Discovering A Reliable Mechanic
You’re peacefully cruising down the expressway one fine morning admiring the scenic hills by your west. And all of a sudden, your car’s “check engine” sign lights on. Fearing the worst, you head to the closest auto repair shop situated 6 kilometers away. Upon checking, the mechanic explains that the sign is due to the faulty catalytic converter that was in need of being replaced. You nodded.
And oh, just while he was looking around he realized your car’s air filter needs to be changed as well, and your brake pad looks pretty worn down. Being a layman, you can’t tell if these repairs are indeed necessary or if the mechanic is trying to upsell you. After much consideration, you again nodded, just to be on the safe side.
Just as you hit the expressway again, this time enjoying The Weeknd by Starboy, the “check engine” light reappears on your dashboard. That anger.
Auto repair complaints very unpleasantly make up a large group of consumer grievances. And most of these involve car repair scams. Then again, we cannot deny that there are plenty of trustable and competent mechanics out there but like any other profession, we must accept that there will always be bad apples who have druthers on producing average work and ripping you off. Car mechanics can be a blessing or a curse. Should you find a trustworthy one, you will hold onto them for your whole life.
Below are some helpful tips on how to find a reliable one.
1. Search for a mechanic that specializes in your car type
Several garages specialize in specific types of cars, be it Japanese, BMW, or English cars. These regular mechanics often possess great understanding of the maintenance procedures and proper equipment required to service that type of vehicle and thereby, offer better service. Before you choose one that works on various car types, consider that these mechanics are far more likely to need to order in parts for your vehicle instead of having them on-hand, hence making repair time longer.
2. Hit your social network for suggestions
Check with your neighbors, friends or local car enthusiasts for suggestions, and mechanics to avoid. Or better still, seek recommendations from those own a vehicle similar to yours. All of them have to get their cars serviced somewhere, from time to time. Find out exactly their opinion on their mechanics, both positive and negative. Mechanics generally do not spend on marketing their services but rather on word of mouth of their loyal customers.
3. Do your homework
Go online. Find automotive repair shops by car make, location. Look for local car repair shop customer ratings and reviewers’ overall impression. Do a thorough search for the repair needed, include information on your car make, model, and year. It is more probable than not for you to find forums of people who’ve shared experience of the similar work done. How long will such repairs typically take? How much would it usually cost? Contact the few mechanic numbers that you have jotted down on your list and compare.
4. Search for a mechanic who would explain and show you the problem
First and foremost, try to identify the problem with your car before sending it in. And once the problem is identified, embark on a research and gather as much information on it. Always use the term “Show Me” to the mechanic. Remember to always get the proof of damage before repairs are initiated by the mechanic. An honest mechanic shall always be willing to explain the problem to you and able to show you proof of damage. Talk to the mechanic, ask (logical) questions while he is working on your car. Also, remember to request to have a look at the old parts when they are replaced and for warranties.
5. Establish a relationship
“The absolute best thing to do is establish a relationship with them, much as you would your barber or your pastor.” –Mechanic Chris Johnson
Rather than thinking the worst about mechanics, take an initiative to develop a relationship with them. The closer you are to your mechanic, the better the service you will receive. Be nice to them and they will be nice to you. Mechanics understand that a good service at a reasonable price will attract you back to the shop again and again. When you have found an ideal mechanic very logically, you’ll continue to take your vehicles there whenever you face a problem. If your experience is a positive one, the best compliment is to bring the auto repair shop new business based on your good relationship.