Wherever you are located, you likely have at least a few car mechanics to choose from. How can you tell which one is more affordable or reliable than the next? Here are some simple ways to find the right car mechanic for your car maintenance or repair.
Based on annual surveys, we find consumers generally have a higher level of satisfaction with independent shops over car dealerships.
If your car is under warranty, you will still need to go to a dealership for warranty repairs, but you won’t need to go to the dealership for routine maintenance. Under federal law you have the right to have repairs performed anywhere you like without voiding the warranty.
But identifying a mechanic you can trust for your car takes a lot more than letting your fingers do the walking. You have to do a little old-fashioned sleuthing. There’s no single clue to what makes a good repair shop, but here are some things you should look for.
Find a shop for your brand of car
Many garages specialize in certain makes. Those that focus on your type are more likely to have the latest training and equipment to fix your vehicle.
Ask your family and friends
Especially seek recommendations from those who have a vehicle similar to yours.
Search the Internet
Look for information about local mechanics on Angie’s List, the Consumer Reports car repair estimator, and the Mechanics Files at Cartalk.com. Cartalk.com provides those services free, Angie’s List requires a subscription, the car repair estimator is free for Consumer Reports’ online subscribers.