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How to Differentiate a Good Auto Repair Shop from a Bad One

Unless you’re a savvy person when it comes to dealing with auto repairs, finding a mechanic you can trust can seem like a very daunting process. Unfortunately these days there are as many stereotypes of lying mechanics that exaggerate issues and price gouge unsuspecting motorists while performing less than quality work. Even more unfortunate is the fact that in some cases, there can be mechanics like that, prepared to take advantage of your lack of mechanical knowledge.

Honest Auto Mechanic

When it comes to finding an auto repair shop, it’s important to find an auto repair shop you can trust not just to be honest with you, but so you can trust their work on your vehicle. These are just a few of the best ways to differentiate between a good repair shop and a bad one.

A Bad Mechanic Will:

  • Try To Scare Potential Clients– A less than reputable mechanic will likely employ scare tactics and phrases to get you paranoid enough that your car is moments away from colossal breakdown. If they begin discouraging you from leaving the lot, you should probably find the quickest way that you can to find another mechanic.
  • Not Have Certifications– Most trustworthy mechanics will have certifications from ASE, ASA, AAA and a variety of other auto groups proudly displayed prominently either in the windows or up at the front counter. These seals are meant to help ease your mind and build your trust so if a mechanic doesn’t have any of these certifications or others; they better have a good reason. Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions to try and find out why.
  • Tell You Your Coolant Car Coolant Needs to be Flushed– This is one of the most common suggestions from a less than reputable mechanic. Some mechanics will suggest that coolant or power steering flushes are necessary repairs every time you bring your car in but consulting your vehicle’s manual will usually show you that your vehicle’s fluid is ready to go at least 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. There is a number of things they’ll also suggest that can easily be fixed at home so never be afraid to seek a second opinion to be certain.
  • Have an Extremely Messy Shop– This is a bit more of a subtle thing to look for but reputable mechanics will usually keep a neat and tidy workspace. If you see tons of oilcans and other empty and dirty containers and old tires, while it may not be a telltale giveaway, it should be cause for concern.

A Good Mechanic Will:

  • Explain Everything– A trustworthy mechanic wants to make sure that you understand everything your vehicle may need along with any and every option you have. This is important, as most untrustworthy mechanics will usually tell you just that things are wrong and need to be fixed so clarity is key to look for.
  • Clearly State Rates and Prices– Rather than surprise you after the fact with unnecessary expenses, an honest mechanic will give you an up front quote. They’ll also usually have clear pricing breakdowns to avoid any confusion or miscommunications.
  • Have a Friendly and Helpful Staff– Whether you talk to the master mechanic or the newest employee hired, a quality service center will have a staff of helpful and courteous employees.
  • Sometimes Have Snacks– This isn’t a completely obvious or sure thing, but if a repair shop has comfy chairs, TV’s, magazines and coffee or snacks, then you can trust that management cares about the customer’s comfort. Little tendencies put fourth to make the experience a memorable and positive one show that the owners are concerned with satisfying the customer and that care will extend to your vehicle.

How To Differentiate a Good Repair Shop From a… by importautomaintenance


It’s unfortunate that there are still mechanics that take advantage of customers with less than quality work or overpriced and unnecessary repairs, especially when it involves something as important and as needed in your day-to-day life as your vehicle. It’s important that you know the signs to look for to find a mechanic that you can trust for your vehicle’s lifetime and beyond. Even if you notice a mechanic that seems trustworthy, it’s important to remember that you can always seek a second opinion to be sure or to help ease your mind before agreeing to any services being performed. With all this in mind, you can find the mechanic best suited to fit your vehicle’s needs.