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How to Choose a Reliable and Trustworthy Auto Mechanic

The key to excellent car maintenance is to find a mechanic before your car has a problem.

The time to find a good mechanic is not when your car breaks down, or after an accident. In those cases, you'll be pressed for time and may be too stressed out to do the research and make a good decision.

So the time is now, to think about searching for someone you can trust with your car.

Start by asking friends and neighbors for their input. Where do they take their cars for service and repairs? How long have they gone there? What type of relationship do they have with the mechanics there? Would they recommend them? Why or why not? If the same business is mentioned more than once, give that one serious consideration.

You can also check Mechanics Files on the Car Talk forums for mechanics recommendations. The database includes over 30,000 mechanics reviewed by Car Talk listeners.

Do a drive-by. Does the location look professional? You can get a pretty good feel for the type of business by scoping the place out. Does the lot have a lot of cars parked haphazardly, or does it seem neat and orderly?

Check credentials. If you have a service station in mind, consult the Better Business Bureau or AAA for their ratings and certifications, and to look for complaints. Also check to see whether mechanics are ASE certified (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). AAA also has an Approved Auto Repair Network to help you narrow down the field.

Read reviews. Check Merchant Circle, Yelp, or another ratings and reviews site to read about other customers' experiences. You can also search for a mechanic in your area on these sites.

Don't be shy about interviewing prospective mechanics. Wondering what questions to ask? Find out about labor rates, pricing policies, the source of parts used, and whether parts and labor are warrantied.

If you've narrowed it down to two or three mechanics, call each to get a quote on the same repair, and compare their prices.

Before you have a major repair done at a new service station, have a small repair or scheduled maintenance done. When you see how they handle your oil change or tire rotation, you'll get a feel for their skill and professionalism.

And you should always feel comfortable getting a second opinion, especially when considering major work or repairs. Ask the mechanic to call you with the diagnosis is before he performs the work, and how much the work would cost. Then take the car to another shop, ask them whether they can confirm the diagnosis, and find out what they would charge.

Rosemary January 12, 2013 at 01:14 PM
In the North Penn area I have to commend the Lansdale Sunoco mechanics. I have never been treated better and their people always explain everything they are doing without talking down to me. On top of everything my car is always repaired correctly by knowledgeable auto mechanics. Thank you so much guys at Lansdale Sunoco!
jess5040 January 12, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I couldn't agree more! I always use Steve Green at G&T Tire on Gravel Pike in Collegeville. I have had the best luck with him and have never met a more honest mechanic ever and I come from a dealership background.
Harold Schaefer January 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM
J's Auto in Hatfield does a great job on my cars. Have been with them for years. They provide proactive maintenance and provide warning of upcoming maintenance, such as 'you may be looking at new rear brakes in the next six months' so maintenance isn't always a surprise.
Paul's Automotive Customer January 12, 2013 at 06:52 PM
My father and Uncle used to own garages so I never had to worry but now that he is retireing I had to find another mechanic. Since my Dad was in the business and knew people I was told to take my car to a mechanic in Lafayette hill (sorry I forget the name). That garage then closed due to the owner being in a major car accident so I was left wondering, "oh no, who do I go to now, who can I trust?" Well after speaking to a few people at work and my Dad and Brother "Paul's Automotive" on Colwell Lane in Conshohocken was recommeneded. I will NEVER take my car anywhere else. Its a very professional mechanic shop not to mention so personable. They always call me before any work is performed and they go out of there way to try and figure the lowest cost for anything that needs to be fixed. My car will make a noise and if I drop it off at lunch time by the end of work (5pm) the car is finished. PAUL'S AUTOMOTIVE I WOULD HAVE TO SAY IS THE BEST AND ONE OF THE MOST HONEST MECHANIC'S THERE IS AROUND THE AREA. Would never take my car anywhere else! Thanks guys at Paul's Automotive!
John January 12, 2013 at 07:39 PM
I think North Wales service center is awesome. Josh is the best!
sharon moyer January 14, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Al's Auto Sales,Service & Supply is the best in Norristown !! 61 E. Brown St. They are very honest and they don't have high labor costs. Al and his son Gary ( who now runs it ) will tell you up front what your car needs.My husband & I have been going there for years.They also did a major car repair when money was short for us and set up a payment plan ! Any other place would say "sorry,no money,no car" Take your car to Al's and you will be happy you did !! (Phone# (610) 272-6185)
ClemSheldon1 May 02, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Everyone needs a good car mechanic for maintaining their car. The question is where do you find a dependable one? I think your article helps a lot to people for finding a reliable and trustworthy auto mechanic; automotix.net/autorepair/askquestions.html helped me a lot by sharing all the valuable information related to car maintenance.

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