As experienced mechanics in Phoenix, Arizona, we’ve seen enough people on the hunt for a new mechanic to know they’re probably doing it for one of three reasons: they’re unhappy with their usual mechanic, they’re looking for a second opinion, or they’re visiting from out of town. The search can be time-consuming and confusing, and people wouldn’t do it unless they really needed to. If you’re in need of a new mechanic, here’s an overview of what to look for that should make things a little clearer.
What certifications are important in finding a qualified mechanic?
When you’re looking for mechanics in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, start by focusing on shops with proven technical proficiency and a track record of ethical, honest behavior. Two certifications in particular stand out because, taken together, they cover both these bases:
- Automotive Service Excellence (ASE): To qualify for ASE certification, a mechanic must have extensive training and work experience, and must pass exams on specific aspects of auto repair. With certification, a mechanic is a “Professional Technician.” If the mechanic has eight certifications, ASE certifies them as a “Master Technician.”
- NAPA AutoCare Center: To become a certified NAPA AutoCare Center, National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) staff review a shop’s integrity, qualifications, expertise, and reputation in the community. NAPA shops provide a 3-year warranty on all parts and labor that is honored at more than 14,000 locations across the U.S.
Will a mechanic give me a second opinion?
Yes, an ethical mechanic will gladly give you a second opinion on estimates from another repair shop. They’ll review the list of proposed repairs and examine your vehicle to confirm they’re needed. They’ll also make sure the proposed costs for labor are appropriate, and tell you whether the first mechanic is recommending high-quality parts at a fair price.
What if your car breaks down while you’re visiting from out of town?
As mechanics in Phoenix, Arizona, we’ve seen any number of visitors to our area end up with overheated engines, blown tires, and more. If you need a mechanic when you’re passing through, here are a few dos and don’ts:
- Don’t just go where the tow truck driver decides to take you: Tow trucks will most likely deliver your car to the nearest repair shop, regardless of the shop’s reputation.
- Do use one of NAPA’s auto repair shops: If you choose a NAPA mechanic in Phoenix and have problems with the repair once you’re home, your local NAPA shop will honor the warranty on the out-of-town service. Go to the NAPA website to see a list of its accredited mechanics. The site gives information about their hours, services, accreditation, and more.
- Don’t rely on Yelp or other rating sites alone: Review sites often include out-of-date information. Worse yet, they can include fake reviews.
- Do use independently verified review sites like Expertise.com: To be included in its databases, Expertise.com validates a mechanic’s awards and certifications, analyzes reviews, and engages with the shop as “mystery shoppers.”