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Given the price tag of a car, most people wish to keep theirs is good working order for many years of use. Routine maintenance is crucial for improving your car’s longevity, and finding a trustworthy mechanic to perform the work is essential for both your car’s health and your wallet.

When searching for a mechanic, use your friends and family as resources. Ask them for local recommendations. Some people are wary of the too-often-grey morals of bigger shops and dealerships and, instead, prefer a small, independent shop that prides itself in building lasting relationships with customers. In order to choose your best option, you may also search websites like Yelp and the Yellow Pages to read what other customers have to say about various mechanics in town.

Once you have a short list of mechanics, it’s a good idea to check out a few shops to gauge their credibility. Quality mechanics take pride in a clean shop, so look for a tidy, clean workspace. Awards hanging on the walls is an added bonus. The service writers and mechanics should be friendly and thorough in answering your questions. Meeting the people who will actually work under your hood is often the best way to choose a shop you like best; however, your work is not done just because you made a selection.

Any mechanic may try to upsell you if they think it’ll be an easy job. To avoid being taken advantage of, ask for a detailed explanation of the problem and the proposed solution each time you bring in your car for maintenance and repairs. Insist on an estimate that separately lists the cost of parts and labor. If you must sign a document before work begins, ensure that you fully understand how the work will fix the problem before jotting your name.

It’s helpful to keep receipts for all work that’s done to your car so you can show them to a mechanic if he or she tries to “fix” something that’s already been taken care of recently. However, in some cases, a previous mechanic botched the job or the part was defective, so ask questions to understand why the work needs to be redone.

If a job estimate sounds off to you, call a few other local shops to get their estimate for the same work. That comparison alone may help you choose your next go-to mechanic.

An insurer you can trust is just as important as a mechanic. Call us at (512) 586-2000 for more information on Austin auto insurance.

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