Dec 01, 2021
What to Look for in a Good Mechanic
While there are plenty of good mechanics out there, unfortunately, there are also plenty of dodgy ones as well. Oftentimes it can be hard to tell the good from the bad until your car breaks down or you get a massive bill for work that perhaps you didn’t need.
Dodgy mechanics are well known for inflating prices, pressuring you into work you don’t need, using shoddy parts and generally providing poor quality work. Not only will this cost you money, but it can also affect your vehicle safety and performance and in some cases void your warranty and even affect your insurance premiums.
But good mechanics are worth their weight in gold. When you find one, it’s worth building a long-term relationship with them. A good mechanic will save you money and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can trust that you’re getting the best work at a fair price.
But how do you tell the good from the bad without risking your money and your car? Well, we have some tips to help you find a mechanic you can trust.
Take it to the dealer
If you bought your vehicle new from the dealership, take it back to their service department for scheduled servicing and repairs. While it may be a little more expensive than independent or chain mechanics, a dealer’s service department will provide reliable and thorough repairs and servicing in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. In some cases, having your car repaired or serviced through the dealer may be the only way to ensure your warranty remains valid.
Word of mouth
One of the best ways to find a good mechanic is to get people to recommend mechanics they’ve had good experiences with. Reach out to friends, family and colleagues to ask for their recommendations. Pay extra attention to recommendations from people who know about cars or who drive the same kind of car as you.
Check online reviews
Before contacting a mechanic, it’s worth checking through their online reviews. Have a look at their Google reviews and the comments on their social media pages. It’s also worth checking reviews on sites like Word of Mouth and on local automotive forums.
When it comes to online reviews, there will always be some disgruntled customers, so don’t write a mechanic off just because of one or two bad reviews. However, if there is a pattern of bad reviews, that’s an obvious red flag.
It’s also a good idea to look at how the mechanic responds to the reviews. If they respond to a negative review in a prompt and friendly manner and attempt to fix or resolve the issue, that’s a good sign that they care about their reputation and the work they do. If they respond defensively or aggressively or by making excuses or diverting blame, then you may be dealing with a less than reputable mechanic.
When it comes to choosing a mechanic it’s important to ensure they have good communication skills. A good mechanic will take the time to explain what work they will be doing and why it is important in a way that you can understand (even if you don’t know much about cars). They should clearly outline all the costs and timeline up front. They should also be able to clearly explain any additional repairs that are required and why they weren’t outlined in the initial quote.
A good mechanic will also be able to prioritise the required repairs by letting you know which ones are urgent and which you can leave for next time. If your mechanic always seems to be prioritising or pushing the most expensive repair work, that could be a red flag.
Most mechanics should be able to handle general repairs and servicing for the average family car. However, if you require specialist repair or servicing work, or you drive a luxury or high-performance car, you may want to look for a mechanic who specialises in that type of work or vehicle.
Heavy commercial vehicles or 4WDs may require specialist mechanics or if you drive a diesel vehicle, may need a diesel mechanic. Similarly, high-end luxury vehicles or electric or luxury hybrid cars may also require mechanics that specialise in those areas.
When it comes to repairs and servicing, it’s important to have the peace of mind that comes with a legitimate warranty. Before committing to any work, ask about the warranty on parts and labour and double check all the terms and conditions. Even good mechanics occasionally make mistakes, so it’s important that you are covered just in case. Read here few questions you should ask your mechanic.
The quality of their workshop
Ask for a look around the mechanic’s workshop or try to get a glimpse inside. A quality workshop should be clean, tidy and organised. A messy and disorganised website may be the sign of an unprofessional mechanic.
Before committing to a mechanic, it’s important to get quotes and compare prices from your mechanic shortlist. In general, pricing from different mechanics should be pretty similar for similar work. If you receive any quotes that are significantly higher or lower than others, it’s worth asking why. Remember, if a particularly low quote seems too good to be true, it probably is and won’t be worth the risk.
Finding a mechanic you can trust will save you money and stress while helping to keep your car running smoothly.