Take time to find a good mechanic

By John North

Every car owner should have access to a good mechanic. Whether you’re having car trouble or need maintenance like an oil change, having a trustworthy mechanic to turn to will help ensure a smooth experience. It’s ideal to have a mechanic you trust before you need it. That way, if you run into trouble, you already know whom to call and where to go.

The auto repair and service industry was on the top 10 inquired and complained about lists at the Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley in 2017. More than 14,000 people requested BBB business profiles on Miami Valley mechanics during this time frame. Nearly 60 people filed complaints last year about local shops in the industry. Put the BBB and its services to use for you as you’re looking for a trustworthy mechanic by visiting bbb.org or calling 800-776-5301.

BBB offers tips for choosing a mechanic:

• Check your warranty. If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which may require repairs be made at an authorized dealership.

• Read reviews and research prices for local mechanics.

• Get referrals from friends and family. Your auto insurance provider may also have a list of recommended auto repair shops and mechanics.

• Find out if the mechanics you’re considering are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certification indicates that some or all the technicians have met basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Also, inquire if the shop is AAA-certified or affiliated with other associations, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

• Consider reputation and years in business.

• Check the condition of the shop. Usually an auto-shop won’t be squeaky clean, but it should be orderly and organized.

• Get everything in writing, including how much it will cost, guarantees/warrantees, etc. Tell the shop to get your permission before making additional repairs beyond what’s quoted in the estimate.

• Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification.

If you think it’s hard to find a good mechanic, hiring a bad one can be a nightmare. Take your time, do your research and ask questions.

By John North

The writer is president of the Better Business Bureau of Dayton.

The writer is president of the Better Business Bureau of Dayton.