Mechanics files on this site

It says:

Looking for an honest, hard-working mechanic? Want to recommend one? Check our Mechanics files, a community-generated database of above-average mechanics.

Has anyone noticed that the only comments are positive comments? I had a very bad experience with a mechanic that I got off this site. I submitted a comment and the comment was NOT posted. However, when I submitted a comment about another mechanic that I had a good experience with, the comment was posted. When I sent Car Talk an email asking them about this, I got no response. This is EXTREMELY misleading. You have to be unbiased on a user forum. I will NEVER use this site again!

You make a good point about posting comments. It seems to me that all comments should be posted. Most other sites I frequent do post all comments. Those are mostly for electronic goods, but it should make no difference. If a mechanic does good work, most comments will be positive. Maybe Dewy, Cheatum and Howe run the Mechanics Miles.


It’s a little bit like the “Better Business Bureau”. I found out to my dismay that businesses pay to join this and get a listing, but there are no qualifications whatsoever!!

Some years ago my wife tanked gas at a station that had a huge sign with a very low price. She pulled up, gassed up and was surprised that the real price on the pump was much higher! She complained to the Better Business Bureau, and go nowhere; she did get an nasty call from the station manager about having the audacity to say bad things about his station. My wife told him he not only practised misleading adverising, but was also a lier and she could sue him in small claims court.

In short the BBB protects mostly its members!

At the same time, I don’t think anyone’s getting any kickbacks from this site, so I don’t know what the motive would be here. Given how this website is run and how much the administrators have to do, I find it unlikely that there is actually a human being over there manually weeding out negative comments. I’d guess that the OP’s issue was probably a coincidence or a misunderstanding.

I have a feeling the legal staff wish to avoid libel suits. Definitely reduces the usefullness of the info.

I agree with NYBo. The rejection of negative comments is simply a matter of legal self-defense. I can easily imagine the lawyers for Tom&Ray already have their hands full with lawsuits!

“The rejection of negative comments is simply a matter of legal self-defense”

That is NOT an excuse to remove negative comments… If it is true that the powers that be here at CarTalk, remove negative comments, then they should, first of all, be ashamed of themselves. If they also refuse to reply, either privately or publicly to questions as to what their policy on negitive feedback is, they should be out of business. I certainly hope someone here clarifies these issues. If they don’t, then I will stop supporting this site.

I agree. I actually used the listing to search for VW mechanics in my area, as my car is now out of warranty.

Car Talk Guys: we need this clarified

I suggest we keep this string at the top by occasionally adding a comment


(Mostly a refresh) I, too, would guess it has to do with potential liability. However, it would be nice if this were explained by the ones who know.


I agree in the belief that someone is screening the posts to eliminate potentially libelous posts. On two different occasions, I attempted to post factual information about two different auto businesses which I named in the posts. The posts were written in a way to inform potential customers of the pitfalls to avoid. In both cases, the posts never made the light of day.

By the way, anyone know why they don’t list Canadian mechanics on the site, either? I’ve given both a positive review of a local garage, and a negative one of a not-so-local garage, and neither appeared. I can’t see it being real difficult to allow or post Canadian mechanics. Another inefficiency and idiocy from the folks at CarTalk?


NOTICE: There is no need to have your car serviced by a dealer when under warranty. If it is a repair covered by the warranty, you likely would want it handled by the dealer, but for the most part most people would be better off getting maintenance and non-warranty work done by a local INDEPENDENT mechanic. (Not all dealers are bad or good, but most are more expensive.

I intercepted a message from Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe. They told the Tappet Brothers and their Web Lackeys to ignore us. If they respond and, even worse, are sympathetic to our pleas, they might be set upon by the legal team under retainer to Moe’s Garage. And besides, what if someone dissed their shop?

Is this true? Has the Car Talk webmaster responded? If it is then take down the Mechanics Files, because they are misleading. Providing a place to post comments does not expose the site to liability.

Perhaps Click & Clack would care to comment on this directly.

Perhaps Click & Clack would care to comment on this directly.

It’ll never happen.

Has the Car Talk webmaster responded?

He or she has ignored our pleas to fix the forum interface for what, almost a year now, so I doubt anything will happen on this front either.

Hi All,

Greetings from Car Talk Plaza.

First, we do have a humungous punchlist of issues we’re slowly working our way through, re: the Car Talk community. Please realize that there are just a few of us here, working on the site and various other projects. There’s not a huge staff of lackeys, despite whatever the perception may be. So, we just ask for you to bear with us.

Re: Mechanics Files, when we started it about 10 years ago, Tom and Ray really wanted it to be something positive-- a place to find a great mechanic, not a place to bash lousy mechanics. The thinking was, and remains, that there’s no shortage of folks out there willing to say, “my mechanic screwed me over!”-- but, what’s really needed, is a good resource to find a great mechanic to get your car repaired.

The legal issues were, really, secondary. But they’re a consideration, too. We didn’t want to be partners in a game of “he said, she said,” and be in a position of researching negative claims about garages. We don’t have the resources to do that, alas. So, we opted to be totally upfront about the goals of the Mechanics Files, hence that quote at the top from the site, on the first post.

Hope that’s helpful.


Doug Mayer
Senior Web Lackey
Car Talk