You’re cruising down the highway listening to the latest Casefile podcast when your car’s “check engine” light blinks on. When you take your vehicle into an automotive shop, the mechanic tells you that the problem is a catalytic converter in need of replacing. And oh, while he was poking around he also noticed the car’s air filter ought to be changed and you’re due for a steering flush as well.
Are these operations really necessary, or is the mechanic trying to needlessly upsell you? You’re not sure, but figure it’s better to be safe than sorry, and you sign off on all the repairs. When you pick up your car and pull out of the parking lot, you’re just getting over the sticker shock of the huge bill when…the check engine light comes on again.
How does one find a trustworthy automotive professional? Well we have drilled down on a few tips to help you answer that question.
Know your cars Anatomy.
The typical scenario is, for most people, you go to a mechanic, and they tell you some system needs flushing, or a belt needs replacing, or something looks worn, and you usually just kind of nod along like you understand what they’re talking about. Inevitably, most don’t! You don’t want to come off as an automotive ignoramus, so you just act like you know the parts and the repairs needed.
So before finding a new mechanic, it pays to head over to google and there will be endless information for the make and model of majority of cars. Even a quick search for “how a car works” (for dummies or kids, with photos.. even better!) this will be more suitable then a large manual but it will give you some basic knowledge. Knowing how your vehicle operates allows you to make informed decisions when shopping around for a mechanic.
Ensure your Mechanic has a Motor Vehicle Repair licence.
A motor vehicle repair business licence is required if you are an owner of a motor vehicle repair business, a self-employed motor vehicle repairer or operate a mobile repair business.
Your mechanic must be a certified repairer or employ a certified repairer to supervise repairs for each class of repair work your business carries out to receive a licence. They are also one indication of how seriously a shop takes its professionalism and training. If the shop is certified, it tells you that another organisation has done some vetting for you, and gives its stamp of approval.
Okay so this is a no brainer, but that fancy Facebook feature where you ask for “recommendations” is going to come in handy, if you want to be super fancy, add a location eg. Thornton! Your neighbour, your cousins husbands mother and probably your mailman will all have an opinion on where to go, This is a good start! We have a sneaky feeling you have been recommended to Titan Auto at Thornton from a local recommendation so you’re on the right track to finding a good mechanic! 5 stars to you!
Test the waters – start with something small
Before you commit to a hefty bill with a large repair or similar, book in for a routine job such as a general service (which we do for just $129 including a Pink Slip, talk about bang for your buck!).
From here, you can see how they work, and assess the whole experience. Start building a relationship so when you need to come in for an emergency repair or large service, you are confident you are going to be looked after for a fair price!
Good Communication lines with you and your prospective mechanic.
Your mechanic should be approachable and be able to explain to you in terms that you will understand whether it is from an oil change to something more complex.
At Titan Auto in most cases our Lead mechanic will contact you directly if there are any questions or concerns he may have when undertaking a service or repair with you. You can also discuss options and quotes prior to booking so you can be better prepared. Think of your mechanic just like your hairdresser or barber. Don’t forget about assessing and reception desk staff you may deal with as well, a positive relationship with them is also super important!
Presentation and Cleanliness
It is easy to admit, being a mechanic is sometimes a dirty messy job, but overall, first impressions count! Is the workshop clean and organised with obvious care taken for general tidiness. Are the tools neat and organised, or all over the place? Do they use protectors while servicing the car to ensure no grease or smudges are present when you jump in?
Yes, it’s an auto garage and things are naturally going to be a little dirty and greasy. On the other hand, how they present themselves to their customers, and how they’re organised in the back says a lot about their professionalism and work ethic.
These are just some of the easy ways to ensure you are well informed before taking the plunge for a new mechanic or workshop. Now, we think we tick all the boxes and next time you are ready for your next service or even just a Pink Slip – Rego check.