How To Gain An Edge On Your Local Mechanic

Surprise!! You just discovered that your car is not disposable like a razor. Yes, inevitably, your precious midsize sedan will need a tune-up. So, how prepared are you to walk into that repair service shop? It may be a tad nerve-wracking to some and truthfully, it’s a justifiable feeling. Let’s face it, mechanics can be intimidating. With their Sci-fi technical lingo, super space-aged tools, and unearthly deafening commotion, I must admit, it’s just darn scary. 

The good news, I got you. There’s a light at the end of the rainbow! Here are some helpful tips to build your mechanical prowess and gain confidence when working with professionals.

1.  Try fixing it yourself!

In this day and age, everything is one google search away. Why not save yourself the anxiety of an auto shop and try tackling it on your own. I’ll even let you in on a secret… It’s usually a hugely common issue and a simple fix. Here is a list of “Common car troubles, their causes and solutions”. Try these steps if you’re not sure where to start:

  • First, locate the problem area. Hmmm… Let’s say your wiper blades don’t… Well, wipe. Now you know to start there! Easy so far?
  • Second, identify the source of your problem. Maybe your wiper blades are flapping and flailing? Reeeaaallly try to get descriptive.
  • Third, use this always dependable google search template. 

Enter: “how to fix” “make, model, and year of vehicle” “problem area” “problem effect(s)”

Example: How to fix 2016 Chevy Cruze wiper blades that chatter

  • Finally, sort through videos, forums, and websites to find your solution. There will be step-by-step instructions that clearly demonstrate what to do and how to do it. Websites like Wipers123 make the entire DIY process swift and painless.

2. Be aware!

Professional mechanics are trained and certified. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications are the standard for this industry. Generally, they know a thing or two on car maintenance. But at the end of the day, they are running a business. As a businessperson, they may suggest repairs that are not immediately necessary or not what you originally requested.  Just be aware and stay focused on what you need.  And its ok to upgrade to more premium products but make them show you the difference.  If you are not satisfied, then be prepared to move on.

Here’s another bright idea. Some mechanics will recommend a new part, but occasionally neglect to show the source of the failure on the current part. Ask to see it. This will show them you mean business…we both know your sudden car knowledge is more or less, fake news… But, they’ll rarely call your bluff. These 5 questions will keep your mechanic on his toes.

3. Do some recon!

Strap on your spy goggles and research your local auto repair shops. There are countless websites dedicated to business reviews and make sure to read them thoroughly. Angie’s List is a popular option to find reputable businesses.

Ask for recommendations from your car savvy friends and family. Their experience is valuable; use it to your benefit. 

The takeaway

Seize control over your situation. Be sharp and be frosty. Sometimes, it may seem easier to just ignore the problem, but you need to face it head on! Simple research and a little mental preparation will give you an advantage. Or skip the hassle with a little independence. Get your hands dirty and join the DIY movement.