When you have a car – any kind of car – it’s natural to want to take care of it. That’s how things work with automobiles. They’re not the cheapest things out there, and whether it’s our first car or the fifth one, we want to make sure it’s well taken care of regardless of the circumstances.
So when something is wrong with out vehicle, we want to make sure everything is spotless and without any worries. Ideally, this is where car mechanics arrive and fix everything.
They can take a bit to look at our vehicle and assess what’s wrong, and they’ll have a fix for us. That’s great, right?
Unfortunately, not all mechanics are actually great. And sometimes we tend to encounter mechanics that aren’t exactly top-grade. How do we spot bad mechanics?
Always ask for Documentation and Licenses
When you meet a car mechanic for the first time, always ask for their licensure and documentation. Legitimate mechanics usually have certification that certifies they are qualified to inspect and repair cars and other vehicles.
You should also try confirming this with their place of work, and confirm with the labor board if said place of work is actually legitimate.
Some might consider this overkill, but this is also our car we’re talking about. It’s better to know it’s secure and safe than put it in a compromising position.
- Requirements to become a car mechanic differ from country to country. Most car mechanics can come from people who have high school diplomas, though employers may end up hiring mechanics with post secondary training, and certain certification.
- If your car mechanics end up scaring you when you ask them for documentation, that might be an immediate red flag. Mechanics shouldn’t hesitate showing your copies of certification and being alright with being verified unless they’re hiding something shady. And you should be on your toes for these kinds of things before you get swindled into giving money.
See what sorts of vehicles they’ve already worked on
Another way you can spot a bad mechanic is by asking them what sorts of vehicles they’ve already worked on. While this might just differ from one mechanic to another, this is still a good way to filter as to whether or not your car mechanic has actually worked on your vehicle or vehicles like it.
“Bad mechanics” don’t necessarily mean awful mechanics, but can also encompass inexperienced mechanics that can potentially harm your vehicle if left unsupervised.
- Ask what sorts of cars they’ve already repaired. While cars generally have the same structure, they’re not totally the same internally. That’s because certain manufacturers do have certain ways of arranging parts and components unique to them and to the brand. When hiring a team of mechanics, try asking them what sorts of cars they’ve already repaired so you can have an idea whether they’ve already repaired your car or at least a similar model.
- Don’t just think about the actual car, try checking your parts as well. Try confirming with other car mechanics as to what sorts of repairs you have to do with certain car components, and how to approach repairing your vehicle yourself. If the car mechanic you’ve hired decided you should do much more repairs than usual, you might be dealing with a team that’s trying to swindle you.
Check their Insurance Policies
Try clarifying what sorts of protections they have in place not just for your case with your car, but also for their employees.
When you talk about expenses and costs, try clarifying early on what other forms of insurance they possess to protect your vehicle from any misdiagnosis and worsening conditions.
If they have a clear plan as to how they can protect your vehicle better and much more efficiently, then you’re likely going to want to trust them. If they don’t have insurance and protection over your car, then you might experience trouble in the long run.
- Aside from their insurance policies, check their other policies as well. How long should repairs generally take, and how long is “too long”? Sometimes, car mechanics swindle you for more money by taking too long to repair your things, or even come to a point where you end up having more things repaired than necessary.
- If your car mechanics aren’t insured and they don’t have a concrete customer protection policy in place, this means there’s no guarantee as to the kind of protection you have if they damage your vehicle or get harmed during repairs. You might end up spending more than you’ve bargained for.
Attitude goes a Long Way
Aside from skill and professional experience, it’s important to base the trustworthiness of a potential contractor with their attitude towards clients, their coworkers, and their work at large.
When considering a team of car mechanics for hire, you should check how they treat their work and their fellow coworkers. It’s also important to check how they treat your car, as a car mechanic that just “does” a service to your vehicle may not give it the best treatment.
You treat your car as though it’s your own child, so it’s only fit for others to treat it with the same amount of respect. If you see a car mechanic being careless with your car, you should avoid them quickly.
- What do they do in their free time? Try to get to know what hobbies and passions your car mechanics have, so you also have a background as to what kind of person they are. Do they like racing games like Madalin Stunt Cars 2? This might mean they’re really invested in cars. If they like films, maybe they’re also creative and can help you identify car problems much faster.
- Likewise, if you see car mechanics that are rude to their coworkers or seem to not be paying attention to your vehicle, then this might not be the kind of car mechanic you should rely on.
Go Away, Bad Mechanics! It’s About the Right Documentation, Explanation
With the above in mind, you’ll hopefully be able to spot bad mechanics a while away. And while some of them can get cheeky and smart with their sales talk, the above tips would hopefully have given you some pointers to take note of in order to avoid getting scammed and fooled by bad car mechanics.
Remember, while it’s “easy” to just get a new mechanic and fix whatever’s wrong with our car, it’s still wise to get our first pick spot on. Not only will this save us time but money as well, as we’ll get to make use of our money to keep track of exactly what our cars need.
John Salazar is a certified techie-at-heart, but he shares a love for all things science and technology, health and wellness, and even a bit of music on the side. As a creative writer, John makes sure to write both informative and entertaining pieces. He loves writing, and he plays the guitar when he has free time.