What Are You Looking For?
The first thing you need to consider is how well you want your vehicle fixed and how reliable you want it to be. I know this may seem unnecessary but in this world there are a ton of different people who have different standards. The person with a $1,000 beater is not going to go to the same shop or dealer as the person with a $20,000 vehicle. So, before you determine what shop to go to and what mechanic you want working on your vehicle, think about what standards you want.
Start Big And Then Narrow Your Sights
The second thing you must do is try different shops around where you live. In the online world, you can check reviews or forums for other people's opinions but the simple fact is that you won't know until you try it. So, once you have decided what standard you have for your vehicle you should pick 3 or more different shops in your area (if there are that many) and take any issues you have with your vehicle to them. Instead of having it fixed at the first shop you try, go to 3 or more shops with the same concern and see what differs between each of them. Each one should have a certain inspection method to look your vehicle over. Find the one that fits your liking the best, and whatever one gives you the best explanation of your concern or issue with the vehicle.
The Most Important Factor
Now that you have an idea of how well they look over your vehicle and how well they can explain what your issues are you can narrow it down by price, personality, professionalism, certifications, or any other attribute that you deem the most important. The original 3 or more choices will more than likely be down to one or two at this point. The last and most important factor in singling it down to that one shop or mechanic can be simply asking the mechanic or manager what experience they have had in the past and where they want to go in the future. Some of the best mechanics or managers I've ever met believe in what they are doing as incredibly important and fascinating. These attributes will assure a long-term relationship with the shop or mechanic that will keep your vehicle in great condition for years to come regardless of the issues you come across down the road.