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How do you shop around for a mechanic?

gladhands

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They can't give you a fair estimate until they check the car out, but if they have to do and work to diagnose the problem, they charge you for labor. Halp!
 

Hombre Secreto

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In my experience ASE certified older mechanics are more honest. Or just ask family and people you know.
 

NorCal

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Ask on SF, of course.

Where do you live?
 

Suave

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yeah older ones tend to know more and be more honest.
 

Xericx

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i use yelp.
 

Sherlock

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Find a forum associated with your make/model, then make a post in that forum asking for mechanic recommendations in your town. Unless you live in a small town, chances are you will get some recommendations. If a particular mechanic is recommended many times, he's your guy.
 

Rambo

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The longer the shop's been around the better. Just because they've got ASE certified technicians doesn't mean that one is going to be working on your car. Find this out. Also, if you've got the time, get price quotes from several shops. Then try and price match between them. This might work with your brand's dealership as well if they're flexible about these things.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Sherlock
Find a forum associated with your make/model, then make a post in that forum asking for mechanic recommendations in your town. Unless you live in a small town, chances are you will get some recommendations. If a particular mechanic is recommended many times, he's your guy.
This. I haven't used an indy in years, but if I eventually have a need for one, then this is the approach I'd use. Alternatively, recommendations from trusted friends or acquaintances.
 

RSS

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Originally Posted by gladhands
They can't give you a fair estimate until they check the car out, but if they have to do and work to diagnose the problem, they charge you for labor. Halp!
Talk to friends who know cars.
 

Harold falcon

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The best thing you can do is educate yourself about your car. If you know what the problem is going in then they can't charge you to fix the Serpentine Hose Assembly because you'll know such an item doesn't exist.

Start by learning how to change your car's oil. You're a man for eff's sake. This is knowledge you should have.
 

Lighthouse

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Go to car forums and you can often diagnose the problem in advance. I have saved thousands by using the forum to isolate a problem.

With respect to the shop, I often use the "rotor" test. If a shop tells me I need new rotors when my brake pads are being replaced, I know they are not trustworthy. (Rotors can be measured in advance and don't need to be replaced if the pad did not wear through).
 

gladhands

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I don't think I made myself clear. How does one shop around for price? I know exactly what's wrong with the car. I know what the replacement part costs. I want to get the best cost for labor, but fear that any savings will be negated by the cost of getting multiple estimates.
 

dah328

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If you know exactly what is wrong with the car, what is preventing you from calling a shop and asking them what they would charge to replace <insert specific part> on a <insert specific vehicle>? I've done that many times.
 

akatsuki

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I find an enthusiast forum and see where they recommend. Then I call the guy and talk to him.

Simple as that.

My last Porsche mechanic was brilliant, would list all the issues with the car and then tell me which ones were actually worth fixing and which ones weren't all that important and could wait (either they were just things he noticed or things that could wait a major teardown if something else went wrong to cut down on labor).
 

Harold falcon

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Originally Posted by dah328
If you know exactly what is wrong with the car, what is preventing you from calling a shop and asking them what they would charge to replace <insert specific part> on a <insert specific vehicle>? I've done that many times.

x2. A shop should be able to tell you that it will cost $X to replace part X on your car. Any shop that can't give an estimate over the phone, when you let them know the service you are looking for, is trying to hook you.
 

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