Finding a good, trust-worthy car mechanic is like looking for a needle in a haystack these days. Unless you grew up with a friend who now has his or her own garage, you are left at the mercy of anyone with an auto mechanic license. This person not only diagnoses the problem and fixes it, but also is the one who writes the invoice, meaning that he has full control of not just your vehicle, but your wallet as well. A bad mechanic can either not take the time to properly find the issue and jump to expensive conclusions, or even switch things out that weren’t necessarily broken, just so that he can charge you for it. But enough of the horror stories, we’re all scared as it is.
What this means is that it’s time to find that one in a million mechanic. (And treasure him when you do)!
- Ask for Referrals
Your network of friends and acquaintances is a good place to start. They are sure to have their fill of terrible experiences, but maybe someone will let you in on a secret source of great auto service. Just remember, if it’s a secret, it’s a secret, you gave your word! When you meet the mechanic for the first time, remember to mention that you were referred to his garage by a friend. Who knows? You might get even better service as now he has a reputation to uphold while your friend might score a discount in the future. It’s a nice little thank you for the tip!
- Check out their Garage
Though garages don’t quite hold the same sanitary or aesthetic standards as a salon, there is a lot that the state of a workshop can say about its master. Is all the equipment stored in an organized fashion? Are there clipboards with paperwork being filled out on the go? Are all those working wearing the proper safety equipment needed for the job? If you feel unconfident judging this on your own, ask a more experienced friend to come along with you.
- Look for Certificates
Car have been evolving since they have been invented, with newer and better models coming out every year. So if the car industry is introducing new technology like hybrid electric vehicles, wouldn’t you think that mechanics should be constantly learning new things as well? If you don’t see evident proof of continuing education, ask about it directly. Inquire about new tools of the trade and whether they are being employed here, how often staff is trained, and what’s their source of the most current information regarding their industry. Just like you won’t choose a dental clinic which uses plain plier to yank out teeth, but instead choose a dental clinic that invests a lot of time to learn new dental skills, you shouldn’t pick a mechanic that uses old technology. Though the pain of an old-fashioned dentist might be different than that of an old-fashioned mechanic, both have health and safety concerns that need to be addressed.
- Good Communication
Once you think you have found “the one”, it’s time to see whether or not you were right. Testing communications skills is the last step before being able to gloat about how amazing your mechanic is. When you leave your car for a fix, see how well the mechanic communicates throughout the process. Does he call you once the problem is diagnosed with options for you to decide one? Does he call to let you know when it has been resolved and ready for pick up? How close was it to the estimated time he gave you initially? Once you arrive, does he go over the invoice with you, explaining all the costs? If so, you are truly blessed, because it looks like your mechanic is one of the good ones.
Being a good mechanic is about more than just being able to replace the brakes in a car. He should be valued by his current customers, have a well-kept garage, be constantly looking out for the newest and greatest new things, and communicate well with his team and clients. Once you have tracked down a good mechanic in your area, be sure to treat him or her right- it’s worth it!