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How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Most people are so desperate to have an honest mechanic that they stick to one professional for as long as humanly possible. When a person must change his or her maintenance person, it can cause a great deal of stress and angst. Luckily, there are smart ways to choose an honest mechanic: here are a few foolproof methods to get a decent price and quick turnaround when your car needs attention.

1. Talk to Locals

 Mechanic guide 1 How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Image via Flickr by Tobyotter

If you’re new to a neighborhood or in town on business, then the best resources at hand are the locals. Try to ask people who are frank and open for their advice. Most likely they will be able to refer you to their long-term mechanic.  Here are a few types of people to ask:

  • New neighbors
  • Colleagues in the local office
  • Church friends
  • Rental car companies

2. Check Reviews

 Mechanic guide 2 How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon

Even if a new friend refers you to a mechanic (and especially if you find the professional on your own) check online ratings and reviews. Some of the things you’ll learn might be astounding because unhappy customers are much more likely to post than those with positive experiences.

By checking reviews you can learn what type of service to expect from the mechanic and how much he or she will charge. Also, reviews will tell you of questions you should ask. For example, if several people state that the mechanic mis-quoted prices, then you should ask if there is a written guaranteed quote.

3. Second Opinions

 Mechanic guide 3 How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Image via Flickr by jeshua.nace

When you first use a new mechanic, make sure to get alternate quotes from other dealers and shops. While his or her price might vary slightly, any drastic price difference could be a sign of non-disclosure of information or over-charging. By using sites like www.reedmantoll.com you can learn if specific parts are being over-priced in addition to mechanics charging for time, or if the part just includes the necessary labor.

4. Read the Mechanic

 Mechanic guide 4 How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Image via Flickr by kk+

Actively listen to the new mechanic when he or she is speaking, and note any signs of obfuscating truths, exaggerating issues, or avoiding solid schedules and quotes. Liars are much easier to spot than honest people, because they get into a routine of deceit that will feel familiar to those who have been conned before.

5. Read the Bill Closely

 Mechanic guide 5 How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Image via Flickr via The MK Shop

When the bill or physical quote arrives, do not quickly sign it. Read each line item and ask questions. Dishonest mechanics can easily charge consumers for extra time (at an average rate of $70 per hour), as well as unnecessary services. Furthermore, when inquisitive customers ask questions mechanics might offer discounts or reveal information (like that military members get 15% off).

While finding an honest mechanic might be difficult, keeping him or her in your Rolodex should be an easy choice. Make sure you share the information with others scanning reviews and message boards, so that your honest mechanic gets enough business to stay true.