As the debate continues regarding dealership vs. independent shop to service your Honda, there are many reasons why finding a trustworthy, local repair shop in Sacramento will save you time and money. A good rule of thumb to follow is to find a reputable shop before your vehicle needs service or repair. A small amount of research now will pay big benefits in the future when unexpected services are needed.
Following are a few tips to help you find a good mechanic in the Sacramento area:
Yelp.com describes itself as a site that “connects people with great businesses,” whether that’s a hot new restaurant or a certified Honda auto repair shop. The site is free and has a mobile version and apps for Android and Apple mobile devices.
Yelp recommendations come directly from consumers, so the information is frank and honest. Edmunds.com stated that they looked for mechanics on Yelp to work on Edmunds’ Debt-Free Car Project. With new long-term vehicles they tend to use dealerships exclusively, however because containing costs is important for the project, they used Yelp four times to locate independent mechanics. Of the four, they would go back to three of them. They found Yelp to be the most useful site, thanks to its review volume and convenience.
Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your mechanic search. Type “auto repair” into the search field and enter your ZIP code. You can filter the results based on distance, most reviewed and highest rated. The goal should be to find a place that strikes a balance between a good rating and a substantial number of reviews.
Yelp has an algorithm that helps it spot misleading reviews, but sometimes they can slip by undetected. That’s why it is important not to put too much stock in one review. Instead, see what patterns emerge after you’ve read numerous reviews. Look for reviews that are specific and give plenty of details about the users’ experiences.
Sometimes, the owner of an establishment will reply to a review. This response can either be a thank you to someone for a good review or a defense or apology if the review was a negative one. Either way, we consider a thoughtful reply a good sign — particularly in response to a negative review. It shows that the business cares about its reputation.
Angie’s List prides itself on having a thorough vetting process for its reviews, which cover everything from automotive listings to home repair and even wedding planning. Here you will find fewer reviews, but most of higher quality. The small number of reviews on Angie’s List can be helpful because the chance of a falsified review drops considerably, since the site requires a paid membership to access the site and post a review.
Google’s enormous database will yield the greatest number of search results, but they may require some extra filtering to be useful. Type “auto repair near (your ZIP code)” into the search field along with the brand you are looking for HONDA. You can basically ignore the sponsored ads at the top of the page. The repair shops will appear about halfway down the page, with their address to the right of their listing. Google has its own review and scoring system. Approach these as you would Yelp reviews.
Yellowpages.com and Citysearch.com are two other sources. The reviews on these sites are spotty in terms of quantity. Still, the sites can be useful for those who want to research a shop thoroughly.
Enthusiast message boards dedicated to a particular car make and model often have forum threads where members discuss their local dealerships or independent repair shops. Forum members chime in and give their experiences or recommendations. Apply the same filtering that you use with Yelp reviews: Look for patterns of excellence or disappointment.
A Final Tip
Regardless of how far crowd sourced reviews have come, nothing beats an old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendation from someone you trust. Ask your friends, family and other Honda owners who takes care of their cars. Word-of-mouth recommendations usually carry the best clout and have a personal touch as well.
If you live in the Sacramento area and are looking for a trustworthy auto repair shop for your Honda, visit or call Standard Auto and Repair. We would be delighted to meet you and show you why our customers leave us raving reviews and return to us again and again for their auto service.