Finding a good mechanic

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  #1  
Old 04-06-06, 12:30 PM
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Finding a good mechanic

How do u find a good, reliable, trustworthy mechanic? My parent's friends are professional mechanics who I have been taking my car to for everything. Easy, Fast, Trustworthy, etc. I never have to tell them what I need as they know my car's schduled maintenance, problems, etc. The cost is way cheaper than the dealerships as well. In any case, they are about to retire from the business and now I have to look for another mechanic. How do u guys find one? I'd hate to go from one place to another to just happen to run into a good one. Obviously my parents and everyone else I know (which isn't a lot) have no one they can refer me to. Where do I start looking? Any thoughts, opinions, experiences?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-06-06, 01:07 PM
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Ask your parents friends who they would recommend. I'm sure they know who their honest competition is.
 
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Old 04-06-06, 03:46 PM
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Call three or four towing companies and ask them to name the best three garages they know in your area. Compare that against names you get from friends and relatives. Trust me, the reputable towing guys know who the good ones are. We have a very short list of places we recommend on a regular basis because of the quality of their work and how they treat their customers. They are all businesses that we tow for regularly, but in all of the cases we would recommend them regardless.
 
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Old 04-06-06, 04:15 PM
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Hmmm! Great ideas!

tow guy: r u sure it's not just your company that does that? There's a AAA towing service thing right down my street...would that be a reputable towing people to call? Do u think flippin' through yellow pages would do me any good? I'll definitely ask friends/family first, but if anything...yellow pages?
 
  #5  
Old 04-06-06, 05:37 PM
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Towing companies have to field that question on a daily basis from customers who are broke down and do not have a regular garage or are from out of the area and not familiar with the local businesses. You would be hard pressed to find a towing service that has not been asked to recommend a garage.

I left out a word in my post - "independent", as in independent towing company, i.e. a company that does nothing but towing and owes no allegiance to any one particular garage [or motor club affiliate]. If you ask a towing company that also has a repair facility or one whose brother owns XYZ Garage you wouldn't get as unbiased an opinion.

You're asking the wrong guy about anything having to do with AAA. I would pick out three or four independent towing companies in the yellow pages. Figuring out which are independent might take some detective work. Pick ones with modest advertising, like an inch or an inch and a half in-column ad. These are the ones most likely to be above the level of fly-by-night and below the level of 800 pound gorillas. Depending on the size of your area your typical independent might have 20 or 30 garages that they tow for on a regular basis and will know right off the tops of their heads who does quality work and who doesn't.

One note of caution: Even with a glowing recommendation from a friend, family member, towing service, or whatever, you may still get a lemon. There are plenty of garages around that have people scratching their heads as to how they stay in business, yet they have loyal customers who swear by them [while at the same time having dissatisifed former customers swearing AT them].

Confused? Welcome to the world of automotive repair. I could recommend several good garages in MY area, but the tow bills will kill you.

P.S. I did a quick search of towing in Chino; looks like you have about a dozen towing companies in town. At least that's how many came back in the on-line yellow pages search.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 04-06-06 at 05:48 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-06-06, 06:19 PM
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dont forget checking with the better business bureau
 
  #7  
Old 04-06-06, 06:20 PM
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Tow Guy's idea is good, but tow companies are going to be strangers to you. You already know and trust someone in the industry, I would ask your current mechanics who they recommend. Almost everyone knows their competition, regardless of industry, and can tell you who's good and bad.
 
  #8  
Old 04-07-06, 05:04 AM
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I won't dispute mitch; among other things, with family and friends you can carry on a conversation about the pro's and con's, experiences, etc rather than just getting names. Tae's idea also has merit, although I'm not totally conversant with BBB. Don't know if they would strictly recommend members, but that would be my suspicion. Ditto with the Chamber of Commerce. Many very good businesses [including the Tow Guy's] are members of neither.

Could use a combination of all these suggestions. Ask friends and family for a few names, check the BBB and Chamber of Commerce to see about references (especially negative complaints, although EVERYBODY has some of that). Then call a couple of towing companies and say, "I hope you can help me - I'm looking for a good garage and someone suggested I ask a towing service if XYZ Garage does good work; they said you would probably know".

When you find one to latch onto, post back so we all know how it turns out.
 
  #9  
Old 04-07-06, 05:17 AM
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The only qualm I would have about the BBB is that they generally would only have a list of those mechanics with complaints against them. While this would help you decided who to avoid, it might do little to narrow down the remaining list of good choices
 
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