Thursday, July 29, 2021

How To Choose The Right Mechanic For You

Through the power of user reviews, photos, and testimonials, the internet has made it easier than ever before to choose everything from restaurants to toenail clippers. It has also increased the transparency of the process of finding a good mechanic.

Even with all of the plethora of data information available online, some things are best determined through a direct conversation with a car repair professional when deciding whether to hand over control and allow them to maintain and fix your vehicle. 

Here, we look at nine things you need to be thinking about when it comes to choosing the right mechanic. 

1. Have they undertaken work on the make and model of your car before?

One of the first questions you will be asked when applying for a job is about the relevant experience that you have.  The same reasoning applies here. You want a mechanic who is well-versed in the intricacies of your vehicle so that repairs can be handled precisely. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for shops to specialize in a specific type or category of car, such as Japanese makes. In such a case, you might want to look elsewhere if your car is not one of their specialist brands. 

2. Do they belong to any vehicle associations?

One of the main responsibilities of auto service organizations is to ensure that certain standards, regulations, and ethical codes are applied consistently throughout the automotive repair industry. The Automotive Service Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing "professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation, and member services," is the biggest such organization in the United States. Checking to see if your repair shop is a member of a credible association is a sign that your car will be in good hands when you bring it in. Alternatively, look for someone who is a master auto mechanic for guaranteed good work. 

3. Are the mechanics ASE certified?

If it came to surgery on your body, you would not want someone unqualified working on you, would you? The same goes for your vehicle. Make sure that your mechanic is certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This will help to make guarantee that they provide you with the level of service that you would expect from a qualified mechanic. 

4. Can you have a quote before deciding whether to have the work carried out?

Some repair shops provide free diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your vehicle's problems. Other garages, on the other hand, may charge for an quote.   For the latter case, investigare by asking the mechanic to explain how the estimate charge is calculated so that you are not hit with any unexpected charges when the work has been completed. Do they have a flat rate for work done, or do they charge by the hour? Are there any additional costs to be aware of? Furthermore, before working on your vehicle, ensure that the repair shop can provide signed, detailed, and written copies of the quote. Not only will this help you understand the cost breakdown, but having the quote in writing with the garage's signature will make the process much easier for you if legal action is required against them. 

5. Is a warranty provided on the parts and work?

Many repair shops will provide written guarantees on parts and labour for a set period of time or mileage. While there is no universal average, repair shops may offer warranties of either one or two years, or 12 or 24k miles. After the warranty has expired, some repair shops may even offer discounted repair or replacement costs for the same part. By inquiring, you can obtain clarification.

6. What will happen if there are any unexpected problems or expenses?

It happens. The mechanics are working on your car, sorting out the issue that you had your price based on and they discover something else is wrong. Perhaps the original issue is bigger - and more expensive to fix - than they originally thought. The last thing that you want is to turn up to pick your car up and be given a bill for an extra $600 or so. Ask them what their policy is if they come across any unanticipated problems or expenses and if they will inform you before carrying out anything likely to cost.

7. Will you be given an invoice or a receipt for the work?

As well as the written quote prior to the work being carried out, you ideally will want a written invoice for the work done once the repairs are completed. In the event that a part becomes faulty, you will have additional proof-of-service and warranty or guarantees. Furthermore, if you decide to sell your car later, the written invoice will come in handy when explaining the sequence of work performed to prospective buyers and can improve the value of your car.

8. What is the overall feel of the garage like?

While this may appear to be a trivial issue, a tidy and clean waiting room and reception area demonstrates that the repair shop takes pride in their business and the level of service they provide to their customers. Can you really rely on your mechanic to provide first-rate service to your car if the floor is dirty, the chairs are old and ripped and the service desk is a mess?

9. What are the reviews like?

As we mentioned at the beginning, reviews online can be helpful. While a garage or a mechanic can tick all the boxes above, reviews can show you how other people rate them. If there are multiple poor reviews, it might be worth asking yourself why. Of course, it is always important to remember that people are more likely to leave a review if they have had an issue rather than a god review if they have had great service, so do not be alarmed by a lack of reviews.

Hopefully, these tips will assist you in choosing the right mechanic for you. Have you got any to add to the list?


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