Tips For Finding an Honest Car Mechanic


While the invention of the automobile revolutionized industrialized nations and helped agricultural economies develop into economic superpowers, there was a serious problem almost from day one: who was going to fix these increasingly complex machines when they break? The problem is that even the first automobiles were complex machines by the standards of their time, and that has not changed in the century or so since the average family could actually consider attaining an automobile. This fact has led to a number of less-than-honest individuals taking up jobs as car mechanics and giving the trade a negative image.

If you are looking for tips for finding an honest car mechanic, then you have come to the right place. Consider the following tips whenever evaluating different mechanics and/or garages:

• Talk to tow truck drivers – Tow truck drivers know all of the garages in town, and generally have a reasonable grasp on who is trustworthy and who specializes in exploiting car owners that lack even the most basic mechanical expertise.

• Ask for simple ways to remove corrosion from terminals – One of the most common problems that many modern vehicles exhibit is due to corrosion on battery terminals. Surprisingly, this corrosion can be fixed with nothing more than baking soda and a can of soda. If a mechanic suggests a tow instead of offering this simple and effective advice, they are probably not trustworthy. An hour of labor should not be worth customer satisfaction.

• Check with the local BBB – The local BB keeps records on all kinds of businesses, especially complaints and resolutions. Upset customers have a right to complain, and often do. As a result, it would probably be wise advice to remember not to be amazed by a high number of complaints, but do be surprised if there are a very low percentage of satisfactory resolutions. Look for garages and mechanics that have a comparatively high rate of satisfactory resolutions, as they would generally seem to value customer loyalty and happiness.

• Ask about aftermarket warranties – Many smaller garages offer extended warranties through third parties. In general, these warranties are often riddled with vague language and do not cover as much as they would seem on the surface. If the mechanic gives a sales pitch instead of suggesting that you look at it and decide for yourself, then they are certainly looking for every single advantage that they can find. How many of those opportunities will be at your expense? Honest mechanics will avoid the sales pitch and worry about doing a good job.

• Inquire where the mechanic and/or garage gets their parts – Many states lack laws that protect consumers from repair facilities that use third-party parts without notifying the customers. This allows smaller shops to save a few percent on their expenses while often charging nearly full price for parts that may not meet every single standard set by the manufacturer. If the parts do not meet every single standard, your vehicle could be back in the garage for further work before you know it.

• Does the mechanic have ‘tricks’ to help your car pass emissions? If so, watch out! Emissions testing and other government regulations are not meant to be circumvented, even if it directly benefits you. If a businessperson is willing to help you do something that is illegal and unethical, what makes you think that they are treating you honestly? Instead, look for mechanics that will suggest replacing certain parts for long-term compliance with government standards and regulations.

• Use your head and your heart – If you feel uncomfortable around the mechanic for whatever reason, it could be your subconscious telling you something. Even if your instincts are wrong, you are probably going to experience doubt and negative emotions as a result. No bargain is worth being mired down with these negative feelings, so listen to your head and your heart when looking for an honest car mechanic. It may also help to realize that honest is a relative term in this context.

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