Tips for Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic
Crooked mechanics may be funny in movies but not at all a joke in real life. Sadly, auto mechanics are notorious for charging outrageous prices for shoddy work. Finding a trustworthy, dependable mechanic who can conduct routine maintenance and repair major problems is a top priority for any driver.
Build a professional relationship with a good mechanic and you’ll have the peace of mind that your vehicle will be treated carefully and quickly if something ever goes wrong. Once you establish a history with a trusty mechanic, he will know the ins and outs your vehicle and be better equipped to help you maintain it.
There are several methods of seeking a good mechanic. If you bought a new vehicle from a dealership, you can use a mechanic who is employed there. One benefit of using dealership mechanics is that they are extremely knowledgeable about the particular make of vehicles that the dealership sells. For instance, if you purchased a brand new Ford sedan from a Ford dealership, a mechanic employed by that same dealership will be up to date on current recalls, parts, and service warranties for Ford vehicles.
Another way to locate a trustworthy mechanic is by word of mouth. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers for referrals. If someone has had a particularly bad experience at a local garage, you’ll know it! The most successful mechanics base their business on happy clients and excellent, timely work. Additionally, you can contact the Better Business Bureau for a listing of accredited garages in your area.
Below are several things to consider when searching for an auto mechanic:
A dependable mechanic should be easy to contact. Their telephone number should be in the phone book or searchable on the internet. If no one answers, an employee should call you back within a couple of hours upon leaving a message expressing your desire to hire them. A good mechanic is easy to get in touch with and maintains communication while your vehicle is in their possession.
Ask for a free estimate. Most garages or body shops will offer to look over any damage or problems and provide you with an estimated repair cost. You can expect to receive this estimate in writing. If you don’t, there is no way to dispute a much higher price when it’s time to pick up your vehicle.
Use common sense when you visit a garage for the first time. Yes, it’s going to be a little dirty, somewhat cluttered, and might even lack an actual receptionist. However, a presentable and polite individual should greet you, ask you what you need help with, collect your contact information, and provide you with the above mentioned estimate.
Expect to sign some type of service plan or contract. This document should contain your vehicle’s identifying information and an estimated completion date. Make sure that you obtain a copy of this agreement before leaving the garage.
Pay for the mechanic’s services and collect your vehicle as soon as possible after you have been informed that the repair is completed.
Expect to pay your balance in full before retrieving your car. While some mechanics may be willing to make payment arrangements, you will generally be required to pay your entire bill when you collect your fixed car. Most reputable mechanics accept several payment methods including credit cards.
Be patient, but don’t allow a slow mechanic to keep your vehicle for months on end. Understand that parts must be order and some semblance of chronological order must be maintained. That being said, if your car has been in the shop for six weeks and you don’t feel like you are getting a truthful answer from garage employees, do not hesitate to take your car and your business elsewhere.
Drivers rely on their vehicles to get them to and from work and school. When they are wrecked or broken, the stress of choosing the right mechanic for the job can be overwhelming.
The considerations above will help you know what to expect from a trustworthy, professional mechanic as well as what type of repair man to stay away from. A vehicle is one of the biggest investments we make. Ensure that it is being cared for by a knowledgeable mechanic who will get you back on the road quickly and for a fair price.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Driving-Tests.org. He has been writing for beginner US drivers for several years.
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