How to Find the Right Mechanic and Save Big

Tips on finding a great auto mechanic to maintain your car.

ByABC News
December 7, 2009, 5:05 PM

April 26, 2010 — -- One way to SAVE BIG is to keep your car as long as you can stand it. Sounds obvious but most Americans trade in their cars every five years. Folks who do that will own about a dozen cars in their lifetimes.

Let's say you spend $15,000 on each car. That's a total cost of $180,000. If you can stretch that time frame out by, say, 50 percent to seven and a half years, then you will only need eight cars in your life and at $15,000 each, you will spend just $120,000, a $60,000 savings. Personally, I'm driving a 10-year-old car that I bought used in the first place and it's plenty nice and cruising along just fine.

One key to keeping your car longer is to find a great mechanic to maintain it for you. Car repairs are one of the most expensive services that we spend money on, so working with an honest mechanic will help you SAVE BIG.

Every consumer reporter tells you to ask friends and family for referrals to find a good mechanic. I've given that advice myself in the past but it's not very satisfying. What if you're the organized one in the bunch? They're probably asking you. Below is a list of creative ways to find a mechanic.

AAA-certified auto repair facilities: AAA shops are another possibility. They're required to offer members a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on their work. Their estimates are guaranteed. And if you still have a problem, AAA will investigate your claim and resolve it. Visit to find a member mechanic in your area.