Monday, July 15, 2013

{Healthy, Wealthy, & Happy Living in Omaha}

How To Find An Auto Mechanic
That Won’t Rip You Off

The best way to find any service provider, including an auto mechanic, is based on referrals from friends and family.  But automobile breakdowns rarely happen at convenient times or places, and you may need to select from repair shops within a few miles.  Look for these five things to find a good mechanic:

1.      Certifications:  Look for a plaque on the wall for ASE certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.  Remember that not every mechanic in the garage will be certified for your particular type of repairs.  If they have the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence it means that at least 75 percent of the techs have been certified and each area of service in the shop has someone certified in that area.

2.      Length of time in business:  Experience helps.  Look for a shop that has been in the same location more than five years.  If you see a shop, you can search for user reviews of their work at a site like

3.      Billing Rate:  If you can, talk to the owner of the garage.  One of the questions to ask is whether they charge a “straight hourly rate” based on the actual time spent on the repair or “book rate” that can be higher. 

4.      Referrals and opinions from the web:  If you have a smart phone, get other opinions by searching an online forum about your issue.  A good place to start is at  For another viewpoint, ask a mechanic from another auto shop who does not work on your type of vehicle.  The shop specializing in European cars can probably tell you the best mechanic for a Japanese vehicle.

5.      Getting the right thing fixed:  Once you find a shop, don’t be fooled into fixes you may not need.  You can find tools for diagnosing symptoms and estimating repair costs at  You’ll also find quick online advice at, which has a useful question and answer tool.

No comments:

Post a Comment