questionsdo you have a regular mechanic? how did you find…

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We found ours on cartalk.com - go to the Mechanics Files link. It has reviews of car shops from listeners of NPR's Car Talk program.

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DH drives a LOT for work so he takes very good care of our cars. I'm not quite sure how he found our mechanic, but I seem to recall that he shopped around at the shops near our house and finally settled on a privately-owned car maintenance and repair business. We have been using them for over 20 years now and have become pretty friendly with the owner and his family. It's nice to see that someone can still grow a pretty big business from the ground up by doing reliable work.

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@omnichad: Thanks for this...I was looking for a new mechanic myself since I recently moved. Found one with 9 good reviews nearby!

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Actually the tow truck driver who towed my car recommended him. Turned out to be a really great guy. So if you're in Atlanta, I can give you his info.

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Mine was referred to me by a friend. He's very good and gets the job done.

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Found ours through a recommendation, then followed him when he left for a new garage. The garage owner actually took our at the time well past repair stage car for parts for a car he was building for his teenage son in lieu of billing us. Maintaining a relationship can definitely be a help.

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I went to my mechanic for 8 years before he retired. My mother knew him through her church. His prices were always fair and the work was always excellent.

Since then, I found a local place through some yelp reviews and word of mouth from locals. I was skeptical at first, as one should be, but the owner/manager was very affable, up-front with all costs and has his workmanship warrantied. These are the three important things I look for, not to mention he worked after-hours to finish my car in time. Now I recommend him to everyone I know.

The best bet is to get involved locally to get face-to-face recommendations. It could be a gym, a club, city council meeting, etc. To be blunt, try to find out who the older people (55+) go to for work. Generally, they don't accept guff from a shady mechanic and they have probably stayed with the same mechanic for years.

On a side note, if you feel up to it, go to your neighbors and introduce yourself. Then a few days later, ask if they know one.

GL.

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I had used a guy based on a friend's recommendation until the guy retired and closed up shop.

Shortly after that, I moved and when my inspection came up later that year, I asked around to find the guy I'm using now. I get a nice discount for cash, he works around my schedule, and he's not suggested anything that doesn't make sense.

My ex-wife takes her car to wherever they are offering the best deal on whatever it is she needs. It seems like she pays a whole lot more than I do in the long run.

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Same as others have suggested - I ask friends and coworkers for recommendations. Current mechanic is good and honest, but not cheap. They are actually kind enough to help me diagnose some of the issues I've had, etc., which they know I'm likely to repair myself. Have also found that they tend to be a little overly-thorough, but I can live with that.

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I, too, went through cartalk's mechanic's files. I have strayed once or twice and been very sorry I did. The mechanic has given me recommendations for a body shop and an interiors shop so I think I'm good now. The best mechanic may not be the cheapest around or have the most convenient hours but it is much better to find someone you can trust. You don't want your car falling apart on the highway.

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But what if everything IS broken and it's a $2000 fix? Wouldn't you want your mechanic to be honest rather than having it in the shop all the time for $200 band-aids? I know a guy who is in a similar situation and he pays between 200 and 300 a month on band-aid fixes because he refuses to spring for a $2000 overhaul, or take out a short term loan on something that will run consistantly. But his mechanic does the band-aid fixes at his request. (good consistant business)

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Luck. Sometimes you just have to go around and find someone who is trustworthy and isn't trying to kill your bank account.

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Mine was referred by many friends. I always visit him when I have some doubt about my old car. His rate is quite fair too :)