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How to Hire a Mechanic – Part 2 of 2

Written by Joe Schumacher – Owner/Mechanic of Joe’s Slinger Service LLC  NEW-PHOTO-1 

How to know if your Mechanic is Honest

Searching for the right mechanic is a multi-step process. Word of mouth will often help you zero in on a garage that does good work and reading reviews provided on an Auto Repair Shop’s website or going to Facebook is always a good idea.  Most importantly, don’t assume that just because you go to a dealership, that they are the best at fixing your “model” of vehicle either.  However, you shouldn’t be satisfied until you visit the garage in person and speak to the mechanic and/or owner personally.

Once at the repair shop, there are a few more questions you should ask. Whether you need something fixed immediately or are simply searching for a garage for the next time something goes awry, these questions will help you determine what kind of mechanic you’re dealing with.

What would do if it was your car?

This question tends to catch a mechanic off guard, forcing him to be truthful about the work needed to be done on your car. If he was truthful when outlining exactly what repairs were going to be done, he should have no problem answering you. However, if he was over-exaggerating the cost or amount of work, you might be able to see it in his face after posing this question.

A good mechanic will always give it to you straight: if you don’t need to replace a certain part, he’ll tell you. Of course, he should also be able to notice when urgent work needs to be done.

Price of Work

Do I have an option of choosing new parts or used ones?

Car repair shops work in different ways. Some have associations with scrap yards and other used-parts businesses, while others find it easier (and more profitable) to use new parts whenever possible. Ideally, though, the use of new or used components would depend on the situation. Look into what this particular garage usually does and comment on what you would like to do. If the mechanic says he was going to replace a certain part with a brand new one, ask him to consider a used-part alternative.  Joe’s uses both recycled and brand new parts to give you the best performance and best price.  If you have a preference, please discuss it with our service writer prior to repairs being authorized to be completed.  We always ask the customer for approval prior to replacing parts with used parts.

Don’t be shy in asking about this option.  The staff at Joe’s would be happy to explain your options. However, don’t always insist on used parts, since this can lead to frequent trips back to the same mechanic.

Can I get an itemized invoice and an explanation of what was done to my car?

Unfortunately, sometimes invoices from repair shops aren’t easy to read. Often, this is done from unscrupulous auto repair shops on purpose, so customers won’t question every single detail of a certain job. Don’t stand for this. Before technicians start working on your vehicle, specify that you would like a detailed breakdown on your invoice of the repairs done.

Feel free to ask your mechanic for a tour of your car and for him to point out what was removed, replaced and repaired. Ask to see the old part that was changed.  Joe’s would be happy to do this for you upon request prior to the work being done.  (we ask for this prior to the repairs because used parts get literally tossed into a junk bin)  Joe’s welcomes numerous questions.  We love to talk about our work, however, some customers would rather just pay the bill, as they trust us and are not interested in what we have done for their vehicle.  J

Services and Post-Repair Questions

Ask about warranties and other post-repair questions.  A good mechanic will call and follow up with you to make sure you are satisfied with the repairs.  If you live within 10 miles of Joe’s, we will give you a ride home while we are repairing your vehicle at no additional charge.  Joe’s also has a Nationwide policy on some of their parts.

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