How To Find a Good Mechanic [6 Signs To Look Out For]

Even if you’re a DIYer, there are some things that you cant repair yourself. Your car, for instance, is one of those things. Messing around under your hood can get messy, expensive, dangerous, and is best tasked to the professionals. They have all of the proper tools on hand to complete the job efficiently. Changing a gasket isn’t as easy as it sounds…

Nailing down a good mechanic is hard work, and you may have a few losses before you get any wins, especially if you’re on the road a lot or move often. We’ve all heard those stories about low blow mechanics who have taken advantage of people for enormous amounts of money, leaving the vehicle in no better condition than it was before.

mechanic walking under a lifted car in the shop
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Details Are Key

Did you know that mechanics could basically replace something in your car for no good reason and not be held legally responsible? It’s true. One of the most important things you need to remember when you go to a new mechanic is to ask for a detailed service ticket. The estimate should include the problem and the solution. If the mechanic only supplies the solution, i.e., lists the part they are replacing, ask them to add the problem (why exactly they are replacing that part). If they won’t comply with that, this mechanic is not for you. The State Mechanic Lien laws cannot help you out if you fail to provide these specific details in writing. Put this reminder in bold and at the top of your mechanic search checklist. 

man with wrist watch writing on paper
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Dealerships

The manufacture of your vehicle may likely have a dealership near you. Who better to trust than a mechanic that specialized in producing your vehicle? It’s by far the safest and most reliable option for a mechanic. However, dealerships usually mean pricier bills. There are no cutting corners at these places, and just like any special service you sign up for, you pay the premium. 

brand new car dealership with cars in the lot
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Certifications

A good mechanic always has their certifications on display. Look around for the ASE certificate hanging on the wall or at the front desk. ASE is short for Automotive Service Excellence. If your mechanic is part of this organization, they are continually upping their education by taking courses to stay up to date. It has got to be hard to keep up with all of these new makes and models on the market. Cars are not what they used to be, that’s for sure. 

Proven Experience

Find someone who has worked on the same make and model as your ride. As mentioned before, mechanics have a lot of makes and models to remember how to repair. Knowing someone with experience fixing your exact model is Maybe you have a neighbor or friend who has the same car as you. Chat them up and ask them who their mechanic is. Get the digs on their experience and go from there. 

2 men shaking hands on a street with yellow parked cars
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Another way to do this is by looking online or in the classifieds for other people who own the same vehicle as you. Connect with them and see if they can point you in the right direction. 

Referrals

The best way to find a mechanic is through someone you know. If you have a friend who is a mechanic, chances are you will go to them because you trust them. Trust plays a significant factor in nailing down the perfect servicer for your vehicle.

friendly male mechanic holding a rag and smirking with a mustache
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Ask your friends and family for referrals to their mechanics. If people you trust have trust in their mechanic, it’s worth giving them a shot. 

Don’t Wait

Whatever you do, don’t wait this task out. The last thing you want to do is end up at a screwy mechanic with no other choice but to bite the bill. Plan ahead, establish a relationship, and remember to get the diagnostics in writing.

mechanic holding keys IN front of him outside
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Your car is essential. Keeping your vehicle in good health is just as important as looking after your own. Choose the right doctor for your four-wheeled friend.  

Jesse Tellier
I write for manmadediy.