Afraid to visit the auto shop? Don’t be. I’ll show you how to find a mechanic in eight easy steps.

1. Get referrals.

If you’re in a rush, this is the fastest way to find a mechanic. Post a Facebook status and ask your friends for recommendations. Done? Move on to step #2. 

2. Consider your needs.

A mechanic who specializes in vintage cars might not understand modern technology. A mechanic who works at Toyota might not have a clue what to do with a Chevrolet.

3. Browse online reviews.

The Internet empowers drivers like you. Check out auto shop reviews online via places like Google, Facebook, and Women Auto Know. If a shop has consistently positive reviews, then it’s probably a safe bet.

4. Ask a really tough question.

March right up to the front desk and ask, “Would you let this auto shop work on your wife, mom, or daughter’s car?” Watch their expression. Their reaction will speak louder than any words they might say.

5. Reflect about your experience.

I love pro and con lists. They’re a good focusing tool for tough decisions. If you have trouble deciding which shop is the best fit, make a list of the good (and not-so-good) things you observed about each.

6. Ask for a detailed cost estimate.

Price shouldn’t be your primary consideration (unless you are really strapped for cash), but still ask for an estimate. If a mechanic overcharges, it should be clear by the time you get a few estimates.

7. Visit a small handful of auto shops.

Reviews are only a starting point. You need to experience the shop for yourself! Don’t automatically choose the first place you stop. It’s better to check out a small handful of shops. Take your time.  

8. Choose the auto shop that’s best for you.

As long as you followed the other steps, this part is easy. Have confidence in your decision. Even if a shop is a bad fit, you can try your second pick later. Simple as that. Don’t worry. Be happy. 🙂

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