It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
A great way to get a good mechanic is by asking around. You can ask anyone you trust, from your hairdresser to your family. You can find out about the quality of service and the costs. Avoid the mechanics who overcharged your friends or were not honest with them.
Ask a technician if they are A.S.E. certified before you agree to have them work on your vehicle. If they have this certification, it means they have passed a written test and have worked in the industry for at least 2 years. You will know that you are getting someone skilled by choosing someone with this.
Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you need more information on a mechanic or a garage. If some complaints have been filed against them, your Better Business Bureau will tell you. Ask your friends and family about the different mechanics they have dealt with in the past to get some recommendations.
If your car's electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a "ground" for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
If you are planning a road trip, make sure that you go and have your car serviced. Plan it a little ahead so you are not rushing to get it done at the last minute. Even if your car feels fine, you want to make sure that you will make it to your destination and back with no issues.
With the privilege of driving, comes responsibility. But, most people do not know what it takes to find a reliable mechanic, or how to make repairs on their own. Use the information that has been giving you to help you have an easier time keeping your car running.