Video: How to Find a Mechanic You Can Trust

CARS.COM — We hear an awful lot about lying lawyers, untrustworthy accountants and unscrupulous insurance salesmen. But one of the most mistrusted professionals out there is the auto mechanic. According to a recent survey, two-thirds of U.S. drivers don’t trust auto repair shops. And one-third say they don’t have a mechanic they feel confident taking their car to.

Related: How Much Is the Average Car Repair Bill?

What are their complaints?

  • Recommendations for unnecessary services
  • Overcharging
  • Negative interactions
  • Concerns that work won’t be done properly

Be that as it may, no matter how you feel about mechanics, odds are you’re going to need one — and likely at inopportune moments.

Here’s what you can do to find a mechanic you trust:

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations. Since so few people trust repair shops, chances are that if someone is willing to vouch for one, there’s a good reason.
  • Find out how long a shop under consideration has been in business, as this can be a good indicator of their reliability.
  • Check into a shop’s consumer complaints with the Better Business Bureau, state department of consumer affairs or the attorney general’s office.
  • Take your car for a minor job like an oil change or tire rotation and see how they do with that as a test for how they’d handle a major one.
  • While you’re there, inspect the shop’s appearance, amenities, technician credentials, and parts and labor warranty.
  • Once you’ve made a selection, build a relationship with a technician so they get to know your vehicle and your personal needs.

Car trouble can be highly stressful, so do your homework. Take the initiative to find a mechanic you’re comfortable with before your car has a breakdown — so that you don’t.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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