No matter where in the world you live- finding the mechanic that is right for you and your car is imperative if you want to keep your car in the best possible condition at the lowest possible cost. However, finding the right mechanic is not always easy, but by following these tips and tricks, you are guaranteed to find a mechanic that cares about your car as much as you do.
If you are new to a town or city, the best sources of information are neighbors, colleagues, and taxi drivers. Avoid adverts on the internet, since no mechanic or repair shop is going to advertise the fact that he may not be right for you.
Collect as much information as you can about the repair shops in your immediate area, but make sure you collect only information on establishments that works on your brand of car. There is little point in finding mechanics that are as honest as the day is long if they have no knowledge or experience of your car.
Visit the shops on your list:
When you visit the shops on your list, it is important to know what to look for, and what questions to ask. Never depend on the word of any single person- the purpose of your visit is to find out if any particular repair shop is right for you, so take your time, and make sure you check for the following:
Seemingly abandoned cars in the parking lot:
An old, abandoned vehicle in the parking lot is a bad sign. What you want to see in the parking lot is a variety of late model cars, because it shows that the shop has staff that is experienced and knowledgeable about a wide range of brands, models, and variants. However, some repair shops specialize in some brands, which are why you may not see cars of different makes, but this is a god sign if the cars in the parking lot are mostly of the same brand as yours.
Ask about qualifications:
- It is important that the people that going to be working on your car are suitable qualified and certified. Modern cars are highly complicated, and you want that the staff is in possession of at least basic qualifications in order to be able to perform routine maintenance and servicing procedures.
- If the management refuses to discuss the qualifications of his staff, walk away, since he is not going to explain why he does what he does to your car when you ask him about it as well. You need to be able to discuss your car issues with the technical staff, and if you cannot do that, you will not get good results.
- Ask for proof that the staffs have experience of working on your particular car. This is particularly important, since some cars have peculiar problems that do not occur on other cars. You want to be assured that no matter happens with your car, the technical staff will have the necessary skill, knowledge, problem solving skills, and equipment to resolve all and any issues your car might experience.
Ask to see the work area:
The public is generally not allowed inside the work area, but at least ask to see it from a distance, because what you see at this point is very important. Look out for the following:
- Check to see that the floor is clean, and free of junk, litter, oil spills, tools, and old parts. Clean floors indicate good housekeeping practices, which mean that the chances of receiving good service are excellent.
- Check to see if the staffs are using seat, fender, and floor protectors on the cars they are working on. If they do, this means that they treat the cars of their clients with respect, which in turn means that they will treat you, and your car with respect as well.
- Check to see if the staff members are wearing uniforms. Wearing uniforms signifies a sense of pride- both in them, and in the work they do. This means that to this repair shop, you are not just another client- instead, you are the reason for their existence, which means they will listen to you, and be glad to discuss any concerns you may have.
- Ask about what other services they offer. For instance, do they offer courtesy vehicles if your car has to stay overnight, or do they offer a pick-up-drop-off service, that saves you the hassle of having to deliver your car to them, and then having to fetch yourself again?
Give the shop a try-out:
When looking for a new mechanic or repair shop, it is always a good idea to collect information on their charges as well, particularly with regard to small, routine jobs such as oil changes.
Some shops may charge significantly more for this type of work than others in the same area, so if you are happy with what you saw during your inspection, make an appointment with the shop for something small like an oil change. This will give you an opportunity to assess their efficiency, but more importantly, the bill is proof of how near, or far apart their pricing is from other shops in the area. If it turns out that they fall within the range of what others charge, chances are excellent that you have struck gold.
One more thing…
If you are satisfied with a particular shop or mechanic, stick with them for a while to establish a relationship of trust. Many repair shops have thousands of clients, and it will take a while for them to get to know you and your car, as it will for you to get to know them.
The worst thing you can do is to jump from repair shop to repair shop- this way you will never establish a good relationship with any mechanic, which is why you went looking for one in the first place. Your mechanic literally holds your life in his hands, and if you do not trust him, he has no reason to care for you, or your car.