What To Look For In A Good Auto Repair Shop

Ever get that sneaking suspicion when you take your car in for repair that you're overpaying or getting needless work done? If you want to make sure you get service you can trust, keep in mind these tips for what to ask at the shop and signs of good (and bad) mechanics.

The first thing on Reader's Digest's list of 29 tips from mechanics and car experts is to look out for scare tactics—warnings like "I wouldn't drive this another mile." In that case, you might want to go for a second opinion. (Whenever you get a second opinion, also be smart and don't tell the mechanic the first diagnosis and price.)

Certifications from the AAA or ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) are signs of reputable shops. All good mechanics will thoroughly explain your repair options and keep a clean garage. (A floor cluttered with empty oil cans and worn tires is a bad sign.)

Shady shops might ask you to sign blank authorization forms or try to sell you an unnecessary transmission flush.

Finally, if you're not sure a repair was necessary, ask for your old parts back, so you know they've been changed and can see if they were worn.

Check out the full slideshow for more gotchas and tips, such as what to ask specifically when getting new tires or brakes. (The article's easier to read in the print version).

Don't forget there are also great tools like previously mentioned RepairPal and also reviewed AutoMD to help you find a shop and compare repair costs. Our sister site Jalopnik also has a roundup of ten ways to find a good mechanic, but what are your secrets to avoid getting screwed?

13+ Things Your Car Mechanic Won't Tell You | Reader's Digest

Photo remixed from an original by Kurhan (Shutterstock)