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.