The profession of a mechanic has been one of immense importance ever since the automotive industry came into being. Your friendly neighbourhood mechanic can always be counted upon to come to your rescue in the event that your car breaks down or requires some sort of maintenance. However, with the rise of dealerships all over, local mechanics are finding it difficult to maintain their monopoly over the repair and maintenance of vehicle parts. For car owners as well, making the decision between visiting a mechanic or an authorised dealership can be quite a difficult one, with both having their own pros and cons.

If your car is under warranty or if it is an issue related to electronic systems such as that of the Engine Control Unit (ECU) or the infotainment system, most people prefer visiting an authorised dealership instead of the local mechanic. There is also the added advantage of having your service history recorded in the event that you wish to have a better resale value for your car at some point of time in the future. The dealerships also tend to do a more professional job when it comes to cosmetic changes such as mending a dent or repainting your car. Dealerships, however, can also be quite expensive if your car is not under warranty or if it is a minor job related to components beneath the hood.

A good mechanic is not only much cheaper in such a case, there’s also a greater chance that the mechanic won’t overcharge you unnecessarily or try to force additional upgrades or repair work onto you. Finding the right mechanic for your car, however, can be quite the task and needs a bit of research before you narrow down on one. Here are some of the ways that you can find the ideal mechanic to do the repair and maintenance job on your vehicle.

Look for Certifications and Affiliations

There’s a good chance that if the mechanic is well qualified, he or she will have displayed certifications declaring their proficiency. Local repair shops also often display their affiliations and business policies in order to enhance their credibility in the eyes of their customers. And while it is not absolutely necessary that these will be better than the others, there’s a good chance that they will be.

Do your homework

Check online to see if the vehicle repair and maintenance shops in your area have any reviews posted online regarding the quality of their work. You could even ask around to verify their authenticity and work ethics. You can even compare prices for different repair jobs beforehand if they’ve been mentioned online. Don’t forget to take into consideration factors such as distance and availability (if possible, call the shop before you go and fix an appointment).

Make a visit before you decide

Visit the local mechanic before you take your vehicle there to check for cleanliness standards and efficiency. If you see taxis or transport vehicles parked in their garage, it could be considered a validation of their work since professional drivers are usually well and better informed in such matters. Check for and insist on the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts only and request to see old parts once they’ve been replaced. Talking to the mechanic about the maintenance and repairs needed and done on your vehicle usually leads to the mechanic being more careful and particular about the work being done. Once you’ve found the right mechanic for your car, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be well taken care of.

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