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 bbb.org 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 bbb.org 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

» What residents in Southeast Wisconsin need to know to prevent the spread of Zika virus 04:11 PM

» For Wauwatosa Hurricanes' Danny Larson, it's all about the team 11:07 AM

» Wauwatosa West boys basketball team bounces back to beat New Berlin West 10:59 AM

» Wauwatosa West girls basketball team drops five in a row 10:50 AM

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team defeats Menomonee Falls to snap 3-game losing streak 10:45 AM

» Big Cheese Classic National Wheelchair Basketball tourney set for Feb. 20-21 10:23 AM

» Wauwatosa's Larson wins two swimming championship 10:16 AM

» Wauwatosa East boys basketball team drops third straight game 10:04 AM

» Five Wauwatosa East student-athletes to play at collegiate level 09:27 AM

» Wauwatosa's Beekman to play football at Southern A&M 09:12 AM

» Tosa officers return to work following police-involved shooting 2/9

» Fat Tuesday: How Wauwatosa celebrated 2/9

» As trial begins, man pleads guilty to shooting Wauwatosa police officer Updated:  2/8

» Tosa's All-City Read well underway, more events to come 2/8

» Wauwatosa Revolving Loan Fund celebrates 25 years 2/8

» Milwaukee Co. Zoo welcomes two new lionesses 2/8

» Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players 2/8

» Wauwatosa West boys basketball team defeats Shorewood, South Milwaukee 2/3

» Marquette gets revenge with 75-55 victory over Wauwatosa East boys 2/3

» Wauwatosa East's Stewart, Green combine for 49 points in win over Brookfield Central 2/3

» Wauwatosa West girls basketball team loses road games to Shorewood, South Milwaukee 2/3

» Wauwatosa Hurricanes finish second at Bob White Swimming Invitational 2/3

» Wauwatosa Tosa girls basketball team drops tough decisions to Lancers, Chargers 2/3

» Pewaukee whips Wauwatosa wrestlers to take first in conference 2/3

» Positive and uplifting stories in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country in January 2/1

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Election center 2016

Election overage from from the MyCommunityNow coverage area covering suburban Milwaukee County and the eastern half of Waukesha County.

Suburban Milwaukee election center 2016

Local Business Directory

CONNECT