How to Find a Mechanic You Can Trust

As much as we wish things always worked the way they are supposed to, they don't. That goes for your car as well. From old beaters to brand new rides, every car needs maintenance and repair. 

No matter the season, you should always keep your car in good running order. From needing good tires for inclement weather to hopping behind the wheel for a summer road trip, you need to make sure your car is up to the task.

You also need to make sure you can trust your mechanic not to overcharge for repairs or tell you about a needed upgrade that won't help you. Here are some excellent tips for finding a car repair shop you can trust with one of your most valuable assets. 

Don't Wait for a Breakdown

Make sure you have a technician lined up before something goes wrong, so you're not scrambling to get it fixed at the last second. Also, make sure you keep up with regular maintenance to keep it running optimally and prevent breakdowns if you can.

Waiting until it's too late means you're at the mercy of everyone else. The tow truck driver may pressure you to use his shop because he has an arrangement with them under the table. The shop you do end up towing it to knows you don't have many other options and will take advantage of that if you're not careful.

Look for Recommendations and Reviews

Start by asking trusted relatives or friends if they like their service shop or if they would recommend their technician. It's even better if you know someone who has the same type of car you do.

You can also read reviews on Angie's List, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, or AAA. Some referral services you have to pay for, but others you can access via an online search. Compare businesses, look at the services they offer, and read previous customers' reviews to get an idea of how they run their business and how satisfied people are with their shop.

Certifications and Memberships

Recent car models have many electronic parts, so you shouldn't trust just anyone to perform maintenance or repairs. It's important to engage with a professional auto technician who knows what they're doing. Check them out to see if they have any certifications or memberships.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) awards certifications to mechanics, not shops. These mechanics have to pass a test and have two years of practical training in the field, or they have to have one year of on-the-job training and a two-year degree in automotive repair.

Don't Shop by Price

Price is often a contributing factor when it comes to auto repair, but it shouldn't be the only factor. You're not only paying for parts and labor, but you're also paying for someone to treat you with respect and your car with the expertise it deserves.

While more expensive doesn't always mean better, a bargain is not always a bargain. You're better off shopping around for a combination of price, value, integrity, certification, and positive reviews.

Independent Repair Shops vs. Dealerships

Sometimes repairing your car at the dealership is more expensive, but not always. Some dealerships try really hard to offer competitive rates because of the stiff competition from other dealerships and local shops.

If your car is still under warranty, the dealership is a clear choice. But even if the warranty's expired, weigh your options carefully, because the dealership is also going to be the most knowledgeable about your make and model. While independent shops may be able to offer you the best deal, they service many different makes and models and don't specialize in yours.

Ask Questions

Even if you don't understand all of the terminology or technology, your mechanic should be able to explain in detail what is wrong with your vehicle in a way that you understand. Ask questions if you don't understand, and if the mechanic can't answer them, find someone else who can.

Observe the Shop 

If you pay attention to your local repair shop, you'll notice several things. You'll see whether customers seem to leave happy or frustrated, you'll be able to tell whether the employees look like they enjoy their work, and you can immediately tell if the shop is clean and organized. Don't settle for anything less than what seems to be a smoothly running operation.

The Latest Equipment

It takes a lot of big, expensive equipment to operate an auto repair shop. Mechanics need tools, hydraulic lifts, diagnostic equipment, and pricey parts to work on your car. Make sure the shop you choose has the necessary equipment to repair your vehicle effectively.

Ask the mechanic if he has the latest and have him explain to you how they work. If he can't or won't, he probably doesn't care about having you as a customer, and you don't want to be one.

Get a Second Opinion

If everything looks good on the surface, but something still doesn't feel right, go with your gut. There's nothing wrong with walking away and getting a second opinion. If you don't understand enough to know if you're getting a good deal or not, ask someone else.

If your second opinion is the same as the first, you're probably ok choosing either one, but it's worth it, in the end, to be sure. Don't be pressured into a decision no matter how desperate you are.

Don't ever feel obligated to comply with repairs you don't understand, they can't explain, or you don't feel are needed. Always get a second opinion if you feel uncomfortable in any way.

Car repairs aren't anyone's favorite thing to deal with, but it's better to be prepared. Keeping up with regular maintenance not only keeps your car in good running order but allows you to establish a relationship with a mechanic who is familiar with your vehicle and can provide excellent, honest service when the time comes.


Hours

  • Monday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

Contact

Southwest Motors

2600 W Us Hwy 50
Directions Pueblo, CO 81008

  • Sales: (719) 545-5700
x