For routine maintenance or repairs, it’s important to bring your vehicle to a mechanic you can trust. But how do you weed through all the options to find someone reliable and affordable?

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Consumer Reports has conducted independent surveys that show car owners have better results when taking their vehicles to independent garages versus a dealership. What does that mean for you? For starters, it means you might want to consider turning to the Salt Lake City car repair pros at Downtown Master Muffler.

Look for Accreditations and Endorsements

Did you know that individual mechanics at a repair shop can hold accreditations that the shop itself doesn’t? This means a technician may have taken training and passed tests to be certified by a car manufacturer to perform services on certain makes and models. Or, a mechanic may have a background in diagnostics, brakes, or transmissions.

So, when looking for a mechanic you can trust, be sure to do a little digging not just on the shop, but the owners and employees as well. Ask about the following accreditations or endorsements.

Seals of Approval to Look For

  • AAA 
  • Better Business Bureau – BBB
  • National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence – ASE
  • Manufacturer Certifications / Factory Certified – i.e. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet, etc…

When purchasing new tires, it can also be helpful to look for a mechanic or shop that is affiliated with brands you know and trust, 

Types of Mechanics

Not all mechanics are created equal. Depending on the service you need for your vehicle, ask about the skillset of the mechanic you’re considering. 

Diagnostic Technician

Specializes in diagnosing problems with the engine, and how to address those problems to get things up and running again.

Transmission Technician

This tech is familiar with gear trains, hydraulics, couplings, and diagnosing transmission problems. A transmission tech also needs to be skilled with the electronic systems that help the transmission perform well.

Brake Technician

As you can imagine, the Salt Lake City car repair team at master Muffler knows a thing or two about brakes. A certified brake technician needs to be able to adjust brakes, replace pads, and replace rotors. A tech might focus on either the front-end or back-end brakes, or both.

Front-end Technician

For alignment and steering, an automotive technician studies and practices front-end diagnostics and repair. This is who you want helping you fix problems with unresponsive steering or shuddering when you drive.

Automotive Air Conditioning Technician

Since evaluating and repair our car’s air conditioning is a delicate task, it’s a good one to pass off to the pros. An AC tech can help install, recharge, or replace your system in the event of failure.

Automotive Mechanic

With so many systems involved in the function of your vehicle, it makes sense that an automotive mechanic can have a variety of certifications:

  • Engine Repair
  • Engine Performance
  • Automatic or Manual Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Electrical Systems
  • Heating/Air Conditioning
  • Suspension and Steering

It takes completion of all the above to become ASE certified as a Master Auto Technician. Additional training and certifications are available to supplement a Master Auto Tech, but they are not required.

  • Collision Repair and Refinish
  • Damage Analysis and Estimating
  • Automobile Service Consultant
  • Truck Equipment
  • Alternate Fuels
  • Auto Maintenance and Light Repair
  • Advanced Engine Performance Specialist
  • Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis
  • Parts Specialist
  • Medium-Heavy Trust
  • Undercar Specialist Exhaust Systems

With such an impressive list of education options under their belt, you’ve most likely found a mechanic or automotive technician you can trust for thorough service.

Trust Word-of-Mouth

Sometimes the very best way to find a mechanic you can trust is via a referral. Look online or ask your friends who they bring their vehicles to for routine maintenance or car repair. Bonus points if they have the same type of vehicle as you do! If you’re not sure where to turn for verified reviews of an auto shop, check out these options.

Angie’s List


Google Reviews


Ask About Warranties

Did you know that taking your car to a mechanic of your choosing doesn’t necessarily void your manufacturer warranty? Just do due diligence when having certain services and repairs done; if you want the manufacturer to pay for it, stick to the dealership. If you have an extended warranty, you might have some more freedom when it comes to who conducts the service or repairs.

If you’re paying for the auto work yourself, ask your mechanic about the warranties they offer on their service. That way you’ll know what you can expect if any work they perform doesn’t hold up.

For technicians you can trust, turn to the Salt Lake City car repair experts at Master Muffler.