In many ways, the family car is more than a vehicle; it’s a tool for compromise between strict parents and their eager teenagers; it’s a symbol of freedom, something that will carry the family in a forward direction, both literally and figuratively; it’s an instrument to help provide for the family by taking parents to work, and then to the grocery store, and then home; it’s a learning opportunity to teach kids responsibility, both in terms of auto care and human life. A car can be all of these things and more, thanks to the central role it plays in the everyday goings-on of a busy family.

For a vehicle to have such a multifaceted role in our lives, the auto care mechanic must be more than they seem as well. This is only compounded by the fact that cars have steadily changed year-over-year. No longer is the family vehicle a simple 4-door Sedan with an inline engine, a tape deck, and four wheels that move. Now, cars are more akin to something out of science fiction with hybrid engines, cameras all over the chasse, and a full suite of onboard features connecting the car to satellites and the internet. To service such a car, the mechanic must know more than just how to perform a brake repair﹘they must be able to run a computer diagnostics test as well as change the oil.

Finding the Best Mechanic

Despite all the ways that cars have changed, their most important role remains the same: to conduct you and your family safely from Point A to Point B. As a professional who ensures that the car remains roadworthy and up to such an important task, it is not hyperbolic to say that finding a competent mechanic bears some of the weight of that mission. But how can a person know that they’ve found a good one? There are a few ways, including:

  • Finding a shop familiar with your vehicle: This might seem like a no-brainer, but for those who drive newer cars, it will be beneficial to ask the mechanic how much experience they have servicing your type of vehicle with these particular amenities. 
  • Find out who is in the AAA network of mechanics: If you’ve ever needed to call AAA for someone to tow your vehicle or change a battery, you’re sure to be met by a service agent driving a truck with AAA branding. They run their own business but are affiliated with the vehicle emergency response service to be on-call to help stranded motorists in their area. AAA doesn’t just partner with towing companies, but with auto repair shops as well, who must clear a high bar of quality in order to represent the service. Finding out who is affiliated with AAA in your neighborhood is a great way to find a good mechanic.
  • Finding out who has been in business the longest: This is another option that takes a bit of sleuthing, but finding a mechanic who has been in business for decades is a good indicator that they can be trusted. Simply put, they wouldn’t be in business if people didn’t think they were up to the task. A franchise shop, like our own Riverton location, also comes with certain guarantees that a particular standard is being upheld, which is why many of our locations have been able to stay competitive in an area for decades.
  • Read customer reviews: We live in the age of the user review, and that can be a big help when looking for a mechanic. Whether you just need someone to help perform an oil change, or you need a mechanic to replace your catalytic converter, a high customer rating is a great tool to help you decide.