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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Repairs / Maintenance - Automobiles

Choosing A Mechanic

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • shops that offer both diagnostics and repair (conflict of interest)
  • a shop that grossly underbids -- may use untrained labor and cheap parts
  • mechanics that don't take the time to show you what is wrong with your car
  • mechanics who don't answer your questions or try to rush you
  • mechanics who have a problem with you asking for a second opinion
  • a shop that has to fix the same problem multiple times
  • a garage that is exceptionally filthy or disorderly
  • a garage where you can't see the work area from the waiting area
  • dealerships -- they almost always overcharge for minor repairs


  • talk to friends, family, and colleagues about their experiences
  • ask about the mechanic's competence, reliability, and honesty
  • but don't take a referral at face value -- just the first step
  • check the Better Business Bureau for complaints about that mechanic


  • always choose an ASE-Certified mechanic
  • given by the National Institute For Automotive Service Excellence
  • voluntary testing that weeds out low-level mechanics
  • look for other certificates and ask what classes the mechanic attends
  • good mechanics take classes a year to keep up with latest technology


  • What brand of replacement parts does your shop use?
  • How much will this repair cost? Is that a guaranteed price?
  • If your prices are not guaranteed, how much can they deviate?
  • Do you offer a lifetime or 60,000 mile guarantee on your work?
  • Can I have a tour of the garage or even watch while my work is done?
  • Do you offer a loaner car while mine is being worked on?
  • How long will it take to do this repair? Do you guarantee that estimate?


  • ask for a second opinion if you think something is off or wrong
  • get a technical manual and learn the basic parts of your car
  • ask questions and ask to be shown exactly what isn't working
  • ask to see the diagnostic read-out if it isn't a visible malfunction
  • take your car to an independent diagnostic shop for a checkup
  • don't let a tow-truck driver talk you into his "favorite" mechanic
  • get a written estimate first before you authorize any repairs


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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