If your vehicle negotiates rugged conditions, either for work or recreation, you need a mechanic capable of dealing with every issue, such as driveshaft diagnostics or tailshaft repairs as well as general servicing of your car. Finding a trustworthy Auto Mechanic with experience for your vehicle and on whom you can rely can take a little time. GJ Drivelines has put together 8 Tips on Choosing the Perfect Auto Mechanic to make your choice easier.
1. Find a Professional
To keep your vehicle in top shape and suitable for purpose, ensure that your auto mechanic is an accredited professional.
There are several organizations which set the quality standards for auto mechanics, e.g. the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers. A professional auto mechanic will be a member of a reputable institution. When doing your research, check that they are accredited and endorsed by an Accredited Authorized Motor Vehicle Organization.
Reputation for a good auto mechanic is paramount for the success of their business. Word of mouth, especially from those who have the same type of vehicle as yours, carries a lot of weight. If you can, check if the mechanic is regularly servicing any fleet, or specialist vehicles…this is an indicator of reliable service, as no business can afford to have their vehicles off the road for too long, and won’t want them constantly returning to the repair shop!
Look at reviews on the website (check them all) they will give you a reliable indicator that you may have found the right mechanic for your car.
Make a checklist of what is important to look for in your mechanic, such as knowledge of your vehicle manufacture and expertise and equipment to handle all the service and repair requirements, without outsourcing. Do they run a clean and efficient workshop? Are all of the staff qualified for what they do, and prepared to discuss your concerns, without dismissing them? Good communication is important if you want to build an ongoing relationship and trust that you are getting the best advice.
Go over your checklist and compare workshops. The list, plus your gut feeling, are good indicators for finding the right mechanic.
4. Proven Experience
Check that the mechanic has proven experience with your type of vehicle and is conversant with its common issues and equipped to fix them. Ask how long have they been in business. Observe if the workshop is busy, and if they use quality equipment and products endorsed by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Is there work that they specialize in, such as driveshaft diagnostics or tailshaft repairs? If they are they happy to answer your questions, and give you comprehensive answers in a polite and friendly way, this is a good sign.
Experienced mechanics are generally comfortable and open about their knowledge, and are happy to answer all of your questions.
5. Guarantees and Warrantees
While it is important that the auto mechanic is accredited and experienced, it is also important that you look at how much they invest in their own work. Do they provide a guarantee for the work that they undertake, and warrantees on parts used? Does their work maintain the industry standard? What is the quality of their equipment like – Is it up to date and well looked after?
It’s not unreasonable to ask for a written quotation and report for intended work along with warrantees on parts and labour. A reputable, professional and experienced mechanic will provide this as part of their regular customer service.
6. Workshop Efficiency
An efficient, well run workshop is an indicator of a good work ethic. You can tell this by the condition of, and how well organized, the equipment and tools are kept and if the workshop is stocked with approved parts. Obviously no mechanic’s workshop is going to be pristine due to the type of work undertaken. However, a workshop where everything has its place, and is kept in good working order is a sign of pride in their work. Also, how well do the staff get along with the boss and each other? A well aligned team will produce better results, so don’t underestimate the value of a contented team.
7. Visit and Interview the Workshop
When visiting the auto mechanics’ workshop, take note of their attitude towards you and other customers. Observe if the mechanic, and other staff members are courteous and friendly. Do they have a genuine interest in your queries and your vehicle? A reputable mechanic will make an effort to get to know you and what you want for your car, and will respond to you in a friendly and professional manner.
You, the customer, should not be treated as a spare part! Be prepared to ask a few probing questions to get to know the mechanic and their attitude toward the work they do.
A professional will not make you feel uncomfortable or that you are wasting their time, no matter how busy they are. They know the value of returning customers. Good manners and interest go a long way towards creating trust.
8. Try with a small job
Once you have narrowed down your list, try them out by booking your car in for a small relatively inexpensive repair or service. This will give you firsthand experience of the workshop operation and their care of your vehicle and you as the customer.
It is better to put the car in for a minor issue than wait until something drastic must be done. If they give care and attention to a small job and do it well, then you will have more peace of mind when booking you vehicle in for something major.