How do I find a reliable mechanic?

Finding a mechanic you trust your vehicle with may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think. Most people have at least one poor experience with an auto repair shop, and that experience can shape how they view interactions with other shops they go to. After you find a shop that does the kind of work you’re looking for, you may wonder how much you can trust them with your vehicle and money. So, what does credibility look like in an auto repair shop?

1. Look for an ASE Blue Seal of Approval.

The fastest way to check a service center’s credibility is an ASE badge. This is the most widely acknowledged and accepted certification for professional technicians. Shops that employ technicians who are trained in some or all eight test categories receive this seal from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE is a non-profit established in 1972 to advance vehicle service quality and ensure that automotive professionals are equipped with the knowledge and resources to provide efficient and safe service.

2. Transparency is key.

A good mechanic inspects the entire vehicle, not just what’s wrong with it. Chances are if one thing is wrong with your car, it’s affecting other areas of the car. If your vehicle’s wheel alignment is off, it is probable that your brakes are affected, too. Poor alignment results in more pressure on the brakes and causes them to wear down faster. Fixing a surface level problem instead of getting the full picture will cost you and your vehicle more in the future. A good mechanic pushes recommendations, not service. If a shop is pushing you to purchase a service, rather than gently recommending it, they’re after your money. It’s up to you to decide whether to follow the shop’s recommendations or not. If they are providing a thorough list of recommendations, take it as sign that they genuinely care for you and your vehicle’s well-being! It may be overwhelming at first, but a good mechanic doesn’t tell you only what you want to hear. You deserve to know what is going on with your vehicle at all times.

3. Communication and safety are their priority.

Do you find yourself calling your auto repair shop more than they call you? If they call you more, your shop prioritizes keeping you in the know. You should never have to worry about the status of your vehicle. Something else to keep in mind is that it’s probably a good sign if they don’t give you a quote over the phone. A good mechanic knows that pricing varies depending on what’s wrong with the vehicle. If they’re giving you a set fee for an issue they haven’t even examined yet, it shows they’re prioritizing your money over your safety and security. Of course, if you’re just looking for the best deal in town, you’ll get what you pay for. Even if your final bill is a little pricier then the place down the street, if the shop has all the other qualities listed here, you may have found a reliable place that will diminish the amount of trips you have to make in the future. A good business knows how to list a fair price for their work. If you’re still hesitant, ask for a break-down of your bill before your car is worked on to understand how they justify cost.

At Paul Campanella's Auto & Tire Center, we are proud to employ ONLY ASE-certified technicians. We believe in transparent, customer-centered service and are thrilled to provide three full-service locations located in northern Delaware. Call or schedule an appointment today to bring your vehicle in for care.


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Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Wilmington Location (302) 777-7170, Pike Creek Location (302) 998-2234, Hockessin Location (302) 239-2512, Kennett Square Location (610) 990-4400, Swarthmore Location (610) 328-7884 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.