Getting your vehicle MOT’d, serviced, or solving a funny noise is not always a straightforward process. There’s a lot of room for deception. When something as essential as a vehicle needs attention you want to make sure that the person doing it is up to the task. But how do you know this?
Fear no more! Here are 5 qualities that you should look for in a mechanic:
While this may sound obvious, you’ll want a mechanic that has the correct equipment to deal with your vehicle.
One way to ensure this is to go to a specialist garage. Specialist garages are typically in line with your car brand. A Vauxhall or Volkswagen garage will be well equipped to deal with their own brand of car. However, these garages will have significant overheads and therefore whatever service you require will likely come at a premium.
You can find “off brand” garages that specialize in certain vehicles or types of vehicles. These are the people who are likely to have specialist tools to deal with issues that your vehicle may have.
Finding a garage that has the correct tools is easier when you stick to garages that advertise themselves as specialists in your particular vehicle make or model.
When servicing your high-spec vehicle, it is especially important that you go to a garage that are experts on your vehicle. The bottom line is that it is going to cost a bit more than your run-of-the-mill servicing. However, if you have a high-spec car, it is worth spending the right money on it to ensure it is looked after by equipt professionals.
Honesty is a rare thing to come across. It is even rarer when there is money involved.
Say you’re a young person, freshly passed their driving test a year ago and now needs to go for their first MOT. You take your car to a local garage without much thought. You simply chose them because you drove past them on the way to school.
Now whoever deals with you at that garage will know how easy this young person is to exploit. You as this new young driver will likely have no idea about the standard procedure when it comes to MOTs.
It’s not uncommon to have some recommendations for a vehicle but more often than not, if your vehicle is running smoothly and has been looked after, there shouldn’t be a hefty bill waiting for you at the end of your MOT.
A good mechanic should be honest about your vehicle to you. But how do you know this? An honest mechanic will explain things to you in a way you understand. They’ll make recommendations and be able to justify, in simple terms, why they are making these recommendations.
Professionalism can be a hard quality to judge. It’s much easier to see a lack of it than recognising someone who is faking being a professional.Someone who is unprofessional will display a few red flags that are easy to pick up on.
Being unorganised is a clear sign that someone is not a professional. This may be shown by them not returning your calls, missing deadlines that they have told you or forgetting basic details about your needs. While the world doesn’t always spin smoothly, if you feel like your mechanic is unorganised, they probably are.
Another red flag is that they seem to talk far too much without actually telling you any information. This is them waffling on in the hopes that you drop whatever question you have as they don’t have the answers.
The aesthetics of a workshop also alludes to a workshop professional. While the shop floor is likely to be a busy and messy place for obvious reasons, where customers are dealt with should be respectable.
Another hard quality to identify, trust is an essential element of being a good mechanic. But how do you recognise that a mechanic is trustworthy?
One tell that will prove if a mechanic is trustworthy is that they are not afraid to admit that they’re not able to do something for your vehicle. They may identify an issue that needs to be solved but admitting that they can’t get the job done themselves is a very trustworthy act.
Another trustworthy act that a mechanic could do is going into detail about what your issue is. If they understand your problem well enough, they should be able to explain in layman’s terms what the problem is and what they are doing to solve it.
Similar to a point made earlier, if a mechanic is talking a lot about nothing and wafflining on without making sense, it is likely that they don’t know exactly what they’re talking about.
One sure way of gauging trust is looking at the reviews of a mechanic. They should be taken with a pinch of salt as they can be influenced but if there is a bank of honest reviews that are positive, it is indicative that the mechanic is trustworthy.
This is the easiest quality to recognise. If someone is friendly, they’ll act and be friendly. Simple as that!
From meeting them for the first time your first impressions should be positive. If they’re rushing you out of the shop or not answering basic questions you’re asking, they aren’t worthy of your business.
Manners cost nothing. One can appreciate that people have bad and busy days where it isn’t so easy to be as polite as other days. As a customer you should feel that a mechanic has enough time to at least discuss the issue you have or at the bare minimum, to listen and then inform you that they’re too busy to deal with it now and will give it their full attention later.
Friendliness may not be as essential as some of the other qualities mentioned above but it goes a long way to contribute to the other qualities. When someone is trustworthy, professional and honest they tend to come across as friendly.
This article was written on behalf of Lewis Motors, a Cardiff based vehicle repair, MOT and service centre.