Spotting a Bad Auto Repair Shop

You can find lots of information both online and offline about finding the right auto repair shop, but how can you find out if the mechanic you are using is a bad one. Understanding the problems to watch for is an important step in helping you make wise decisions about your vehicle. Here are some signs that you might want to think about finding a new mechanic.

Watch for Abandoned Cars

An abandoned car left on the premises of the shop can be a sign of problems. Of course, sometimes the owner cannot come up with the money to pay for the work, and the shop owner is not going to complete repairs if he is not going to be paid, but why begin the job and then leave it half finished? This is not always a bad thing, but it can be a sign that the mechanic is not able to resolve problems quickly. it also shows poor housekeeping on the part of the business owner.

Ask to See the Work Area


Keep in mind that auto repair is messy work. If you are allowed to see inside the shop, do not expect it to be pristine. However, you should feel that it is safe and the equipment looks like it is well cared for. If you see piles of parts discarded here and there, tripping hazards, and other signs of poor performance, you might want to look for a new shop.

Poor Communication

When you drop off your car, is the person who takes it skilled at assessing the problem and asking questions? Do they write down what you say? Are you able to talk directly with the mechanic? Good communication with the car's owner is vital in auto repair. It saves you from showing up to pick up your car after what you thought was an $80 job, only to find it was really a $300 job. If the work is going to cost more than the mechanic estimated, then you should get a phone call. A lack of communication is a sign you have picked a shop that does not give proper attention to its customers.

Little Work

A good mechanic is going to be busy. If you call the shop and they always have an opening right now, you may want to think twice. Unless it is a large shop with several bays and multiple mechanics, you may be dealing with someone who has a poor reputation in the community, and therefore does not have much work. If, on the other hand, they usually have to wait a day or so to get you in, then you have likely found a trustworthy shop, because many people trust that mechanic with their vehicles.

So the next time you find yourself in the market for a new auto repair shop, make sure you watch out for these signs. You want to trust your car to a shop that is going to do a good job with repairs, not one that is going to take your money and leave you with a poorly functioning vehicle.

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