Tips & techniques to find a quality mechanic for your car.
How to Find a Reputable Mechanic To Fix Your Car
00:00 - How to Find a Reputable Mechanic To Fix Your Car
00:20 - What Kind of Person Are You?
00:47 - Flat Rate Shops OR By the Hour Shops
01:55 - All Reputable Shops Are Going to Warranty Their Work
02:46 - Always Check the Simple Stuff Before Heading to the Mechanic
03:36 - Always Get Your Vehicle Fixed Close to Home
04:25 - Different Shops Are Going To Do Different Work on Your Vehicle
05:14 - You’re Not Going to Get Personalized Service
05:51 - Offloading Responsibility and Decisions & Giving You Suggestions
06:25 - I Pay Professionals to Solve My Problem
How to Find a Reputable Mechanic To Fix Your Car
- No doubt cars are expensive.
The cost of the car itself, putting insurance on it, and now putting fuel in it.
And then the goofy thing breaks down, and now you got to fix it.
You got to find a shop.
Most of you are going to have family members and friends that are going to give you recommendations of shops to take it to.
What Kind of Person Are You?
Now, picking a shop, you have to figure out what kind of person you are.
Are you just going to drive your car into the ground because it's an old car and you really don't care about it, or is it your baby, and you want the best service that you can get?
Tracy, my girlfriend, recently bought an Audi.
We didn't know that there was a shop here in town that specializes German cars.
So, we were taking it to the Audi dealership.
Flat Rate Shops OR By the Hour Shops
Dealerships, as a rule, tend to charge a flat rate per job.
For example, they wanted $3,000 to do the brakes on the Audi, which is something that you need to do because, you know, we want to keep our vehicle safe, and we want to be able to get it stopped and not have the brakes fail.
She took it to the gentleman who does the German vehicles here in town.
The cost of doing the brakes was $1,100.
So, it was less than 1/2 the price.
So, you need to shop around a little bit.
You need to know that some shops are going to charge you a flat rate, which is mostly dealerships.
For whatever reason, they figure out how long the job takes, and they charge that out at a flat rate, and if it takes the technician half that time, they still charge you the same price.
Other shops, mostly independent shops, smaller shops, are going to charge you what it takes them to fix the problem, diagnose, replace the parts, the cost of the parts, and those types of things.
So, figure out which shop is going to work the best, and as I said, ask family and friends, and they'll be able to help you out with that.
All Reputable Shops Are Going to Warranty Their Work
All reputable shops are going to give you a warranty.
Couple years ago, took my vehicle into a shop here in town that I trust.
Had the exhaust changed out.
It was 1,200 bucks, and they were done in about an hour.
Went for a cup of coffee, came back, and the vehicle was fixed.
Three or four weeks later, something was wrong.
The check engine light came on.
Took it to a friend's.
He had one of those computer readers that you plug into your car.
Figured out it was something to do with the catalytic converter.
Took it back to the shop, and they took the catalytic converter off, and it was completely plugged.
Because the exhaust system was done at that shop, it was under warranty.
They simply replaced the catalytic converter, and carried on with my life, which saved me a lot of money because catalytic converters are expensive.
They're about $400.
So, they replaced it under warranty, and this is the other benefit of taking your vehicle into a professional shop.
Always Check the Simple Stuff Before Heading to the Mechanic
Before taking your car into the shop, check the simple stuff.
It's like when you call the tech for your computer.
First thing they tell you to do is check the power cord, and check it, make sure it's plugged in so you've got electricity to your computer, and it'll come on.
It's like your car.
A few months ago, the brake light was on in the buggy.
but when I wiggled the parking brake, the light would go out.
Went in, talked to the electrical guys 'cause I thought it was something to do with the wiring in the parking brake system, and they said, well, make sure you check your brakes first.
Of course, I didn't.
I took it in.
Gave them an hour of time, which was 120, $140, which is their shop time, and they said there's nothing wrong with it.
