How to Choose the Right Auto Mechanic For Your Car
The most important relationship that you’ll have besides with your car is with your mechanic. We’re going to learn how to assess a repair garage to make sure this is the place that you and your car can trust to go to.
I’m Patrice Banks, and I’m the founder and chief sheCANic of Girls Auto Clinic. Girls Auto Clinic has partnered with Aceable to teach you about your car, how to talk to a mechanic and what to do in an emergency. I have a primary care physician that I go to whenever I’m sick or even when I’m healthy and need a checkup, and it’s very important that you have that similar person in your life for your car. Your car needs a doctor, and that’s your auto mechanic, your primary care technician.
Don’t Cut Costs When It Comes to Auto Care
You may think you’re saving money by shopping around for the best price, but you’re actually causing yourself to fall into the hands of a mechanic that’s not as experienced or as knowledgeable or that will take advantage of you, and you’re also leaving yourself open to the up sold on things that you don’t really need.
You want to have a good relationship with the mechanic for the trust factor. This gets rid of 80% of the anxiety that comes with owning a car and taking care of it. They’re going to understand the history of your car and the health of it, and be able to track it over a long period of time. Your mechanic has your back. They care about your car and they care about you. They want your car to be safe and you to be happy.
How do you find an auto mechanic, which can be very confusing because there are so many different shops out there. You have dealerships. You have the chains and you have the independent repair shops. But every one of them can serve as your mechanic. It’s about finding the right place for you and assessing that place to make sure this is where you want to take your car to be taken care of.
The first thing you need to do in finding a car mechanic is ask for a referral. Ask your friends. If you’re a woman, you want to ask another woman because women’s experiences are very different than men’s at a repair garage. You can even ask your local automotive school if they have any recommendations of where to take your car, so that you know you can find a very knowledgeable and fair mechanic.
Visiting a Potential Mechanic
Definitely go into the shop. You want to be there in person, talking to the mechanic. You want to see how they treat other customers, how they treat their employees. If they’re pleasant, if they’re polite, if they’re respectable, that’s very important, because that’s how they’re going to treat you. And so while it may be nice to talk to them over the phone, you definitely want to go in and talk to a mechanic, especially if it’s your first time there.
A great mechanic is going to be able to explain what’s going on with your car so you get it and you’re comfortable. You should never feel pressured into getting a repair, feared into getting a repair, uncertain if you really need it, or uncertain even about the price. If a mechanic cannot explain to you what’s going on with your car where you understand it, where you feel comfortable, get out of there, because they probably don’t understand it themselves. A good auto mechanic is very knowledgeable, and there’s that old saying by Albert Einstein, if you can’t explain it to a five-year-old, you don’t really get yourself.
And that’s what’s going on here. If they can’t explain it to you where you feel comfortable, they probably don’t understand it themselves. Understanding how to take care of your car is not very complex. You don’t need to have an automotive technology degree to talk to a mechanic or to get why it may need these repairs. So it’s very important that you feel comfortable talking to them, and you feel good about the choice that you make with your car. If you do not, get out of there. That’s not the mechanic for you.
Good Mechanics vs Great Mechanics
A great mechanic is not going to sell you everything under the sun or upsell you on everything that you possibly need with your car. They understand the balance of paying for a car can be very expensive and what a car needs to get it running safe. Their job is to make sure that your car is safe.
They’re going to tell you, “Hey, you’re going to need tires in a couple of months.” “You’re going to need brakes before winter.” “I noticed you have a small oil leak. Keep an eye on that.” They are not going to try to sell you everything every time you bring your car in. They’re going to make you aware. They’re going to help you plan out some of these repairs, because they can be very expensive. And a good mechanic will tell you what you can fix now and what can wait for later.
A great mechanic is patient and thorough when diagnosing a car. They’re going to make sure they get the right diagnosis so your car doesn’t keep coming back, and they’re going to talk to you about their limitations and what they’re capable of doing. Sometimes they’re not able to fix the problem, but they’ll always recommend who can.