Choosing a mechanic is a lot like choosing a doctor. Instead of your physical health, though, you’re putting the long-term care and health of your vehicle in an expert’s care. Just like choosing a primary care doctor, it can take time to find the perfect fit for your family’s trusty vehicle. Here, we’ve compiled some questions to ask when you’re choosing an auto shop for your vehicle.
What to Ask When You’re Choosing an Auto Shop for Your Vehicle
Everyone is looking for something a little different out of their potential mechanic. You’ll want to consider everything from the location of the shop, the costs of services, the experience of the staff, and the cleanliness of the shop in addition to any personal preferences.
First, it’s important to consider the shop as a whole. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the shop clean and tidy, or is it messy and disorganized?
- How well was I treated when I entered? (Was I greeted, welcomed, or acknowledged in a friendly way?)
- Did the mechanics answer all of my questions in a professional and informative way?
- Did the mechanics make me feel uninformed or belittled about what maintenance my vehicle needs?
- Were all of my questions answered fully, or did it feel as though they were trying to evade significant questions?
- How professionally did they treat me and other customers?
Next, here are some questions to ask your mechanic. You may not need to ask all of these, but they’ll get you started on the right track.
- What certifications/training do your mechanics have? (And, is their training up-to-date?)
- How much experience do your mechanics have?
- How much does an inspection or diagnostic cost?
- Can you help me keep my vehicle on its maintenance schedule?
- How do you plan to communicate with me while the vehicle is being repaired?
- What is your hourly rate?
- What extra fees can I expect with standard services?
- Can you show me what needs to be repaired?
- Can you explain the reasons and process for the recommended service?
- What are the long-term consequences of waiting to have the repairs performed?
- How long will it take to complete the service?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even ones that you might feel are silly. A good mechanic will answer anything you ask respectfully and with a positive, informative attitude.
If you feel as though the mechanics are evading your questions or, just as bad, not treating you respectfully, then it’s important to listen to your gut instinct and keep looking. There are plenty of auto shops to choose from, and although the one that’s closest to home is convenient, it simply may not be a good fit.
You may find it helpful to look online for reviews to see what other customers have said about their experience with a shop. If you see a consistent thread of complaints (or compliments!) or repeated references to a specific issue, then you may want to weigh this more heavily than a one-off complaint.
Armed with these questions, you’ll be able to establish baselines about what you’re looking for out of a mechanic’s shop before ever stepping through the door.
A relationship with your mechanic, much like your primary care doctor, is ideally going to last for the life of your vehicle. Your mechanics will be familiar with your car and have access to your vehicle’s repair history so that they can make the best recommendations as to future maintenance.
T3 Atlanta: Your Atlanta-area Nissan, Lexus, Infiniti, and Toyota Mechanic
T3 Atlanta specializes in Nissan, Lexus, Infiniti, and Toyota repairs. All of our mechanics are certified and experienced so you can rest assured that your car is getting the care that it needs. We’re always happy to answer any questions that you may have. We want to ensure that you can bring your car to us with confidence for years to come.