How did you find a good mechanic/Auto Repair shop?

Is there a web resource to find good mechanic/Auto Repair shop?

I did google it for auto repair + review. I did find yellow pages with review.

As I called the shop had a conversations. Here are the out comes

  1. The shop talked as knowledgeable/friendly, shows bad review comments/experience
  2. My Neighbors had bad experience with shop that shows excellent reviews on yellow pages
  3. There are shops sell diagnostic services first and some say they do it without charging for diagnostic services

How do we pick right one?

I did not find any reviews for my mechanic(involved in Timing belt episode) or entry at BBB. (It is puzzling me).

The 2nd shop that I went to but would not touch the engine after it was taken out, what was my opinion on them with the conversation you had. I find the following mixed reviews.
Review 1
Great service, reasonable prices, great work, good quality, and Nancy is the best!
Was this review helpful?Yes No|Flag Abuse

Review 2
I took my car to repair a water leak and they said that it would be $900.00. They said they repaired it and get me 18 month warranty. I drove the car several weeks and the car is losing water faster. I took the car back and they said that it would be another $1400.00 to fix the problem. They were very rude and unprofessional.

Review 3
The people here were extremely professional, VERY nice and willing to listen… until my car got keyed in their parking lot! At that point, they displayed some of the most vile and unprofessional behavior I’ve seen. They claimed that had no liability in terms of fixing it, and they offered absolutely NO sympathy for the situation, which would have cost thousands of dollars to fix. (I have since donated my car.)Everyone I’ve spoken to concerning the situation - multiple car mechanics, auto shop teachers, etc., was horrified by my treatment. It’s one thing to politely say to a customer that they’re not liable; it’s quite another to hurry them off the property, ignore their questions and pleas for help, and show no care or compassion for the customer.Please stay away! They are only after your money and have no true care for your car.

Repair shop 2
Review 1
Very knowledgable and good mechanics.Very Fair priced and helpful. Not as gentle on my vehicle as Id like but MUCH better then most Ive dealt with. Ive shared their cards with many friends and my customers and would stand behind them because good people and good mechanics are hard to find.

Review 2

Having my vehicle at this place was the WORST experience I have had. First DO NOT PAY UP Front. They lie and cheat you with inferior parts and promise to call you which never happens. Willie left all but two bolts out holding my trans crossmember in my vehicle which is illegal. they do not know what they are doing. A TRUE BACK ALLEY GARAGE!

Review 3

(Formerly Happy Jacks) have been my mechanics for 7 years! The first big job I brought them was a “lemon” of a car, and they replaced the engine; still running. I was so happy wit their abilities, we did it again… this time in a Passat; still running.
Now Aaron and Willie, and the rest of the crew are the only ones I trust to service all my vehicles (2 commercial trucks included).

Thanks for sharing.

Internet ratings should not carry a lot of weight in making a decision. The reason being is that complaints are far more likely to be posted rather than praise. The fact that a shop has 6 complaints does not mean they’re incompetent or dishonest if 5000 praises are never posted.

The only exception would be if a shop is just absolutely deluged with numerous complaints and even that is based on the assumption that a lot of complaints are not being made by one person with an axe to grind.

About all I can suggest is that you try to select a shop that has been around a while and seems to stay busy. Even more important is that both you and the shop get on and stay on the same page as to the car problem and what is expected of both you and the shop.
Just my 2 cents, but many problems would never likely exist if clarity exists from the start of the customer/shop interaction.

Also check for auto shop reviews.

Know anyone that knows a mechanic? Or has had their car serviced at a shop that they would recommend?

I know of a really great mechanic in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
I think that his shop is probably very close to where you live…

Ask everyone you know for a recommendation. Eventually, a few will be mentioned by several people. Talk to them. You might also click on the “Mechanics Files” button at the top of the page and see who is rated well in your area.

I have always found good shops by asking honest, objective people who they were satisfied with. And I do the same when people ask me. There is a tire shop down the street who are vey good at tires, brakes and routine repairs but cannot do any original thinking.

“Also check for auto shop reviews.”

