1. Research Center
  2. /
  3. Car Maintenance Research Articles
  4. /
  5. How To Find a Good Car Mechanic
How to find a good mechanic

Lithia has you covered!

There was a time when most folks found a quality auto mechanic to service their cars by asking family and friends; which were highly recommended referrals from the people you trust. So, you'd ask your family, friends or neighbors which auto shop they used for the family sedan, on how they kept their vehicle up to date on service repairs, oil changes and keeping the vehicle nice and clean. But now we have the magical Oracle known as the Internet, which allows plenty of ways to research and explore your car's mechanical servicing options.

Servicing your car

Let's start with the simple stuff. Servicing your car has never been easier thanks to the fact that all new cars come with scheduled maintenance plans. You can take your car to the dealer you bought it from or to other dealerships that sell and service the make of your vehicle. We're talking about simple car care, scheduled maintenance such as changing your motor oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles. This sort of service usually includes: 

  • Safety check of your brakes (for rotor and brake pad caliper wear) 
  • Tires/Tire Rotation (for wear and tread life) 
  • Wear of belts and hoses, lights, suspension and lubrication 
  • Air filters, window washer, transmission and radiator fluid levels

It's important to know that the auto repair shops you are working with employ OEM Manufacturer trained and certified technicians from level 1 to master certified and have specific knowledge of your vehicle's needs; these are ASE certified mechanics who know how to work on and service your car. As part of their customer service, most dealerships offer Free Shuttle service to get you to work or back home if your auto service will take more than a few hours. For all this and more, you need look no further than your local Lithia Motors dealer! Lithia has over 215 dealer locations all across America with AAA-Approved auto repair and ASE certified technicians to handle all your car's needs. Just visit www.lithia.com and use the Dealer Locator to find a dealership near you. Lithia is your local trusted mechanic you've been looking for. 

Many Lithia.com dealerships also offer "Lifetime Oil Changes" in which you pay a one-time fee, or space the payment out over time. Lifetime Oil Changes are good for as long as you own the car, so the plan paid for itself after the first few years of use. Plus, if you purchase tires at the dealership, they rotate the tires free of charge. 

 This includes: 

  • Changing your oil and inspecting your vehicle after it has passed its factory free service. 
  • Checking for signs of wear and other suggested maintenance

 "I bought this plan for my wife's Prius at Toyota of Medford, Oregon, and it was the best money I've ever spent for auto service. The dealership changes my oil and filter and checks the vehicle for other service needs every 3,000 miles." -Lithia Motors Service Customer 

Federal law gives you the right to service your vehicle wherever you like without affecting your warranty coverage. If you lease your car, you may be required to have all service performed at a dealership. Mechanics in your Lithia dealer's service department are specifically trained and certified in all aspects of your model's service needs, and the shop has all the necessary diagnostic equipment to handle most repair services. This is especially important today, when automobile systems are computerized and mechanics need to read your car's "Fault Codes."

Technical Service Bulletins

All Lithia auto dealers have access to the manufacturer's latest technical service bulletins (TSBs), which are instructions on how to fix common problems with a particular model. Often, an automaker will do TSB repairs for free, but you'll have to go to a dealership to get the work done.

Finding a great Mechanic

As stated earlier, the Internet allows you to search for and check the rating of local mechanics. Simply do a Google search for "rate local mechanics" and be prepared to be amazed. Plus, rating sites such as Yelp, Cartalk.com, AAA and yourmechanic.com provide reviews by people who have used local repair facilities and report on their experiences, for good or bad. Those services are free. You can also go to angieslist.com but that requires a subscription. Find a close Lithia dealership near you to schedule an appointment today!

Keep in mind that a local repair shop wants to keep you as a customer and wants your positive review online. As such, the mechanic will go out of their way to provide good service at a reasonable price. A great mechanic will not only give you an estimate for the repair in writing, but will offer options on replacing parts with OEM parts, aftermarket parts, and salvage parts. The mechanic will also keep the part that was taken off your car and show it to you when you pick up your vehicle. They will show you how the old part is damaged and will often explain what went wrong with it. 

The local shop you use should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. Visit www.bbb.org to see how your mechanic rates with the Better Business Bureau. Once you have found the shop that seems like a local legend, take your car in for something simple, say an oil and filter change. See how they treat you. Did they put plastic over the driver's seat and a paper cover over your floor mat? Some dealerships also include steering wheel covers but this is store specific. Some OEM's may also require specific protection. Did they place protective covers over the sides of your engine bay to protect your vehicle from scuffs? Did they reset your oil change light after maintenance? In other words, they will do all the little things that inspire your confidence and show that they take pride in their work, just like the Service Department at your local Lithia auto dealer does every day, year-round. 

As the old Zen saying goes, "How you do anything is how you do everything." If your mechanic is clean to the point of being meticulous and pays attention to detail with a simple oil change, he or she is likely to follow the same discipline in every aspect of work.

Auto Repairs

Okay, so you're set for basic ongoing servicing of your vehicle. But what about when you need to have something more in-depth done such as a check engine light, brake job, water pump replacement, or, the gods of horsepower forbid, a new transmission installed? Who do you go to? Naturally, you'll want to go to a dealership if your car is covered by the original warranty and you'll want the manufacturer to pay for the fix. This is also true if your car has "a recall" for a defective part. 

Think of Lithia as your "one-stop-shop" for everything concerning your car. You'll be greeted with a smile, offered a free cup of coffee and all the service will be explained to you in detail. Our Free Shuttle Service will make sure you get where you need to go while your car is being repaired. If you own a fairly new car and are having a problem that is exclusive to your make and model, especially when talking about electronics; navigation or multi-function control systems, you should consider taking your car to the experts at a Lithia dealership. This is a must if there are any safety recalls on your car. Find a Lithia dealership near you today and schedule a service appointment for your vehicle.