Did you know that in the final quarter of 2017 there were about 229,000 auto repair and maintenance centers across the United States?


It’s no wonder that knowing where to take your set of wheels can become overwhelming or confusing.

You want to ask your potential mechanic certain questions before entrusting them with your car. Keep reading to learn 7 key questions to ask when hiring an auto mechanic.

7 Key Questions to Ask When Hiring an Auto Mechanic

When it comes to your car finding a mechanic shop you trust such as this auto repair shop is very important to ensure that you aren’t left without wheels. Especially if you live somewhere where you don’t have the option of taking transportation to get to and from your job.

1. Have You Worked on this Same Make and Model?

This question will help you have peace of mind that this mechanic is familiar with your particular car. Although some cars are similar each make and model has its own features and components that make it unique.

If you have a vehicle that’s rare, or not as common you definitely don’t want to leave your car to any mechanic to fix. Preferably you want someone who is an expert with your make and model not only someone who is only familiar with your vehicle.

2. Are You Licensed and Insured?

This question is a must! The last thing you want to do is leave your car with a mechanic shop that’s not licensed and insured. If something were to happen you can be left with no vehicle.

If they have their license and insurance it means that they are qualified to perform the work which in turn will give you peace of mind.

3. Do You Charge for an Estimate?

Some mechanics charge for an estimate while some don’t. There are some that might charge for the estimate and deduct it from the repairs if you decide to repair your vehicle with them.

If they do charge make sure to be clear if it’s a flat rate or an hourly rate. Some mechanics charge a flat rate to hook your car up to a machine and run a diagnostic test. These tests can vary between $100 to $200 depending on where you live and the mechanic.

4. Will Your Estimate Be Written Down on Paper?

There are some mechanics that will provide you with a detailed written estimate that the mechanic signs. You want to ask ahead of time if you should expect to receive your estimate down on paper.

It’s best to choose a mechanic that takes the time to be transparent with what they are planning to do to fix your car.

This estimate will serve a double purpose. First, it will give you an idea of what you should expect to pay. Second, it will give you proof in writing, in case anything goes wrong and you have to take legal action for some reason.

5. Do You Have an ASE Certification?

The National Institue for Automotive Service Excellence has trained over 325,000 auto mechanics. These mechanics have the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence which means that every five years they are re-tested.

This is perfect because nowadays technology is constantly changing. 

The ASE Certification should be hanging up on their auto shop’s office wall for all to see. 

6. Will the Service and Parts Have a Warranty?

This question is important because what if the mechanic forgets something like bolting a piece back down and it causes an issue soon after you pick your car back up? You want to make sure that your mechanic warranties their work. The last thing you want is to be right back at square one and paying again to get your car back on the road.

Something that’s good to keep in mind is that companies like AAA require the auto repair facilities that they recommend to guarantee all their repairs including labor and parts for at least 12,000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first. 

If you have AAA you might want to find one of the facilities that they recommend or use their guidelines as a guideline for the mechanic that you’re considering. 

7. If Something Arises Will You Call Me First?

Some mechanics give other mechanics a bad rep because of issues like this. They find an unexpected expense pop up and instead of calling the owner to let them know or have them come in to see the extra issue, they go ahead and make the repair.

You don’t want a mechanic that tackles hundreds or thousands of dollars extra without giving you a heads up first. You want to choose a mechanic shop that will call you and won’t do any extra work without your approval first.

Can you imagine picking up your car expecting to pay $500 and your bill is suddenly $2,000?  – This is exactly the scenario you want to avoid.

Time to Search and Ask Away

Now that you have learned the 7 key questions to ask before hiring an auto mechanic you can start calling local mechanics and narrowing down your search. An experienced mechanic will not take any offense to your questions they will actually be happy to answer any questions you throw their way.

If you find that a mechanic is being short, looks annoyed or doesn’t want to answer your questions that might be a sign that they’re not the right mechanic for you.

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