How to Deal with a Car Mechanic

One of the main reasons that people hesitate to bring their cars to the shop to have them serviced is their fear of having to deal with a mechanic. But the longer you wait, the higher the risk of whatever is wrong with your car will become worse. Here are some tips for communicating with a car mechanic.

Before you go to the shop, however, you should first write down all of the things that you noticed are wrong with your car. Don’t hesitate to use your own words as long as you are sure that you are communicating clearly. Be as detailed as possible. If you’re driving and you notice a problem, make sure to write down everything that you’ve noticed as soon as you’ve arrived at your destination, in order to ensure that you have captured all the details.

You should also have the right mindset when dealing with a mechanic. There are many people who don’t see car mechanics as professionals, but simply as semi-skilled workers who tinker with cars. Keep in mind that the best car repair shops hire mechanics that have genuine credentials and extensive experience and have undergone training in their specialization. This is particularly true for those who specialize in a particular brand, such as Lamborghini or Mercedes.

  • Make sure that you have the technician’s complete attention when you visit the shop. This is often one of the major reasons service is poor - the technician was distracted and did not listen to the customer properly. Don’t leave your car at the shop until you are sure that the technician has listened to you, understands what the problem is with the car, and has worked out a course of action. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you have to pay a small fee for a diagnosis, don’t hesitate since it is money well-spent.
  • Get a written estimate and completed inspection form. By making sure that everything is in writing, you are assured that you and the mechanic are in agreement as to what needs to be done and how much it will approximately cost.
  • Show the mechanic some courtesy and clean out your car before leaving it in the shop. Remove stuff from the backseat and the trunk, as these are the areas the mechanic will need to access in order to perform repairs. Not doing this may also affect the quality of the repair since the mechanic will have to spend precious time removing these items before he can get to work.
  • Be available. Leave your contact numbers behind at the shop so that the mechanic or shop representative can contact you for approval of a repair. If they can’t get in touch with you, they will not move forward and your car will likely be unattended until you come back. The shop will also use your contact numbers to inform you when the car is ready and how much the repairs cost.
  • Don’t bother the technician. Even if you think you know something about car repair, just leave him alone to do his job. If you want to wait, don’t hang around and hover over him as he goes about his work.