10 Top Questions You Need To Ask When Choosing a Mechanic
When you drop your car off at the mechanic, you want to know that your vehicle is in the best hands possible. That’s why you can’t choose any old shop. You should have a personal relationship with your mechanic that’s built on trust and mutual respect. When you can achieve that, you should have no qualms about having your car worked on. But before you can get to that stage, you need to pick a mechanic first. This involves shopping around and asking questions. While we can’t drive you shop to shop to get all of the details, we can help with the latter. Take a look at this list of the ten top questions you need to ask when choosing a mechanic.
What Certifications Do You Have?
Automotive Service Excellence, more commonly referred to as ASE, are the industry standard certifiers when it comes to mechanics. Testing occurs every five years for all certified mechanics in order to ensure all workers are aware of the recent changes in the automotive field. If your technician is not ASE certified, check around the shop itself for other third-party and manufacturer training certificates. While ASE is the standard, there are make-specific shops that may not seek ASE certification if they’re able to train with the actual manufacturer.
Have You Worked With This Model Before?
You want to know that your mechanic has been in and around your model of vehicle. This is for your own peace of mind. It can be assuring to know that your car is in the hands of someone who knows exactly how to take care of it. It’s also helpful for the mechanic because they can be confident when they know they’re already familiar with your model of car.
What Are Your Rates?
When you go into the mechanic, you need to know how much it’s going to cost. No one likes to get hit with a surprise charge. For routine maintenance such as tire rotations and oil changes, make yourself familiar with their prices so you can budget accordingly. Knowing what to expect will also mean noticing when something isn’t right. If you know your oil change costs $50 and you receive a bill for $100, you know that something has gone wrong.
What Would You Do With Your Car?
This is a great question to ask because it can give you insight into how the mind of a mechanic works. If there’s anyone that’s the most likely to take the absolute best care of their car, it’d be a mechanic. While you may end up spending a little more money if you take their advice, know that you will have taken a little extra care of your car than you may have otherwise.
Which Repairs Are the Most Urgent?
If you’re working with a budget and need to repair several things, find out what needs to take the highest priority. For example, if you need your engine replaced and your tires rotated, but you can only do one or the other, you should probably have them put the new engine in first. While that’s probably too obvious an example, your mechanic should be able to assist you in making that kind of decision when the answer isn’t as clear-cut.
Do You Guarantee Your Work?
The last thing you want is to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs and not know if the work is going to hold up. Many shops will guarantee the quality of the work itself or the part. That way, you won’t have to pay the full price again if you bring your car back into the shop soon. However, if you’re lucky, you can find a shop that does both! At Commercial Tire, we do both. Because of how important it is to have work guaranteed, this is one of the top questions you need to ask when choosing a mechanic.
How Long Will It Take?
Sometimes you’re just too busy to carve out a four-hour window in the middle of the week. If you’ve ever been to the mechanic on an especially busy day, you know how easy it can be to get a little backed up. And getting a little backed up can quickly lead to getting very backed up. Even with that in mind, it’s important to get a rough ETA on how long the work on your vehicle might take. You’ll always want to take variables into account when setting your appointment. Having an idea of the time you’re going to sit and spend waiting can help keep you from worrying.
Do You Charge for Diagnostics?
Have you ever been driving and noticed that your check engine light was on? While you may assume this means something is wrong with your engine, many cars are designed so that this light goes off when any number of things could be wrong. Ask if your mechanic will charge you to run a diagnostic test on your car, which will give them an exact error code for any of the hundreds of things the light could mean. While some shops will charge for this, the tool the mechanics use is relatively inexpensive, so some shops are willing to do this service for free.
Do You Provide a Written Estimate?
Any reputable shop is going to be totally fine when you ask them to provide a written estimate on their services. A written estimate is really important to get for your own security. It allows you to have a written agreement that shows what you can expect to pay. This means you have an educated guess as to what you’re going to be paying. You’ll know the final price could be slightly higher or slightly lower depending on how long the repairs take.
Can I Speak With Other Customers for References?
A mechanic who loves their work and is proud of it can put you in touch with some of their previous clients. All you have to do is ask them about it. You can ask them any number of questions about their work or the shop itself. You can discover things you should be aware of, such as if the mechanic takes longer than they say they will. Or, perhaps you could find out that their estimates are always a little high so people are pleasantly surprised by their bill. Ask other customers for references; that way, you’ll know what to expect.
Now that you’ve got the most important questions figured out, take a trip over to Commercial Tire, the finest tire shops in Meridian, ID.