do you find a mechanic who is trustworthy and friendly, and who provides quality service at a fair price?

These guidelines will help you find the right auto mechanic, one you can trust. Not only will you save money, but you'll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your beloved automobile is in capable hands.

  • Start shopping for a mechanic before you need the repairs. If you wait until your car is acting up or (even worse) already sitting on the back of a flatbed, you're going to find your options severely limited. You may not have time to shop around once your car breaks down, so you should take care of it early on. Just a few visits to different mechanics should be enough to give you a ballpark figure and help you make an informed decision.
  • The prices for repair and maintenance can vary wildly from shop to shop. Some mechanics may charge exorbitant rates, while others provide similar service for a fraction of the cost. Your first inclination may be to take the bargain, but low prices may also be an indication of shoddy parts or subpar service. A little comparison shopping will help you distinguish between prices that are fair, prices that are sky high, and prices that are suspiciously low.
  • Ask your potential mechanics for references and follow up with phone calls to them. If they are reluctant to provide references, then maybe you might want to cross them off your list. Just a few minutes on the phone with these references will give you an inkling of your mechanics honesty and dedication to customer service.
  • Ask the mechanic about warranties, especially if you travel a lot. A national warranty program should cover parts and labor for 12 months or 12,000 miles.
  • Make sure the mechanic has the proper equipment to diagnose your vehicle. Most cars these days have computer-controlled systems that, when hooked up to the right machine, can help in troubleshooting engine problems. If a mechanic doesn't have the right equipment to diagnose your car, you should probably look elsewhere.
  • Ask family, friends, and co-workers to recommend a good mechanic. Many mechanics build up a loyal customer base through personal recommendations, which is a good indication that they are providing quality service for a fair price. As an added bonus, coming to a mechanic through a mutual acquaintance makes establishing a rapport much easier.
  • Check the auto shop's reliability and performance with the Better Business Bureau before dropping your car off for repairs. You can also check online for consumer reports, ratings, and anecdotes from satisfied or disgruntled customers. These opinions may not be objective, but they can still be indispensable in helping you find the right auto mechanic.

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