How Do You Know if an Auto Shop is Legit?

If you feel like you’ve been burned by an auto repair shop in the past, you’re in good company.  Some surveys suggest that as many as 3 out of 4 people feel like they have been overcharged for auto repairs or worry about being overcharged for services they may not even need.  As with most things in life, knowledge is power, so the more you know the less likely you are to be targeted for overcharging.  Here’s a helpful guide to answer the question: how do you know if an auto shop is legit?

Signs That an Auto Shop is Legit

Honest, forthright auto shop owners and technicians tend to exhibit similar actions, accolades, and business practices. They include:

  • Ethical Auto Repair Shops Will Provide Written Estimates
  • Shops need time to properly inspect your car in order to provide a written estimate so steer clear of shops that resist quoting you an estimate.
  • Trustworthy Shops Will Have the Receipts to Prove Dedication to Their Craft
  • Trustworthy auto repair shops will have signage indicated, that AAA has rigorously evaluated them, and are an AAA-approved shop. They will showcase their ASE-Certifications. They may have other industry-recognized accolades or designations.
  • Honest Auto Shops Will Be Established
  • The good thing about shady repair shops, is that they often get caught, and eventually run out of business. So, if you find a local auto repair shop that has been serving their local community for ten years or longer, it’s likely because they are not overcharging their customers.
  • Top Auto Shops Will Accept a Variety of Payments
  • Be very weary of auto shops that only accept cash. Most established and reputable auto repair shops strive to make payment as convenient as possible for the customer, not for the repair shop. 
  • Legit Auto Shops Will Have Positive Reviews
  • When you Google local auto repair shops, pay attention to the reviews. Shops that have lots of good reviews are a good indication that a shop is reputable. If you see that the shop is responding to customers’ comments, that’s even better. 

How Do I Know if My Mechanic Is Honest?

If you’re looking for a new mechanic, it’s a great idea to review the websites of local shops in your area.  If an auto repair shop’s website is professional in appearance, and includes helpful information on their services, business philosophy, and team, this is a good indication of honesty. If the website clearly states pricing for service, even better, as this illustrates transparency.  

If you suspect a mechanic is trying to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes, tell them you’d like to get a second opinion, and watch their reaction.  Likewise, feel free to ask for your mechanic to show you the wear, tear, or damage to a part. After all, as the owner of the car, you own all the parts in the car. You are well within your rights to ask for the damaged part. If you find the mechanic or shop is reluctant to give you your old parts or doesn’t want to show you the damage on your parts, proceed with caution.

There are two possible exceptions to this rule. First, there are some parts where recycling charges are included in the core pricing of the part. In this case you may be charged an additional fee to offset the charges that the shop will incur for returning the parts to you. Second, some parts contain precious metals like catalytic converters which are typically recycled as well.

Another great way to answer the question “how do I know if my mechanic is honest?” is by taking your car in for routine service. If your car is driving fine, if your fuel usage seems normal, and if you have not experienced any noises, the car should be returned to you with the service provided and a list of items that may need attention soon. 

However, if your car seems to be running fine, and you take it in for a tune-up, only for the mechanic to say you need all kinds of new parts and services immediately, you may be dealing with a dishonest shop.

Important note: if you are the type of driver that takes care of their vehicle and keeps up with scheduled maintenance, you should be okay sticking to this advice. However, if you are the kind of driver who puts off regular maintenance and only takes your vehicle in when something breaks, all bets are off.

How Do I find the Best Car Mechanic? Bonus Tip

Though it’s not a requirement, legit auto shops will take an active role in their community. Whether they sponsor local events, host workshops, or participate in charities by serving as a donation site for collected toys, foods, or goods, small business owners that care about their communities are likely to be active in helping their community. 

Schedule Car Repairs or Preventative Service in Kenvil, NJ Today

Automotive Magic maintains a 4.9-star rating on Google. Automotive Magic is celebrating 20 years of honest, expert car repair service to Kenvil and the surrounding communities, in 2023.  All service requests will receive a written estimate.  To book service, call 973-601-5841. For your convenience, you may also book your appointment online.

Automotive Magic is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Automotive Magic (973) 366-3777, Magic Lube and Rubber (973) 663-4472 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.