With over three decades in the auto industry under my belt, I have seen a lot of changes in the business. But as much as the cars have changed, my commitment to one solid set of principles – honesty and integrity – has stayed the same. It’s a world where auto mechanics are often viewed as untrustworthy crooks, ready to swindle their customers into unnecessary repairs. I have made it my passion to build a foundation of trust with all my customers. It’s imperative to have all my clients feel confident in the knowledge that they’re getting only what they need.

The key is to find an auto repair business that is morally connected with their mechanics. It’s crucial that an auto repair facility empowers their customers with the fundamentals of auto repair. Shops should also educate their employees to commit to solving, not selling. A mechanic can say that the clunking sound you hear means your car needs thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. But how can you tell whether the problem was diagnosed correctly, and what price is fair?

Here are some valuable tips on seeking out an auto repair shop that is truly concerned with providing honesty and integrity. Caring about more than just their bottom line – and getting the most service for your money.

Ask for Referrals

If an auto shop’s service and quality of work results in a positive experience, people Talk. They tell their friends, families, and co-workers– so ask around.

Don’t Mind Waiting

If a repair shop can’t fit you into its schedule immediately, you may be inclined to go elsewhere. But a bit of a wait is actually a good sign. This typically means that the shop is servicing a lot of customers, and also taking the time to ensure quality.

Watch for the Fright Factor

If a mechanic says something like, “I wouldn’t drive this car another mile,” or employs other scare tactics to discourage you from leaving, you should probably do just that. Be honest. Yes, honesty and integrity are important for an auto mechanic, but it’s also important for the customer. It may be a bit embarrassing to admit that you’ve been slacking on routine maintenance, or that you recently had your car worked on at a different shop, but the more “back story” your mechanic knows, the better off you’ll be. Hiding symptoms may result in additional diagnoses (which cost money) or worse, incomplete or improper repair. Your mechanic can’t read your mind, so the more information you can share, the better.

Add-Ons Aren’t Always Necessary

If you take your vehicle in for an oil leak and the shop starts pushing engine flushes or transmission additives without asking you about your maintenance history, head to the door. Fluid services should be performed according to the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, not because they a have a coupon of the week.

Taking your vehicle to a new mechanic for repairs is an exercise in trust and communication – it isn’t always easy to tell the good from the bad. But when your auto shop is up-front about your repairs and empowers you with knowledge, you’ve found a keeper. “I have made it my mission to educate my customers, one car repair at a time.”

“There are many auto shops who talk a lot without really saying anything.”