So your vehicle’s experiencing some issues and you’re not able to repair them yourself. Maybe your having trouble accelerating, or your engine stutters, or your car’s ride isn’t very smooth. Most of these end up being issues you aren’t able to repair yourself so you decide to take your car of truck to a repair shop. But which repair shop do you take it to? Who’s trustworthy and who’s not? You don’t want someone who’s going to overcharge you for your repairs. At the same time, if there’s more than one issue that could affect the safety and reliability of your vehicle, then you want a mechanic who will tell you about those issues, too. I’ll give you a couple of tips you can use to decide where you can take your car to get fixed.

Make sure they’re ASE rated

ASE is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. They are a non-profit, independent group that tests and certifies automotive technicians. The were formed in the early 1970’s because customers wanted  a way to distinguish between competent technicians and incompetent ones. Auto technicians are required to have two years of hands on repair experience and pass several tests in order to be ASE certified. ASE certified technicians are also required to re-certify every five years. Certified technicians are given a shoulder patch to wear as part of their uniform and a certificate they can frame and display in their place of business. Most shops that employ ASE certified technicians will display the ASE insignia outside of their place of business. If you see that along with the certificate displayed inside the place of business then you can be certain that shop will do a professional job repairing your vehicle and quoting you a fair price.

Know how your vehicle works

Knowing the basics as far as how your vehicle runs will go a long way towards finding an honest auto technician. Not only will you be able to better understand what your mechanic is talking about when they find out what’s going on with your car, you’ll be able to ask him or her additional questions about the problem and the recommended fix. You’ll be able to keep them honest. Not only that, if there are multiple problems occurring with your vehicle and your pocketbook isn’t ready to take care of all of them, you’ll be able to decide which ones you can repair immediately and which ones you can put off a little longer. And yes, i’m aware that today’s vehicles are complex. I’m not asking you to understand what a gear ratio is or what active differential is. You just need to know some automotive basics as far as how a car works, and basic parts such as a timing chain/timing belt, suspension, and brakes and you’ll be in good shape.

Is the shop clean?

Now this is auto repair shop, so i’m not asking if it’s absolutely spotless. When you’re dealing with auto parts there’s going to be some oil and grease involved. What I mean is is the shop organized? When you look inside the garage can the technicians get around easily or are there tools and parts everywhere? Do the technicians keep the shop floor dry? Are cars parked in a way that makes it easy to get to them, or are they haphazardly parked. Is the main office clean and organized or are there invoices scattered everywhere behind the counter? Is the bathroom clean or is it filthy? Small things that people usually ignore whenever they walk into a auto repair shop can tell you whether that shop is run in a professional manner or not. This lack of professionalism can easily translate to your vehicle’s repairs. Don’t take that chance with a lack of pride and organization. If you see signs that an auto repair shop is disorganized then I would suggest looking for another shop as quickly as possible.

One last thing. The vast majority of auto repair technicians out there are extremely professional and very honest. I don’t want folks going out to every shop with a heavy dose of skepticism. There are some mechanics are there who are incompetent and will take you for a ride, no pun intended. These tips are designed to help you weed those bad technicians out so you can find one who’s trustworthy and will do a great job repairing your vehicle. I wish you the best of luck in your search!