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Few things in (daily) life can be as nerve-wracking as car repairs. There’s only so much we know about the vehicles we drive, so finding a qualified, reasonable mechanic you can trust becomes all the more crucial. We asked Thomas Piland of Service First Automotive to share his guidance and expertise on what to ask before choosing a mechanic.

  1. Are they trustworthy? In other words, are they honest or forthcoming when you walk in? Or do they treat you like “a burden”? Moreover, do they listen (versus talk down) to you?

  2. Are they reliable? Top of mind should be, Do they get it right the first time? It’s critical to do your due diligence by looking at online ratings/reviews (Google, Yelp, etc.) or listening to word-of-mouth (ex. so and so suggested to them) to ensure that they’ll do the work properly.

  3. Do they educate you? A good mechanic will be transparent and forthright with information, not “hard selling” you but rather listening and educating you on what they have found while letting you know what your options are. (For example, do they recommend you do this service today, or can it wait a little while so you can prioritize repairs?)

  4. What’s the convenience factor (including speed of service)? Often times drivers will search how close they are to a mechanic (generally a 3-5 mile radius from where they live or work). In fact, proximity is a primary decision-making driver in such a competitive industry as automotive repair. But it’s not only the time to get there, but the time spent there, that is a driver. Quick lubes, for example, do quick oil changes. Check ratings and reviews, which will be honest about the real-time it takes for services, based on actual customers’ experiences.

  5. Do you feel safe when you leave? Simply put, do you feel assured that you got the service you wanted/needed?
  6. In addition, consider third-party resources like AutoMD.com, which may help you be better informed and feel more empowered. “YouTube can be great for tips and tricks on particular mechanical repair processes,” Thomas says. You may find that using reputable sources, such as Consumer Reports, to cross-reference against also can make the process of understanding and consent to parts and repairs less overwhelming.

    Like Caliber Collision, Service First, which currently operates automotive centers across Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, is as committed as ever to Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life®. If you’re in these Texas markets, visit any Service First center for all of your mechanical needs and repairs. To find a center near you, visit servicefirstautomotive.com/locate-a-center.