What To Look For When Trying To Find An Auto Repair Shop

Are your car’s brakes making a grinding or squeaking noise? Or maybe the check engine light is on? It sounds like you need to visit a mechanic or an auto repair shop. But how do you find one who is reliable and can fix your car right the first time?

Many people, who are looking for a mechanic, worry about not having good work done or getting ripped off. To help you find a dependable auto repair shop that offers fair pricing, we have created a comprehensive checklist. Let’s get to it!

They Should Have ASE Certification

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification is something the automotive technician working on your car should have. ASE accreditation proves the individual has undergone thorough training – including written tests – and has at least 2 years of industry experience.

But remember, there are several types of certification. For example, if you have gone to a mechanic to have your transmission rebuilt, but the mechanic is only certified to repair brakes. This could be a problem.

Hiring an ASE-certified automotive repair shop protects your interests as well. If the mechanic has ASE Master Certification, it means they are trained and certified to work on all 8 core areas of your car: brakes, engines, drive axles, transmissions, engine performance, air conditioning/heating, electrical, and suspension/steering.  

In other words, an ASE-certified master European auto mechanic knows every car like the back of their hand. If you’re having any issues with your car, or you’re tired of having your car break down continuously, these experts have the skills to accurately diagnose the issue and fix it the first time.

They Should Have A Good Reputation

We live in the age of the Internet and Google Reviews, which means it’s easy to search a particular business and see what people are saying about them. When looking for an auto repair shop, do your homework and look them up online.

You can do some background research to find out:

·        How long have they been in business

·        What kind of certifications and accreditations they have

·        What kind of reviews and testimonials are left by their previous customers

The longer an auto repair shop has been around, the more experience and established they will be. A business can’t survive for long unless they charge fair prices and offer quality service. If you know someone who has had an incredible repair experience, ask for their recommendations.

They Should Have Extensive Experience

Nothing can replace experience, period. Make sure the auto repair shop you choose has seasoned mechanics working for them.

Many quick-lube shops employ workers who have little to no knowledge of automobiles. You may think that a simple oil change doesn’t need an experienced mechanic, but trust us, it does. Something as straightforward as a lube job can leave you with hundreds of dollars of repair bills if it is not performed correctly.

This is especially true if you have a German or some other European car. Not all mechanics know how to handle a BMW or an Audi. If you own such a car, make sure the auto repair shop, like Freed Performance, specializes in servicing and repairing it.

If you don’t want to risk the health of your car – or your wallet – hire someone who knows what they are doing.

They Should Be Willing To Explain Things

If you were a skilled automotive expert, you probably won’t take your car in for a repair job. An honest auto repair shop understands that. This is why they take the time to explain patiently any work or tune-up your vehicle might need. And they do it without being condescending or irritable.

Also, cars today are way more complex than they used to be 10-20 years ago. An inexperienced mechanic usually keeps throwing new components at a problem until it is fixed. If you suspect that your mechanic doesn’t know what the problem is, don’t be afraid to ask them how they came to the conclusion that a certain part needs to be replaced.

A trustworthy auto repair shop will be more than happy to give you a detailed explanation. They may even show you the problem and provide a comprehensive analysis.

They Should Not Sell You Unnecessary Upsells

A shop that takes pride in their work and commitment to customers will never try to upsell you pointless services or upgrades.

We know that routine maintenance is important to ensure your vehicle stays in great shape for as long as possible. However, if, for example, you just had your car battery replaced at one shop, and a different shop is trying to get you to buy the same service again, this is clearly not right.

To make sure you don’t fall into this trap, find your car’s owner manual (it’s most likely inside your glove box) and look for the section titled “recommended maintenance schedule” or something along those lines. This will give you an idea as to when you need to take your car for a tune-up.

They Should Be Friendly

Even though this goes without saying, we think it’s important enough to mention here.

Some mechanics can be downright condescending and pushy, especially to women and old people as they are seemingly easy to persuade into unnecessary repair or service. If you have the same experience while talking to a mechanic, steer clear of them and go to some other shop.

Also beware of shops that try to pad repair bills with unnecessary labor or auto parts. If some item in your bill doesn’t make sense to you, don’t hesitate to ask the shop owner to explain it to you.

They Should Not Present You With A Bloated Bill

Sometimes, it makes sense to replace another part while you are already replacing one part. For example, if you are getting your car’s brake pads serviced, you may also consider servicing the brake rotors. Or, if you are replacing the timing belt, it’s a prudent idea to replace the engine’s water pump.

However, in some cases, repair shops try to pad the repair bill with completely unnecessary services and parts. These shops not only want to sell you extra (or useless) stuff, they probably won’t even take the time to diagnose your car properly. All they need to do is tell you they did what you asked them to do (even when they didn’t), and charge you for “extra fix” that wasn’t even necessary.

If your repair bill seems significantly higher than you expected, ask the shop owner to break it down for you. If they can’t explain it to your satisfaction, call another shop for a second opinion.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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