Unfortunately, there are many dishonest, incompetent, and unscrupulous auto mechanics out there posing as licensed and registered auto mechanics. Many car owners have definitely had to deal with such auto mechanics at one time or another and have had to pay more than the amount they received in their estimates or even worse.
So how can you tell whether an auto mechanic or repair shop is the right one? Below are some of the issues you need to consider before taking your car in to a repair shop or auto mechanic. This way, you can be sure that you will be taking your car to a reputable licensed and certified auto mechanic and not just any repair shop.
Ask for Recommendations from Family and Friends
The first step in finding the right mechanic is asking for recommendations from family members, friends, and colleagues. Chances are you may find that someone knows a good repair shop or auto mechanic you can trust with your car. The best thing about first hand recommendations is that you don’t usually have to work so hard to find a good professional. If you can’t find a reliable one this way, you can always check the internet for listed auto mechanics in your locality.
Verify That the Auto Mechanic is ASE Certified and Properly Licensed
Whether you have received a recommendation or are looking for one through any other channels (the internet or local listings), the first thing you will need to do is to verify whether or not the auto mechanic is ASE certified and properly licensed to operate in the state. (In Virginia, you can check the Automobile Repair Facilities Act for information about a properly licensed auto mechanic).
So how do you verify that a repair shop or auto mechanic is properly licensed and ASE certified. If you can, visit the auto repair shops and ask for proof of licensing or certification. Any reputable Auto mechanic will not hesitate to show you proof of this upon request. If you notice any hesitation, move on with your search.
Check the Auto Mechanic’s Reputation
Before you trust any auto mechanic with your car, you want to be sure that they have no major complaints from past clients and that they have an impeccable reputation. Nowadays, you can simply go online to the auto repair shop’s website or better still the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and find out what past clients have to say. This will give you a general idea of how the company operates and whether or not you can trust them with your car. Any numerous or major complaints from customers should be a red flag.
Ask for Estimates
Compare several estimates before you settle on any one auto mechanic. The estimates can be different but they should not have significant differences. As much as you should look for a great deal, avoid any auto repair shop that gives you an unreasonably low estimate. Auto mechanics are required to give you specific estimates for services or repairs worth $100 or more.