I Gotta Get My Car Diagnosed. Who's Going To Charge Me More?

That is not a bad suggestion, but the OP should be aware that those files are outdated by MANY years, and many of the shops listed are now either gone or under new management, which could yield different outcomes for the customer. The technical folks for this site said that they will attempt to edit-out the shops that are now nonexistent, but they admit that this could take… a long time.

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Have you looked at that Mechanics File yourself ? The reviews as a rule are so old they are worthless . The online sites Like Angies List and others will be of more help.

I reviewed the ones for our city, not a bad list imhop, but one has been closed for years.

Thanks for the notice, and the leads. I’ve used Mechanics Files a fair amount over the years, for locating shops for children attending out of state colleges and occasionally when traveling, most recently in 2017 when we had an emergency on the other side of the country. I just took a fresh look at its entries for my area and, as you said, there’s a sharp drop off after ~ 2011 making it no longer current. However those with high ratings still are among the best in the area, though a few have since closed.

| VOLVO-V70
November 30 |

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ken2116:

Consider consulting Car Talk’s “Mechanics Files” for local recommendations by customers -

Have you looked at that Mechanics File yourself ? The reviews as a rule are so old they are worthless . The online sites Like Angies List and others will be of more help.

Thanks, I just realized that after another contributor replied with much the same message. We consulted it when for our kids were at out of state colleges and it served us well 3 years ago when we had an emergency on the opposite coast, but a check of our local listings shows that reviews drop off around 2011 - in our case the highly rated shops still are good but some have closed their doors and new ones aren’t included. It’s a shame such a useful resource has been allowed to wither.

VDCdriver
November 30

ken2116:

Consider consulting Car Talk’s “Mechanics Files” for local recommendations by customers - click on “Repair Shops” in the menu at the top of this website). I generally concur with their ratings of our local shops and have found them useful during out of town emergencies.

That is not a bad suggestion, but the OP should be aware that those files are outdated by MANY years, and many of the shops listed are now either gone or under new management, which could yield different outcomes for the customer… The technical folks for this site said that they will attempt to edit-out the shops that are now nonexistent, but they admit that this could take… a long time.

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I would suggest an independent shop that is well thought of by the gear heads in your acquaintance in your community. Some shops are better at some areas than others for specific areas because the technical sophistication of the modern cars with ECU and sensor based troubles they require some intelligent/accurate diagnosis. Do you get a check engine light when it is running rough? If so you may get a FIXD to plug into the car’s computer port to read the codes that the computer stores about your problem.

Very true; one of the better shops in my area years ago for a long time has closed now because the owner had gone from managing the shop to hiring managers. A few years ago the shop started going downhill because some of the new managers and the techs they hired were just not up to the previous high standards and a lot of errors and failed jobs kept showing up in my cars I took there before it closed.

The owner of one of the shops listed on this site was killed in a traffic accident over 20 years when he lost control of his truck while pulling a load of tires on a trailer. Good guy too. His son carried on for a few years until closing it down. The building sat vacant for 4 or 5 years and for the past 5 years has been an equipment rental facility.

And when it comes to online reviews you have to take them with a grain of salt. Some people will approve an estimate gladly and when the work is over will try to negotiate the price down. When that fails they drag out the torches and pitchforks.

The Chevy dealer here was trashed by one guy whose Blazer was intermittently quitting him. This was diagnosed as a bad fuel pump. He only wanted the filter changed and said he would have the pump done when he got back home to Houston, TX. (Gutsy guy at 550 miles…)
A 100 miles from Houston the Blazer quit for good and he had to get towed. So who did he blame and trash on internet reviews? The Chevy dealer here in OK.

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I would Google it to see if it is a common problem. And check the engine mounts.