Concerned about your auto repair shop?

Why Do Most Drivers Distrust Auto Repair Shops?

As a vehicle owner, you may have been in a situation at an auto repair shop where you felt cheated or doubted the honesty of the mechanics. For example, you may have taken your vehicle into an auto repair shop for an oil change and received a recommendation for new brake pads. However, you just had your brake pads replaced a month earlier. Realizing that the recommendation may be a scam to get more money out of you, you may have developed an overall distrust for auto repair shops - and you’re not alone.

In a recent survey conducted by AAA, 2 out of 3 drivers reported that they did not trust auto repair shops. Most drivers were scared of shops recommending unnecessary services and repairs as their number one reason for distrust. Among the other reasons were overcharging for services, negative past experiences, and the fear of work not being completed correctly. Many drivers combat this distrust of auto repair shops by choosing a single shop that they can truly trust with their vehicle.

How can I avoid an untrustworthy auto repair shop and find one I can trust?

A good first step would be to stay educated about your vehicle. Start by reading your vehicle’s owner’s manual and understanding factory recommended services and their intervals. This is a rough guide and will help you be more aware of what services your vehicle actually needs when you bring your vehicle into an auto repair shop. It is however truly, just a rough guide. The next step is to research them online, look for good solid Google and Yelp reviews. Then call them, see how they treat you on the phone. Lastly, go in and test them out for something simple, like an oil change. You will get to see the facility, meet the staff, see the quality of the work for a reasonable cost. After all, a well maintained vehicle will see your shop about 2 times per year, so it is helpful that you like them. :)

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the mechanic says that your air filter needs to be replaced, ask them to show you! An auto repair shop with a digital vehicle inspection program, like at Toole’s Garage, actually takes photos of the work we recommend so that you can physically see any issues for yourself.

FilterA clean air filter vs. a dirty air filter


As a driver, if all you look for in an auto repair shop is cheap costs, you may be headed towards an untrustworthy shop. Many auto repair shops will use “low cost” hooks to get you into the shop for a specific service but then will pressure you into having other services performed that your vehicle may not need.

It is really important to look for an honest and certified shop that has a good track record of happy customers.

Look for shops that have:

  • ASE certified technicians
  • State-of-the-art computer diagnostic equipment and tools
  • Excellent warranty on repairs and services

At Toole’s Garage in San Carlos, CA, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, quality auto repair work, and a clean, comfortable facility. Our technicians are ASE certified and have decades of experience working on all makes and models of vehicles. Our auto repair shop has the latest diagnostic equipment and tools in order to properly handle and repair your vehicle. We also offer an outstanding 3 year/36,000 mile warranty for most repairs to show you that we believe in honesty and integrity.


Toole's Garage is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call San Carlos (650) 594-1128, Valley Springs (209) 772-5020 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.