Tips for Dealing with an Auto Mechanic

Would that all of us had a close relative or friend that could diagnose a knock over the phone or identify the faulty smoke by a plume of tell-tale smoke. Alas, many of us must rely on the professional opinions of workers who will hopefully be both competent and ethical, but whether due to our own ignorance or their designs, may not be altogether trustworthy. Let's face it, a good mechanic is hard to find, but utterly essential once your auto's warranty has expired and your own your own with those wheels.

Finding a reputable mechanic is easier than ever given the resources the internet provides for consumers. Once can simply locate your local Better Business Bureau to research whether your prospective mechanic has been in the dog house for less-than-lovely business practices. Of course, speaking with neighbors and friends may also help you locate a good mechanic or auto-body shop.

When you finally locate someone to check out you vehicle, be specific in your description of the problem. Also, whether you know anything about the car's issues or not, be commanding and authoritative concerning what you expect from the mechanic. You want only a diagnosis to begin with. Do not ask your mechanic to fix the problem which may include exorbitant parts and labor costs of which you will not know until the end when it's too late to do anything but write the check.

Let your mechanic know that you have a knowledgeable family member waiting to hear the diagnosis. A small fib may be warranted here. If your mechanic thinks your brother is automotively-skilled, he may be less likely to do anything but provide an accurate account of the problem. Speaking of accounts, at this point firmly request the bottom line. You want to know prices for parts as well as the cost of labor. Any unforeseen problems that are discovered must be talked over with a local mechanic of your choice and not simply dealt with.

As a rule, this should already be a common practice for reputable auto shops. However, be prepared to do your homework once the diagnosis is given. Call automotive parts centers to confirm the prices of parts in question. Call other auto shops to get alternative quotes for your car's issues. If you are uncertain of the diagnosis and the mechanic does not adequately explain it to you, try visiting online automotive chat rooms and advice threads to learn more about the problem.

There are many skilled mechanics out there who earn their living by doing good work. Labor costs are not only inevitable, but overall, they are much deserved. You can, however, check around to see of your mechanic's labor costs are in line with other mechanics. Sometimes these charges can vary widely.

Finding a good mechanic can help keep your car running smoothly. By remaining with your choice, you will likely discover that your car's mechanic gets to know your car and your way of doing business. Like any relationship, it requires understanding and mutual respect on both sides.