Mechanic Advisor

How Should You Rate Your Mechanic?

Posted February 25, 2015 by Bobby Gaglini

Bad reviews can make or break a mechanic’s online presence. A few bad reviews can have most customers browsing mechanics online scurry away. So if something unexpected happens during your trip to the shop, should you write a scathing review? In my opinion, I think that answer is fairly complex and depends on many different things. However, I’ve created a list that might help you the next time you go online to rate a mechanic.


What you write in the review is up to you, and should be as thorough and honest as possible. The star rating however, is the most important piece as it’s usually what people look at first when they read shop reviews. From someone who reads through tons of ratings every week on Mechanic Advisor, here is my idea of how mechanics should be rated, and why.

Rating               Reasons for the Rating                                       Why is this the right rating?                               
  • Performed absolutely no work on the vehicle
  • Made the same problem worse
  • Refused to take any calls or communicate in any way after taking the money
  • Insulted or swore at you
  • Tried to overcharge you                                                                                                          

  • If a mechanic isn’t trying to fix it, then they’re not really a mechanic.
  • If they make the same problem worse and don’t try and fix it, they’re not an honest shop
  • If they’ve taken your money and not performed ANY service, they essentially stole from you
  • No one should be treated poorly in a shop. If they insulted/swore at you unprovoked, they’re not good people
  • Taking advantage of people’s non-knowledge of vehicles is unethical


  • Did the job, but didn’t fix the problem completely
  • Offered to try to fix the problem again, but required more than just labor payment
  • Fixed the issue, but created another big problem                                                                                                 

  • Some problems are tough, and if they didn’t get it completely right on the first go-around, it’s not great, but sometimes understandable
  • If the issue persists and they want to charge more than just labor, that’s basically charging double for one job.
  • Creating another issue means they probably understood the problem, but did sloppy work.


  • Did the job right, but it took way longer than originally quoted
  • Finished the job right, but it cost much more than the original estimate for no reason
  • Fixed the issue, but was rude or non-communicative while they had your vehicle                                                                                                                                                                  

  • Since they did the job right, that counts for a lot, but if they gave you a time estimate that they missed by a large margin, that’s their fault
  • Again, the job is done, so that’s good, but if the final price is way higher than you were quoted, and they didn’t find anything else wrong, they may have just been trying to get you into the shop instead of being honest upfront
  • The work was done right, so that’s good, but not communicating or being rude is usually unnecessary and should not be tolerated


  • Fixed the issue, but was a few days late on delivering the vehicle, or was more than 20% over on price
  • Took you a while to get your vehicle seen by a mechanic at the shop
  • Got the work done quickly, but did not communicate well during the process                                                                                      

  • Minor inconveniences like paying slightly more than you were quoted or having the fix delayed slightly are not huge, and should not be weighed upon heavily
  • If the shop took your car and it took a while to get to, the rating should still be 4 stars so long as the work was done right
  • Communication should be excellent throughout the process, and even if the work is good, it can have you feeling needlessly worried.


  • Fixed the issue on time
  • Did everything you were hoping for
  • Was right on with the estimate provided
  • Was courteous, with great communication and upfront prices
  • These speak for themselves! If this happened to you, stick with this shop.


 Of course, there are dozens of other things that can go into a shop rating, but I feel these are the most important. The one thing to always remember is that when you rate a mechanic, it doesn’t have to be a 5 or a 1. I’d say 99% of mechanic reviews are either a 5 or a 1, simply because people think if something went wrong it’s a 1, and if it went well it’s a 5. Be sure to think about the whole picture when you write your review, as there are lots of nuances that should dictate how you end up rating a shop.

Feel free to reply to this article with any questions or comments you might have.