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.
Patrice Banks from 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 situation. Just like you have a primary care physician that you go to whenever you're sick or even when you're healthy and need a checkup, and it's very important that you have that similar person in your life to keep your car healthy an running for a long time. Your car needs its own doctor, and that's your auto mechanic, your primary care technician.
Finding the Best Mechanic With Patrice Banks
Patrice Banks, founder and chief sheCANic of Girls Auto Clinic, teaches you how to choose and talk to a reliable, trustworthy mechanic to help you with routine and emergency car care. Find more helpful tips from Patrice in Aceable's driver's ed courses!
Don't cut costs when it comes to auto care
You might think you're saving money by cutting costs at the mechanic, but in reality choosing a primary care technician based on price alone can result in:
- Falling into the hands of a mechanic that's not as experienced or as knowledgeable who can cause further damage to your car
- Getting stuck with a mechanic that will take advantage of you and potentially price gauge you
- Leaving you open to be 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. The right mechanic is 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. The right mechanic has your back, cares about your car and wants to make sure you have a good experience.
How to find the right mechanic
There are a few steps you'll want to take when finding a new mechanic.
- Understand that there are a few different options out there. Any of the below options can be great choices, and each come with their own benefits that you can asses as you do your research!
- Independent repair shops
- Ask for a referral. Ask your friends, family, anyone you trust. 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 you know you're going to a knowledgeable and fair mechanic.
- Go into the shop. It's a good idea to go in person and talk to the mechanic. You want to see how they treat other customers and their employees. If they're pleasant, polite and respectable then there's a good chance that's how they'll treat you too. While talking on the phone might be easier, we recommend going in and talking to a mechanic, especially if it's your first time there.
- Make sure they can explain what's going on with your car. A great mechanic is going to be able to explain exactly what's going on with your car in a way you understand and feel comfortable with. You should never feel pressured into getting a repair, uncertain if you really need it or concerned about the price being fair. If a mechanic can't tell you what's going on with your car, get out of there, because they probably don't understand it themselves.
Good mechanics vs. great mechanics
A great mechanic WON'T:
- Try to sell you on everything under the sun or up sell you on things you don't need
- Get impatient or frustrated explaining what's going on with your car
- Won't price gauge you or make repairs you don't need.
A great mechanic WILL:
- Understand that paying for a car can be very expensive and work to make you feel comfortable
- Understand what a car needs to get it running safe
- Tell you what you need to fix now and what can wait for later
- Help you plan out future repairs you'll eventually need, because they can be very expensive
- Be patient and thorough when diagnosing a car
- Be honest about limitations they have when fixing your car
At the end of the day, if you don't feel comfortable talking with your mechanic about your car, get out of that shop! The right mechanic will be honest and make you feel comfortable about any repairs you need to get!
Image source in order of appearance: Unsplash, Aceable