Whether there is a warning light on, your car is in need of an oil change, or it’s time for a routine tune-up, every car owner wants to feel comfortable and secure with their choice of mechanic. Picking the right mechanic can save you money and give you the peace of mind that your car is being properly taken care of. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for an auto repair shop.

Word of Mouth

One of the best ways to pick your mechanic is to ask your friends and family about their mechanics. Advertising can be misleading, so your best chance of finding a mechanic that is qualified and fair is from listening to the real life accounts of people you know. Recommendations will often lead you to auto repair shops that you would not have even considered.

Shop Around

When you have a major repair needed on your car, don’t be afraid to get several estimates from different auto repair shops. By comparing estimates you can know if you are being overcharged. Be careful in your evaluation, however, and check the reputation of the lowest bid to make sure that the work will be done properly.

Location, Location

Location comes with two considerations. For convenience you will most likely want a mechanic that is near your home or work. However, make sure you consider your neighborhood. One of the biggest factors in your repair bill will be the cost of labor. Auto repair shops in more expensive neighborhoods will often charge a higher labor fee.

Ask Questions!

Don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic to explain the repair, why it is needed, and the cost involved. Other key questions include warranties on the work, insurance (in case your car is damaged or burglarized), and the type of materials that the shop uses.

Be in Touch with Your Feelings

Don’t forget your gut. The overall feeling or impression that you get when you are inside the shop or talking to the mechanic is a valid one. Take into consideration the overall cleanliness, their organization (or lack thereof), and the friendliness of the staff. A mechanic that is organized and genuinely interested in helping you will take better care of your car.

By taking the time to pick the right auto repair shop, you can make sure that you – and your car – are in the best of hands.