Searching for the right mechanic is a multi-step process. Word of mouth will often help you zero in on a garage that does good work and reading reviews provided on Auto Repair Shop’s website is always a good idea. Most importantly, don’t assume that just because you go to a dealership, that they are the best at fixing your “brand” of vehicle either. However, you shouldn’t be satisfied until you visit the garage in person and speak to the mechanic and/or owner personally.
Once at the repair shop, there are a few questions you should ask. Whether you need something fixed immediately or are simply searching for a garage for the next time something goes awry, these questions will help you determine what kind of mechanic you’re dealing with.
Questions to ask the Mechanic
Before a technician even lays a finger on your car, approach the owner. There are three categories of inquiries you should make about his business: the credentials of the garage and competence of the workers, the price of the work being done and, finally, the policies and extra services. Let’s take a look at the first recommended set of questions.
Quality of Work
Do you have an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certificate?
Another, more common known indication of quality service is an ASE certificate posted up somewhere in the garage. ASE workers do on-site evaluations of vehicle repair establishments across the country, handing out certificates to those places that conform to ASE standards. When you can’t spot this exclusive piece of paper, ask if this garage has been approved. Again, if it hasn’t, it’s a sign that the workmanship is questionable.
Does your garage specialize in a particular type of car? A particular type of work?
Without it being explicitly written on a sign outside the garage, many mechanics will admit they do their best work on a certain make of car or certain repair job. Ask about this, since you probably wouldn’t want your Infiniti worked on at a place that is used to repairing Ford minivans. By the same token, it may not be wise to get a spark plug problem fixed at a garage that has a history of repairing air conditioners. Make sure you know what your garage’s strengths and weaknesses are.