You can find lots of information both online and offline about finding the right
auto repair shop, but how can you find out if the mechanic you are using is a
bad one. Understanding the problems to watch for is an important step in helping
you make wise decisions about your vehicle. Here are some signs that you might
want to think about finding a new mechanic.
Watch for Abandoned Cars
An abandoned car left on the premises of the shop can be a sign of problems. Of
course, sometimes the owner cannot come up with the money to pay for the work,
and the shop owner is not going to complete repairs if he is not going to be
paid, but why begin the job and then leave it half finished? This is not always
a bad thing, but it can be a sign that the mechanic is not able to resolve
problems quickly. it also shows poor housekeeping on the part of the business
Ask to See the Work Area
Keep in mind that auto repair is messy work. If you are allowed to see inside
the shop, do not expect it to be pristine. However, you should feel that it is
safe and the equipment looks like it is well cared for. If you see piles of
parts discarded here and there, tripping hazards, and other signs of poor
performance, you might want to look for a new shop.
When you drop off your car, is the person who takes it skilled at assessing the
problem and asking questions? Do they write down what you say? Are you able to
talk directly with the mechanic? Good communication with the car’s owner is
vital in auto repair. It saves you from showing up to pick up your car after
what you thought was an $80 job, only to find it was really a $300 job. If the
work is going to cost more than the mechanic estimated, then you should get a
phone call. A lack of communication is a sign you have picked a shop that does
not give proper attention to its customers.
A good mechanic is going to be busy. If you call the shop and they always have
an opening right now, you may want to think twice. Unless it is a large shop
with several bays and multiple mechanics, you may be dealing with someone who
has a poor reputation in the community, and therefore does not have much work.
If, on the other hand, they usually have to wait a day or so to get you in, then
you have likely found a trustworthy shop, because many people trust that
mechanic with their vehicles.
So the next time you find yourself in the market for a new auto repair shop,
make sure you watch out for these signs. You want to trust your car to a shop
that is going to do a good job with repairs, not one that is going to take your
money and leave you with a poorly functioning vehicle.
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