How Do I Find a Reliable And Trustworthy Car Mechanic?

Oh how many times has this very question rolled off the tongues of people over the past 100 years? You get your first car, you move to a new city, you broke down in the middle of a trip, you buy a lemon, etc, etc, etc… The list goes on, but the question is still asked generation after generation. Car mechanics go hand-in-hand with computer repair folks and contractors for being known for bending you over if you haven’t a clue about the subject.

I’m STILL looking for an honest mechanic since I moved to Washington 7 years ago. I’ve been in and out of dealerships, repair shops, friends mechanic friends, a guy who knows a guy, my real-estate agents mechanic, but none have fit with me yet. I still find they’re trying to squeeze me for something extra or something I don’t need. Everyone has a different version of what is wrong with my car and I get pretty frustrated.

I think the best way around the issue is to find a mechanic that has something YOU can offer THEM and make a trade. Say you’re good at computers, work out a plan to fix his computer issues for just parts, no labor charged and see if he’s willing to do the same for your car. Or perhaps you’re good at blogging or advertising, clearly possible trades come out. Trades in business aren’t as common as they once were it seems. I recall growing up with my father trading everything possible and never having any real money to stand on. We’d trade building a fence for a month of groceries. Carpeting a house for 2 weeks of gas. Honestly it was a common practice that I don’t see so much anymore, but really could and should work.

MotherLoad has written a post about finding a good mechanic it looks like she’d be happy to refer you to if you live in Indiana, USA.
FreeRangeLibrarian has also found some decent mechanics for folks also here.
TrustMyMechanic seems to also have a few good points and tips that you should investigate before jumping into the phonebook to search.
AutoEducation also offers some good tidbits on what to look for when looking for repair advice.
AceAuto might have some points and tips to finding what ales your car.

If you’re in a like mindset, feel free to post your information here and you might just find someone in the same area of the country looking for a trade also. You never know if you don’t try. It might be worth a few hundred dollars to at least give it a try. The best advice I can give is to investigate this info or try to find a mechanic BEFORE you have problems, or else you’re exactly where they want you to be, in need of repairs…

Heck, I’m still in the market for a good car mechanic here in Washington, so if you ARE this trustworthy person I’ve been looking for and need help blogging, computer problems, or just general labor for trade, I’m certainly willing to listen. Drop a comment here or get in touch via the contact me page.

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  • Some great ideas. I have compiled a list on how to find a good mechanic on our blog as well, check it out. Mechanics seem to have gotten a bad reputation over the last few years, but most mechanics are good hardworking people who will do you right. Most people run into problems when they want to get their car repaired as cheap as possible. With cheap parts you get what you pay for and if you are not willing to pay a mechanic a enough to make a living they will find ways to extract mor money out of you by either replacing parts that do not need replacing, by making you come back for related repairs and then charging you again or by ripping you off on parts.

  • Kerry

    Look for a decal on the front window that says M.A.P, Motorists Assurance Program. M.A.P. is a set of guidlines that breaks down all auto repairs into catagories that determine if the repair is required or suggested and the reason why they are being required or suggested.An auto repair shop has to be accredited to have this decall on their window which shows legitimacy.All Firestone Complete Auto Care centers have these decals and a nationwide warranty.A reputable shop should also be able to show you the problem and be willing to save old parts if requested.Ask around for personal references and maybe check with the BBB.Ask to see their warranty for a repair in writing before authorizing work.If price is an issue and usually is,get a second estimate from another shop, but remember you get what you pay for.There can be a big difference in quality of parts such as brake pads.They can range from $ about $60.average and like comparing a sirloin steak to filet mignon there is a huge difference.Factory parts are not always the best or necessary. Yes I do happen to manage a Firestone In Houston,Texas (281-448-4305)and I beleive in taking care of the customer and doing them right and they will return and become loyal customers.That is the way I run my business and I’ve been in the auto business all my life.It only takes one time for a customer to even THINK they got ripped off and they will never return. It’s no secret, I want my customers to be loyal and keep spending their money with me over the years. there has to be a trust factor and it starts with an honest relationship. There are a lot of good shops out there (and bad) but the main thing is once you develop that relationship and they earn your trust you should stay with them .It’s all about people! Hope this helps and God Bless.

  • @Kerry – thanks for the tips and honest advice Kerry.

  • I am pretty happy with my mechanic. They always treat me good and communicate very well with me. I wouldn’t take my car anywhere else. If you are ever in Topeka and break down Hank take your car to Doug Reichert Pontiac and tell them I sent you.

    Not only will they come and tow your car if you have a breakdown, they have a courtesy vehicle that will take you someplace to get something to eat while you wait and come back and pick you up when your car is done.

    They are top notch.

    Joe Cheray’s last blog post..Two Free Frames for Paint Shop Pro

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  • I look forward to reading what you’re planning on next, because your blog is a nice read, you’re writing with passion.