Many independent auto repair shops are cheaper than dealership service, and crowdsourcing is an excellent way to find a reliable shop, says Edmunds.com. Sites such as Yelp, Angie's List and Google are very helpful, and there are other excellent resources as well.
When Edmunds.com sought repairs for a Lexus, they found Yelp to be the most useful site, due to its review volume and convenience. The site is free, states Edmunds.com. It also has a mobile version, as well as apps for Android and Apple mobile devices.
Yelp’s algorithm helps spot misleading reviews, but not always, says Edmunds.com. Look for patterns among many reviews. Specific reviews detailing experiences are the most helpful.
According to Edmunds.com, Angie’s List thoroughly inspects its reviews, which cover a broad range of services. Since Angie's List requires a paid membership, there are fewer reviews. This might mean fewer falsified reviews. However, less feedback makes it harder to pick a good shop.
Google’s huge database yields the most search results but may require extra filtering, states Edmunds.com. Google has its own review and scoring system and should be used in the same way as Yelp.
Edmunds Dealership Directory has a dealer locator for anyone searching for dealer service, says Edmunds.com. Other sources are Yellowpages.com and Citysearch.com. They provide few reviews but can be useful for thoroughly researching a shop.
Finally, nothing can substitute old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations from someone trustworthy, states Edmunds.com. Friends and family are an excellent way to find a quality mechanic.