We topped off your reservoir fluid for the brakes, and the light went out.
Of course, goofy me didn't do that, and then found out later that there was something wrong with the brake system.
And this leads into the next point.
Get the work done on your vehicle at home, not away.
Always Get Your Vehicle Fixed Close to Home
Last summer, I drove to Ontario, which is, you know, 2,500 miles away.
And my brother lives there, and he has a shop, and I thought, well, you know, I'll just get him to do the brakes while I'm here.
Drove back, and there was something wrong with the brake system on the front of the vehicle.
And, of course, had I been near my brother, it would've been under warranty, but I wasn't.
And I had to take it back to the shop, and I had to pay because it wasn't under warranty because I didn't get it done at that shop.
So, have a shop at home that you trust, and get them to do the work on your vehicle.
If you're out on the road and you're away from home, and those types of things, only get work done If it's an absolute emergency and you need to get that work done to get your vehicle back home.
Different Shops Are Going To Do Different Work on Your Vehicle
You're going to take your vehicle to different shops for different things that need to be done on the vehicle.
Tires, for example, you're going to have a tire shop.
As I mentioned, electrical, automotive electrical, they specialize in this.
We have a shop here in town, and then there's a couple of other shops that I go to to get automotive work done and those types of things.
Now, specialty, sometimes you're going to have to take it to the dealership.
For example, I had some work done on the rear end of the Honda CRV that I own, the Buggy, and had to take it into the Honda dealership because they had the specialized tools to do the work that needed to be done on the buggy.
So, know that you're not going to just deal with one shop.
You're going to deal with several shops when you get work done on your vehicle.
And again, ask family and friends who they get to do the tires on their vehicle.
Ask family and friends who they get to do electrical and those types of things.
You’re Not Going to Get Personalized Service
The last point with bigger shops is you're not going to get personalized service.
You're not going to be talking to the technician, the person who's doing the work on your vehicle.
And this is going to be more so at dealerships and whatnot, you are going to be dealing with people at the front counter who are the intermediary between you, the customer, and the technician, the person who's doing the work on your vehicle.
They're going to convey all of the information to you, and talk to you, and deal with you.
So, know that you're not going to get personalized service.
Whereas if you go to a smaller shop, you're going to get personalized service.
Offloading Responsibility and Decisions & Giving You Suggestions
The other thing that I have found with large dealerships in terms of getting the work done on my vehicle is they tend to offload responsibility onto you.
It's kind of like going to your dentist now where they're like, oh, we could fill that cavity, but you know, you probably need to get a root canal done.
You know, it's your decision.
And it's like, I'm kind of annoyed by that.
It's like, I don't know anything about dentistry.
I don't know anything about my teeth.
I need you to make the decision, right?
I Pay Professionals to Solve My Problem
And it's the same thing with your mechanic with your car.
For example, I need to have the timing belt done in this, and while they're in there it's easy to do the water pump at the same time, and a water pump is only like $75 or something.
Whereas if they're doing the water pump at a separate time it's going to cost you five or $600.
As they already have the engine apart, they're in that location, and it's only going to cost you $100 extra to get the water pump done while they're doing the timing belt.
It's like just do it and charge me for it.
So, this again comes back to what kind of vehicle owner are you?
Do you want to have your car tip top shape, and done, and looked after?
Or, are you just going to drive it into the ground, and you're trying to get the cheapest price you can?
So, you got to figure that out when you're figuring out who's the mechanic, who's the people that you're going to get done your vehicle, and this kind of offloading of decision making.
Because that's why we pay professionals to get the best service done on our vehicles.
And again, it comes back to what kind of person you are.
Question, are you the type of smart driver that's looking for the cheapest price to get your vehicle fixed?
Or, are you the type of owner that is looking for the best quality service and keeping your vehicle in tip top shape?
Leave a comment down in the comment section there.
And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.
Have a great day, bye now.