Tag Archives: Angie List

Tips on Choosing the Right Car Mechanics

We hear it all the time: “Where can I find a good car mechanic?” In the past, word of mouth was probably the best way to find an auto repair shop that would do the job right and charge a fair price. But now, a good mechanic might be only a few mouse clicks or touchscreen taps away.

Crowdsourced review sites have greatly simplified the search. Here are a few tips on how to work these sites to find a good car mechanic in your area. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact science. Sometimes a highly rated shop might disappoint, but at least you can tilt the odds in your favor.

Angie’s List
Angie’s List prides itself on having a thorough vetting process for its reviews, which cover everything from automotive listings to home repair and even wedding planning. In a search we did for our area, Angie’s List provided a number of repair shops nearby, but we found the volume of reviews lacking when compared to Yelp. For example, one repair shop we used for the Lexus had just one review on Angie’s List, and it was from 2008. The same shop had 22 reviews on Yelp, with the most recent one being less than a month old.

The small number of reviews on Angie’s List can be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, the chance of a falsified review drops considerably, since the site requires a paid membership to access the site and post a review. But at the same time, it is hard to get a feel for a shop that has very little feedback.

Google
Google’s enormous database will yield the greatest number of search results, but they may require some extra filtering to be useful. Type “auto repair near (your ZIP code)” into the search field. Ignore the sponsored ads at the top of the page. The repair shops will appear about halfway down the page, with their address to the right of their listing. Google has its own review and scoring system. Approach these as you would Yelp reviews.

Edmunds Dealership Directory
We have dealer locator for those in search of a dealership service facility. The Edmunds moderators closely monitor the reviews for misleading postings.

Other Sources
Yellowpages.com and Citysearch.com are two other sources. The reviews on these sites are spotty in terms of quantity, and we haven’t had the chance to use them that much. Still, the sites can be useful for those who want to research a shop thoroughly.

Message Boards
Enthusiast message boards dedicated to a particular car make and model often have forum threads where members discuss their local dealerships or independent repair shops. Forum members chime in and give their experiences or recommendations. Apply the same filtering that you use with Yelp reviews: Look for patterns of excellence or disappointment.

A Final Tip
Despite how far crowdsourced reviews have come, an old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendation from someone you trust can often be the most effective tool. Ask your friends and family who takes care of their cars and you may just find your new mechanic.