I have to disagree with you on that

In the Los Angeles times, an editor proved conclusively that yelp is utter BS

Yelp wants businesses to bribe them, so that negative reviews don’t show up

Sounds like extortion to me

Yelp also accepts bribes from businesses, so that they can get the personal information of people leaving bad reviews. Some of the businesses then contact the bad reviewers and threaten bodily harm or legal proceedings, if they don’t retract their bad reviews, or change them to a good review

And of course, it’s been proven numerous times that a good many positive reviews were bought and paid for

Word of mouth is your best bet.

@ MikeInNH gets the extra points on this subject.

If you think about it…the repair shop puts the ad into the yellow pages and words it like they would like. They pay for the ad and have that right. The Yellow pages could not go out and rate every business that they advertise for.

I really would not trust an on-line assessment either. Who’s doing the assessing!!!
Most people will only rate a place for their bad work or treatment of the clients. You get a good job done and you are so happy to have it fixed…you forget to go on-line and rate them.

Bides, how do we know the complaints are true and not a competitor trying to give the other guy a bad name. Or the owner going on-line and posting great reviews about his own business once a week. Or how do we know the complainant knows a good job from a bad one and is just upset because his buddy told him he paid way too much. Some friends never like to see others happy!!!

My suggestion is for you to ask about 50 people…what shop they suggest and why.
Ask Friends, Co-Workers, Family, and neighbors.
Rate them yourself with one to three stars. If you hear a shop mentioned a second time make a mark that the place was suggested by 2 people.

Then cross off all the one and two star places. Now you should have a list of 3 star places to choose from. If one shop was suggested much more often…I’d pick that shop.
You could also call these shops left on your list.
Tell them you just acquired your car and was told it needed some work.
Tell them you need new brakes and rotors all around and a new alternator.

Compare the prices and go from there. Remember Cheaper is not always better though.


I liked the service manager of local dealership who left for his own shop.

I have not looked back and its been a pleasure owning older vehicles 7yrs/130k and 10yrs/180k using him. He is reasonable and fair and don’t think twice taking these vehicles around for family trips even into Canada.

Neighbors, co-workers and friends are the best resource if you’re new to town or new to repairing your own vehicle.
When my son and his husband moved to Toledo Ohio that is what they did.
Not only were they new to town , they were also new to car ownership since they never needed a car in San Francisco in the last ten years.

I liked the service manager of local dealership who left for his own shop.

That’s weird. Most service managers I know are NOT mechanics. Most wouldn’t even be able to do something as simple as an oil change.

Go in for something minor such as an oil change and feel the place out, wait in the lobby. See how they deal with other customers coming in for major work. Ask for a price quote on a future repair/repair for a friend and see what they say.

I found a great independent shop that does work for nearly a third less than anyone else. Family owned and honest to the T.

I’m still looking… {:-/

People may criticize and other online review sites, but I found a great mechanic near me that way. He had rave reviews on Yelp and all the good things other people said about him are true. Nice guy, does good work, will tell you what’s going on, won’t do unnecessary work, reasonable rates…best mechanic I ever had.

So yeah, online reviews can be biased, paid for, or otherwise rigged… And sometimes they can be true.

I always ask the manager at the local NAPA. Good bet they know.

I always ask the manager at the local NAPA. Good bet they know.

I don’t know how they’d know. Most mechanics around here don’t use NAPA. In fact I don’t know any mechanic who does.

Go to your well known reputable parts store and ask…


Well, around here, a lot of mechanics do frequent napa

One of the reasons is quite simple . . . napa tends to stock a lot of the hard to find, oddball parts, like door hinge bushings, pigtails, heater hose connectors, etc. Napa also tends to stock some high quality electrical parts, such as sensors, the stuff the dealer tends to NOT stock.

If our parts supplier can’t get the parts quick enough, we sometims head to napa to get it, if they have it. We check ahead of time, naturally

Another thing I like about napa is this . . . their online inventory is pretty accurate. You can look for a particular item by store, and so far it’s not been wrong for me. And they update it pretty quick, too. One time I bought something, drove home and immediately checked online, just to satisfy my curiosity It showed none in stock, so I got the last one. So it got updated fast

Many of the napa stores are in extremely industrial areas, so they tend to also stock parts for big trucks

The glaring exception with their parts . . . I wouldn’t recommend a napa battery

Wow . . . this is the second time now that I’ve done or said something that no other mechanic has said, as far as you’re concerned