It's hard to find a mechanic you can trust. That's why I decided to talk to an insider who can arm you with the right information to protect your car and your pocketbook.
Jason Shackleford owns Stingray Auto Repair. He has 15 years of experience as a mechanic and a lot of insight into the business.
"Trust is very big in this industry," said Shackleford. "If you don't feel confident where you are at then you shouldn't be at that shop. Go somewhere else."
Shackleford says one of the best ways you can find a good repair shop is through references. Ask you friends and family and check online reviews.
"You want to see cleanliness. You want to see a nice, clean, organized shop," explained Shackleford. "If their shop is a dirty, greasy mess, what does that say about how they'll treat your car?"
Always check the warranty on the shop's work. I've seen everything from 12 months/12,000 miles to just 90 days. Once your vehicle's issue is diagnosed, get a written and signed estimate.
"Sometimes if the shop owner is shady he'll hold your car until you pay him," said Shackleford.
This can happen when there are more repairs needed than you originally approved. Also beware of pushy sales tactics.
"If your mechanic is really pushy and adamant about it, almost scaring you, you should back away right then and get a second opinion," said Shackleford.
You should also be concerned if the mechanic claims it will take days for the parts to arrive.
If you choose to get any extra work done have a new order faxed to you so you can see the price in writing. And never let the garage keep your car hostage.
"If you take your car somewhere, you don't like the price, you don't feel comfortable they can't keep your car they can't make you pay for repairs that are never done," explained Shackleford.
"Your car is your car and it's your right to take it."
It's your money so don't let a mechanic throw a wrench into your pocketbook and ruin your summer plans.