These days it's more important than ever to have an honest mechanic. Because you can't work on cars anymore . . . everything is computerized. So here's a list from Forbes.com of four tips for getting good service from a mechanic.
#1.) Communicate the problem. Give details. You can't just say, "Something sounds funny." Write down a list of symptoms, and the situations surrounding each one. Describe smells, sounds, and feels, and note the last time the car was serviced.
#2.) Be realistic. People expect miracles from a mechanic. If you want it done fast and right, be prepared to pay. If you want it cheap, be ready to wait . . . or be ready to bring it back a week later.
#3.) Give them a clean car. It's just common courtesy. You brush your teeth before a checkup, and organize your receipts before you see your accountant. But somehow people think it's fine to take their car in with bags of fast food all over the floor.
A clean car is also easier to WORK on. And don't leave golf clubs or other heavy stuff in the trunk, because it can weigh the car down and make it ride differently.
#4.) Be available . . . But stay out of the way. Leave reliable contact information, and clear out. For a mechanic, there's nothing worse than a customer who can't be reached . . . except for a customer who stands around asking questions.
The sad fact is, you might do all this stuff and STILL get ripped off. But if you don't even TRY to make the mechanic's job easier, you're basically asking for bad service.