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how do you determine whether you can trust a mechanic or not?

can anyone recommend a mechanic in and around md 21030?


i meant in hunt valley, cockeysville, timonium-lutherville area.

Ask people you know and trust their opinion. When you find some…take small jobs and see if they try to sell you things you don’t need.

A friend of mine also found that a foolproof method. References are important, and when you give the shop in question a small job to do, if they try to sell you unnneeded stuff, run.

Last month I had my tires rotated at a new shop nearby. They did show me that my front brakes were going to need pads soon (correct) but I had at least several months to do it.

In another bay a young mechanic was trying to install some electronic device in a British-built Lotus Elan. The owner had been turned down by several garages for this work, since it required original thinking, and the Lotus’s plastic body dictates really weird routing for the wiring.

It seemed all three mechanics, one of them the owner, really liked cars, and I would trust them to do some more work for me.

My very first auto shop teacher told me that a “good” mechanic (both as a bussinesman and as a mechanic) should never be able to take you right in he should be loaded up with work and you will have to get a appointment. Keep in mind this bit of wisdom came in the early 60s. Things change,but still some truth in his statement. What state are these odly(IMHO) named towns. Maryland?

So how is this a foolproof method?

Also, they all know they can’t snooker you, but what would they do to a little old lady customer?

I’m glad you found someone who meets your approval but I don’t see much advice here for the inexperienced car owner.

This shop was actually used by my wife’s friend to get her car inspected before she sold it. The car needed nothing! She just paid for the inspection.

I also ask a lot of questions, and the answers give you an idea how well the shop will look after you.

If I were a little old lady, I would ask a person like me (as I am now)to recommend a few shops. I get asked quite frequently about such things, not just with car repairs. Like other posters, I steer people away from Sears (except tires), the big chain transmssion shops, muffler shops (except for mufflers), etc., and greedy dealers.

The Better Businbess Bureau is not necessarily a good source of repair skills, and I’m also skeptical of AAA cerified shops. Just use them for towing if required.

thanks for all the iputs,
yes, i am in maryland in cockeysville area.
can anyone recommend any shops around here?

Absolutely, as advised above, word of mouth is the best. Ask some regular joes you wouldn’t normaly think of; the cashier as the safeway, your postal carrier, your doctor, or the waitress . And ask if they have used the same tech for a long time also.

Sorry, I live in Howard County. But Cockeysville is a big area. Surely your friends, work associates, and neighbors must know a few places. If you don’t work near home, find a place near work.

i agree that word of mouth would be the best but i just ended up paying $72 for a synthetic oil change when i went to a local mechanic. i think asking ‘regular joes’ might be the next thing i’ll try :).
but i am still hoping if someone here can make a recommendation –
thanks guys!