Trustworthy VS. Good
Most people think they need a good mechanic. Most mechanics are good. Few are great. What they really need is to find a trustworthy mechanic. What they need is a mechanic shop that is so trustworthy they can drop their car off tell them you have $500 limit and know when they pick up the car nothing was fixed or done that didn’t need to be done. The kind of shop that if you handed them $1000 dollars and said fix it. When they found only $100 dollars of work needed that is all that would get done.
How Mechanics Get Paid
Most mechanics get paid by the job, and not by the hour. Because of this they want to stay as busy as possible. Sometimes this could be construed as the mechanic trying to rip yo off. We’ve all heard “I just made my mechanics boat payment”. This is not the truth they are doing their best to find everything that is wrong with your vehicle. This is a good thing. A trustworthy mechanic will tell you about the things that are a safety issue. Then they will show you what is warn out. Last they will help you understand the things they can do now that will save you money in costly repairs later. The fastest way to know have a trustworthy mechanic is how they sell you the repairs you need.
When your mechanic explains to you what your vehicle needs, he should address your concerns first. Many times the fix for your concern will not make him a lot of money. If you complain about a noise the cause of this noise should be the first thing he talks to you about. It shouldn’t matter that the noise is the same noise every car of your make and model makes. You should have that told to you before any other attempts to sell you things. A mechanic that truly cares about you will answer your concerns first. Even when he knows you have no need to be concerned.
Once your main concerns are handled, unless you have a new car there will be things you need to do. Any safety concerns will be addressed next. Then things that should be fixed soon and last maintenance. Walk away from any shop that pushes maintenance over repairs. There is only two explanations for this behavior. The repairs aren’t needed but they are trying to sell them anyway, or they make more money on maintenance and that’s all they care about.
If you find a mechanic that makes you feel that everything is a life or death repair, you need a second opinion. Unless it’s a brake issue or a steering/suspension issue there are very few things on a car that will cause death. Many things can leave you stranded. That’s not a life or death situation for most people. They shouldn’t be selling you like it is. The most trustworthy mechanics are not going to pressure you do to work to your vehicle. They know it’s your car. You will fix it if you want.
They may tell you things like, I’d fix this as soon as possible, or I wouldn’t drive it until you get it fixed. You’ll also get suggestions like this needs to be fixed in the next few months or even before winter. These are all acceptable suggestions. What you really want is a person who takes the time to explain it to you.
If you ever get find a mechanic who is pushy about maintenance on a vehicle be leery. It’s one thing to remind you that you need to flush your radiator or transmission. They should explain why you need maintenance. Once they have explained the benefits of doing the maintenance, they should back off. A friendly reminder ever now and then is acceptable. What’s not acceptable is making you feel like you have to do it today. You should never feel like you’ll ruin your car tomorrow if you don’t get a flush done today.
Always Go Back
Once you’ve found your mechanic stop looking. Too many people have more than one mechanic. Trust is something that is earned. It works both ways. If you want a mechanic to be open and honest with you. You must be a loyal customer. Many mechanics will help you out free if they know you will be back. Expecting them to always go that extra mile when you always go to the cheapest place, doesn’t work. If you only come to them for things where they will lose money, they will stop losing money.