Choosing the Right Auto Repair Service (and What Most Mechanics Won’t Tell You)

How do you choose the right auto repair shop? This is perhaps the most important decision you’ll ever make for your car. You should be sure that whatever the issue is with your car, the first person to check with is a professional mechanic who can give you an honest and impartial opinion about your car’s condition. However, there are also things that mechanics won’t tell you when it comes to auto repair services, so you should be careful when choosing.

Find Out Current Services Charges

How much are you willing to spend for automotive services? More often than not, a mechanic cannot give an exact amount for a particular service, prior to doing the job, because there are many factors to consider, such as the make and model of your car and the severity of the problem. However, a good mechanic should be able to give a rough estimate.

Take a look at the following tips when checking auto repair service charges:

  • Compare Prices And Services: Find out if the local auto repair shop charges more than the average. Good auto body repair shops provide an itemized invoice showing transactions as they are
  • Contact The Auto Repair Shop: Call the shop ahead of time to ask about a free estimate before taking your car in for repair. Do they charge more for labor? Do they offer any special deals on parts or labor? 

Ask For Referrals And Character References

Rarely will an auto mechanic proactively provide character references. That’s why you have to ask. Also, you can have your friends and family recommend a reputable local car repair shop. Word-of-mouth advertising is still the most popular way people find businesses these days. 

Check Ads

Auto repair companies also post ads on social media and other digital platforms like most businesses. You’ll find tutorial articles and video ads showing their expertise in auto repair

But, of course, mechanics won’t state their years of experience or work background on their ads, so you have to dig further. Ads are just for enticing clients to try a company’s auto repair services. If you want to check the validity or truthfulness of the auto shop’s ads, you can do the following:

  • Check website and social media feedback.
  • Contact the company to inquire for specific services.
  • Set a face-to-face interview with a mechanic.

Check Auto Repair Services Offered

It is crucial to know exactly what auto repair services a company offers. Can they handle the most difficult car repair problems? Sometimes, you have a particularly stubborn piece of metal in your car that is causing you all kinds of trouble, and simply accessing the part and getting it fixed can be quite easy for a mechanic. For others, some car issues can be a real challenge, most especially if a mechanic hasn’t encountered such issue.

A professional mechanic will never tell outright that he can’t handle a car issue. He would either do research or ask another mechanic about it. 

There are certain repair services which require specialists. Ask around or ask the workers in the repair shop you have in mind if they offer it. Here are examples of the most challenging vehicle problems to repair:

  • Hydro-locked engine or water inside the cylinders (lead to piston issues, such as leaky seals and gaskets and bent connecting rods
  • Engine seizure due to overheating caused by lack of coolant or oil, as well as dirt or rust
  • Head gasket problems
  • Oil in the car brake system
  • Computer problems

Check The Auto Repair Company Website

Check out websites of local car repair shops. Many websites will have reviews written by previous customers about the auto shop, along with an address and phone number. Call the shop and inquire about its repair services. If you feel confident, ask about insurance policies and guarantees. Getting all the information about the shop’s familiarity with automotive trends is always a good idea. These kinds of information and more should be on their websites.


If you find yourself in need of auto body repair or some other type of car repair, you don’t have to suffer through it alone. You can ask for referrals or references and check online reviews for customer feedback and the auto repair shop’s website for its services. Also, you can set up an appointment for a face-to-face interview with a mechanic. Trusting a reputable and honest service provider is the best way to go. You can get an estimate before you decide on a service, and get a guarantee that you won’t be charged more than you should be.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.