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Dealing With a Mechanic

Communicating with Your Mechanic (Staying Together for the Long Haul)

While your therapist probably didn’t have your mechanic in mind when she told you communication is key to a happy, healthy relationship, the advice holds true.  Visiting a mechanic can be intimidating and stressful, but if you develop a positive relationship with a mechanic you can trust, it doesn’t have to be.  By following some simple advice you and your mechanic can have a happily ever after.

Be respectful

Mechanics are knowledgeable and well trained in their trade so keep this in mind when talking to him/her.  Treat your mechanic with respect and you and your car will receive the same.

Research But Don’t Diagnose

Before you go to the mechanic it’s a great idea to do some research on your own.  Google your car’s symptoms and look through the manual for some basic knowledge.  Know if your car has any services due.  When you arrive, however, tell the mechanic what problems you’re noticing, not what he/she needs to fix.  You don’t appreciate someone telling you how to do your job and neither does your mechanic.

Make an Appointment

By making an appointment you can work around your schedule and your mechanic can look at your car when he/she has the most time to give you the fastest and best service.  It’s a win-win.

Keep Maintenance Records

Your mechanic may be better able to pinpoint a problem by knowing what work has or hasn’t been done on your vehicle.  For example, if your car’s having trouble starting but you recently had the battery replaced your mechanic can cross this off the list.

Be specific

No one knows your car better than you so even if something seemingly insignificant feels off, speak up.  Tell your mechanic when, what, where, and how often the problem occurs.  By being as specific as possible you’ll help the mechanic better identify the problem, saving time and money.  So don’t just say your car is making a noise.  Tell the mechanic exactly what kind or try to imitate it.

Use All the Senses

The more your mechanic knows about the problem, the easier it is for him/her to solve it, so don’t leave anything out.  When observing the problem on your own make an effort to note something about each of the senses.

Ask for an Explanation

If there’s something your mechanic is saying that you don’t understand ask for a simpler explanation.  By knowing what’s going on you’ll feel assured you’re not being ripped off and your mechanic will likely be happy you’re taking an interest because odds are he/she loves cars.

Keep in Contact

Ask your mechanic to call you before work begins with a diagnosis, course of action, and cost estimate.  This will help you feel in the know and prevent any surprises on the bill.  Ask to be contacted if any changes in the plan occur.

Know the Policies

Before work begins be sure to know policies and warranties of the shop as well as acceptable methods of payment.  This will help things go smoothly for both parties.  It’s okay to ask if there are any specials going on or discounts being offered but if the answer is no, drop it.  Keep in mind that this probably isn’t the last time you’ll see your mechanic so you want to end things on a good note.

Say Thank You

Your mechanic is providing you with a service and while, yes, your paying for it, a little appreciation for your mechanic’s skills and efforts goes a long way.  A simple thank you is all it takes and your mechanic will surely remember the next you come into the shop.  Safe and Happy Driving!


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