The odds are pretty good that you rely on your mechanic even more than you do your doctor. They’re the person who keeps your car running smoothly so that you can stay on top of your personal and professional obligations.
Considering how much you rely on your car running smoothly, it’s easy to understand why finding a new mechanic after you’ve moved is so stressful. You know you need a mechanic that provides trustworthy repairs, who works quickly and who honors their estimates.
While choosing a new mechanic is always going to be a daunting process, there are some things you can do to make the leap of faith a little less scary.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
The biggest mistake car owners make is waiting until there is a problem with their car before they start looking for a mechanic. This means that you are desperate and unable to do any research. Long before your car starts acting up, make a list of local mechanics and check each one out. The more research you do, the better the odds are that you’ll choose the mechanic that’s perfect for you.
The things you want to look up include:
- If they work on your brand/model of vehicle.
- If they are fully licensed and insured.
- What they’re estimates are like.
- If they offer all-around mechanical work or if they specialize.
- If they honor warranties.
- How long they’ve been in business.
Since you just moved to the area, you might not know many people but that doesn’t have to prevent you from asking questions and getting some recommendations for good mechanics in the area. Talk to co-workers, bank tellers and cashiers. Not only is this a good way to learn which local mechanics have the best reputations, but also to start connecting with people in your new community.
Visit the Mechanic’s Shop
Take a few minutes to visit the mechanic’s shop. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small organization or a massive business, the place should be clean, the employees should look relaxed and most importantly, you should get a professional and experienced vibe when you walk through the doors.
Take Your Car to the Mechanic for Routine Work
Nothing is saying you have to wait until you have an emergency before taking your car to a mechanic. If you’ve found the one you think you like, have them perform some routine procedure on your car, like an oil change. This will give you an idea about how well they work and the overall quality of the work. If you like them for routine stuff, you’ll probably be more relaxed about leaving your vehicle there when you do need emergency repairs.
Low Estimates Aren’t Always a Good Deal
Everyone loves to get a good deal, but don’t go with a mechanic solely because they gave the lowest estimate. When it comes to repairs and car work, you usually get what you pay for. Go with the mechanic that may charge a little more but who uses top-quality parts, offers excellent customer service and provides warranties.