Tips on Finding an Honest Mechanic
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Tips on Finding an Honest Mechanic

The relationship between customers and mechanics is a complicated one with an implicit level of trust. Customers rely on a mechanic's technical knowledge, which means that customers often have to take their mechanic's word when he says there is a problem with the car. By learning a few things about your car (either online or through reading your owner's manual), you can equalize this imbalance of knowledge and be a better consumer.

The relationship between customers and mechanics is a complicated one with an implicit level of trust. Customers rely on a mechanic's technical knowledge, which means that customers often have to take their mechanic's word when he says there is a problem with the car.  By learning a few things about your car (either online or through reading your owner's manual), you can redress this imbalance of knowledge and be a better consumer when it's time to get your car repaired. 

When it comes time to find an honest mechanic, don't be afraid to ask your friends and co-workers because many will have opinions about who to patronize and who to avoid.

Communication

Your mechanic should be an affable person willing to work with you. Challenging the initial estimate should be a starting point for conversation -- not an argument.  You don't want a mechanic who has a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward whatever he tells you.  Many dishonest mechanics quote a high estimate just to see if they can get away with it. 

Price

Don't go to a mechanic who charges you for every little thing.  An honest mechanic will likely not charge you to just look at a car that’s having trouble.  After this initial free assessment, he can then tell you the extent of the repairs that are necessary.  An honest mechanic won’t try to sell you more than you need.  If, for instance, a fluid storage tank is leaking somewhere in your engine, an honest mechanic would give you the option of just patching up the leak instead of replacing the entire tank.

Maintenance

Customers appreciate when mechanics take them aside and show them periodic maintenance tasks that they have been neglecting, like changing the oil, checking the transmission fluid level, and refilling them when they get low.  Mechanics will have less business when customers take care of their cars, but an honest mechanic cares more about the health of your car.

Mechanic

Friends and acquaintances who are satisfied with their mechanics are often a good source of referrals for honest mechanics.  Doing some online research is often fruitful -- a good site to visit is cartalk.com, because it has many reviews for local auto repair shops and mechanics.  If you have narrowed your search to a few choices, check your local business bureau to see if the mechanic has had any complaints filed against him.

Source:

www.cartalk.com

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Comments (2)

Very sensible pieces of advice.

Valuable information here, as I'm searching for an honest mechanic.  Thanks for the tips!

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