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How to find a good mechanic

With hundreds of auto dealerships going out of business, many car owners are facing the challenge of finding a new trustworthy mechanic to do the work, but identifying a mechanic you can trust for your car takes a lot more than letting your fingers do the walking.

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports in 2008 of owners of almost 350,000 vehicles, people who used independent mechanics were generally more satisfied than those who had their car serviced at a dealership.

Asking family and friends for recommendations - especially from people who have a vehicle similar to yours - is a good place to start. If you want to do your own research, there are several things you should look for to make sure you're in good hands.

Combing the Internet for information can also help. Some websites offer free information about local mechanics. It's also a good idea to check with a local Better Business Bureau to see which shops you should avoid.

Other things to consider when looking for an independent mechanic include:

finding a convenient shop (location and hours)

finding a shop that specializes in your vehicle's make

asking about warranties on work performed at the shop.

Additional information about how to find a great mechanic is available in the September 2009 issue of Consumer Reports and at

Posted August 5, 2009. .©

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