5 Tips For Choosing A Mechanic

Mechanic Shae Davies, 2000

For those with a dedicated off-road vehicle or an all-purpose rig that takes them from the city streets to the mountain trails, it can be overwhelming trying to find a local mechanic that you trust. There are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect auto shop in Fort Collins, especially when you have a specialty vehicle or more diverse driving needs. People who take to the trails on a regular basis are going to need something different from a mechanic than people who simply commute to work in the suburbs, and it requires an extra step to nail down the ideal 4×4 mechanic in Fort Collins.

There are several factors that go into choosing a mechanic that’s right for you, and you may find that you end up using a different mechanic for each car that you own. And that’s okay- because it’s all about finding the team that can service your vehicle the best, and it’s worth it in the end to invest in high quality regular maintenance. If you are still shopping around for a mechanic, here are five things to consider in order to make the best decision for you and your off-road vehicle.

  1. Location

Let’s face it- when keeping an appointment requires a long drive, we are much less likely to keep it. Whether it’s a doctor’s office, yoga studio, or a service garage, narrowing your search to places near your home is a crucial first step. If you live in Northern Colorado, your best bet is likely to be a nearby Fort Collins auto repair shop rather than a specialty garage in Boulder. Luckily, most towns in Colorado have several options to choose from, because this state takes its outdoor recreation and off-road adventures seriously. Start looking for mechanics within a certain radius, or along your daily route to work or school.

  1. Credentials

There are several things that can tip you off to the quality of mechanic you’re looking at when you walk in the door, and awards and associations are two of them. Research the garage first and take note of all the professional associations they take part in, as well as any service awards they’ve garnered. When you enter the lobby, look around at the walls for plaques, emblems, and official certifications to get an even better feel for the caliber of the auto shop in Fort Collins that you’re looking at. Take note of the dates and rankings of these awards and take time to read customer reviews before settling on your choice.

  1. Prices

One of the hardest parts of nailing down a regular mechanic is the vast range in price quotes you’ll come across. For the same procedure or modification, you may find a discrepancy of up to several hundred dollars in some cases, but you must remember that the quality of work and parts often determines the invoice total. If you own a custom Jeep, you will want to only see a qualified 4×4 mechanic in Fort Collins, even if the costs are a bit higher than at the all-purpose mechanic down the street (see #4). If you’re concerned about your wallet, ask about discounts, “frequent flyer” deals, and membership perks.

  1. Experience

When it comes to understanding the unique needs of off-road vehicles, only those with experience in that field can give your rig what it needs. From the shocks and struts to the tires and valves, trucks that conquer the mountain trails are built and maintained differently from those who never leave the pavement. Be sure to choose a Fort Collins auto repair shop with several years of experience in servicing 4 wheel cars, preferably one that comes with recommendations from your fellow off-roaders. While all cars start with the same basic parts, the tapestry of 4×4 components and performance presents a unique challenge.

  1. Future mods

The relationship you forge with your mechanic is a special one, and longevity should be considered before making a commitment. If you are new on the scene, you should pick someone who can show you the ropes, suggest upgrades, and recommend trails. If you have big dreams for your rig, pick a shop that works with high-end specialty brands and can perform modifications and bodywork to your liking. Take a look at their model vehicles and ask about any car shows or conventions that they’ve participated in. When you’re at a candidate auto shop in Fort Collins, inquire about the range of modifications they perform, and their advice regarding your own vehicle.

When you finally come across the perfect mechanic for you, you’ll know. They will make you feel heard, respected, and you will instantly feel like your off-road rig is in the right hands!

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