H 73° L 45°
Foggy | 6MPH

BBB Tips: How to Find a Reliable Auto Mechanic

Sept. 12, 2013

When your vehicle needs repairs, you don't need a crash course in auto mechanics, but you should know how to find a reliable shop and mechanic.

Better Business Bureau and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recommend following a few key pointers to ensure that your automobile gets fixed without a glitch.

No matter what you drive - sports car, family sedan, pick-up, or mini-van - when you go in for repairs or service, you want the job done right. While many mechanics are legitimate, there are always those unscrupulous few. In 2012, BBB received more than 14,000 complaints against auto repair servicers.
Don't just drop your vehicle off at the nearest establishment and hope for the best. BBB and ASE recommend the following tips before choosing an auto repair shop:

Get familiar with your car and your local auto servicers. Read your owner's manual to become familiar with your vehicle and follow the manufacturer's suggested service schedule. Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed or in a panic.

Ask around. Always check out the mechanic and auto body shop’s BBB Business Review at before doing business. Ask friends and associates for recommendations; even in this high-tech era, old-fashioned word of mouth reputation is valuable. Find a BBB Accredited auto mechanic on our Accredited Business Directory.

Scope it out. Once you choose a repair shop, start off with a minor job; and if you are pleased, trust them with more complicated repairs later. Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with modern equipment in the service bays and vehicles of equal value to your own in the parking lot. Professionally-run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The service writer should be willing to answer all of your questions.

Before authorizing repairs, get a written estimate for parts and labor. Tell the shop to get your permission before making additional repairs. Ensure you receive notification by having the service manager write a request on the bottom of the repair order. Give phone numbers where you can be reached and, before you leave, be sure to understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

Get everything in writing. When you pick up your vehicle, get an explanation of all work completed and get all guarantees in writing. Ask that any major new parts that have been installed be pointed out to you. Your repair bill should be itemized so that if a problem occurs later, you can prove the item is covered by the guarantee. Ask if the shop customarily handles your vehicle make and model. Some facilities specialize.

If you think your car could be a Lemon, contact BBB AUTO LINE. If your car is experiencing an issue that you think could be a result of a failed motor vehicle warranty, check out BBB AUTO LINE dispute resolution program that can help you resolve your lemon law complaint without having to get a lawyer. Review BBB AUTO LINE to see if your car is included and for the next steps in filing a complaint.

For more tips you can trust, visit and for the latest, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Large crowd in Wauwatosa gymnasium discusses coyote attacks, seeks answers Updated:  01:59 PM

» Updated week eight rankings of area prep football teams and players 12:00 PM

» Wauwatosa West girls volleyball team bounces back for victory 10/7

» Wauwatosa East volleyball team wins thriller against Trojans 10/7

» Wauwatosa East soccer team ties second-ranked Cedarburg 10/7

» Wauwatosa West football team blanks Vikings, earns playoff spot 10/7

» Wauwatosa East boys cross country team finished second at the Purgold Invite 10/7

» Wauwatosa East boys volleyball team beats Cedarburg 10/7

» Wauwatosa East, West girls cross-country teams finish third, fourth at Purgold Invitational 10/7

» Wauwatosa West girls tennis finishes second in Woodland Tennis Tournament 10/7

» Public invited to Wauwatosa Village streetscape workshop 10/6

» Bedbugs found in Wauwatosa juvenile court center Updated:  10/6

» Nordstrom Mayfair announces gala, late-night party fundraising events 10/6

» Aurora plans $35 million upgrade to psychiatric hospital in Tosa Updated:  10/2

» Mayfair mall, Susan G. Komen host series of breast cancer events 10/2

» Wauwatosa schools celebrate Walk to School Day on Oct. 7 10/2

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football? 10/1

» Wauwatosa West football whips Pius XI in wild scoring affair 9/29

» Tosa West boys split two matches 9/29

» East kickers tie, lose, win during busy week 9/29

» Tosa East girls take third at Bay Invitational 9/29

» East's Potter finishes second at Nikolai Invite 9/29

» Wauwatosa Sports Shorts Oct. 1 9/29

» Tosa fourth in GMC golf standings 9/29

» 3 things you can do to protect your family, pets from coyote attacks Updated:  9/29

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory