How to start an auto repair shop-Finding the right auto mechanic for your car repair business or workshop

The right Mechanic. A profile.

If you have all the right ingredients to market your services you will need to employ at least one mechanic as well as yourself, or if you do not intend to do the mechanical work yourself you will need a top mechanic with a wide range of skills..

Before you hire.

  • Ensure that your applicant has the breadth of skills you need to operate all newer equipment with skill and speed. ( A mechanic who can't read a scanner tool or operate and diagnose with a 4 gas analyser is going to be very limited.)
  • If you run a brake lathe, ask if he is able to operate that make and model of machine, and do the same with wheel balancers, lathes, welding equipment that you have in your repair shop.
  • Be prepared to train him on the use of the hoist if he is unfamiliar with it, and do keep the operators manuals with all machinery including hoists.
  • Be sure he understands the importance of daily inspection of the hoists he is using and that he is aware of hydraulic leaks in floor jacks and the potential dangers of leaking hydraulics.
  • Pay your best applicants to work in your shop for a day. This way you can see if he is organised and cleans up properly.

Clear span.
Clear span.

During the trial period.

Ensure that he leaves the workshop spotlessly clean after the days work, and operates in an organises and efficient manner. It is also a good time to see his temperament.

When things go wrong, how does he respond?

With good humour?

Does he get angry with his work?

Make certain that he understands basic safety such as the importance of cleaning oil spills off the floor thoroughly enough that any remaining slick is gone.

Try to find a mechanic with the skills to operate several profit centres. There is more than one advantage in having these extra skills.

My ideal mechanic has:

  • Good troubleshooting skills.
  • Certification as a qualified motor mechanic.
  • The capacity to operate any profit centre machinery I have installed such a a brake lathe, air-conditioniong station etc, and either have the required certification or the ability to get it.
  • A certificate of excellence from a manufacturer or several for preference.
  • Experience in a similar environment with references.
  • Engineering skills, such as fabrication, welding (tig mig and arc.)

An understanding of engine management systems is vital as well as mechanical engine management knowledge such as being able to explain when asked what else needs to be changed when for example a modified camshafts is fitted and how is the fuel/air mixture affected?.

It is not an easy find a top mechanic, but you must if you want to succeed in this business, so you need to have a way to find him or her!

Offer at least some of the following:

  • Better pay.
  • A better work environment.
  • Profit sharing
  • Closer location.
  • Other incentives.
  • You advertise for exactly what you are offering and the skills needed for your auto shop.
  1. You must expect to pay a bit more for the right mechanic, but the right mechanic will make you so much more profit than an "average" mechanic.
  2. A good mechanic will not only return a better profit for you, but will increase your customer base as people recognise the quality of the work your repair shop does.
  3. I have found a few exceptional mechanics, and kept them too, but you must understand that they are likely to get many offers while they are working for you if they are first class tradesmen with a broad understanding of related engineering skills.
  4. The best way to hold a good mechanic apart from offering more money is to gain loyalty.
  5. I found that loyalty is a 2 way street. If you support your mechanic through hardship and help where you can, you will usually gain their loyalty.
  6. Remember if you are a thoughtful and helpful person they can rely on to give an advance on pay when needed or allow them to use of the company ute to move a washing machine or fridge or the like, it is your attitude as a human being that matters most to your mechanic, just as it does to your customers.

Never stop looking for a backup mechanic. You need a part-time mechanic for back-up in case you lose your mechanic for some extended time through illness or accident. You also need to have someone in mind to replace him or her permanently if they leave.

More by this Author


Comments 15 comments

Dale Nelson profile image

Dale Nelson 5 years ago from South Africa

Hi Earnesthub,

You are just so right. Having been in the industry in the mid nineties, it became difficult to work on electronic fuel management systems with suitable experience with error codes. We had to call in a diagnostic specialist to faultfind. That is why I love working on vintage cars.You have to have an expert in diagnostics in your business even if you can overhaul any motor.

Great article rated up.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks Dale.. Those of us in the motor industry have needed to embrace change. Experience is the key with diagnostics.

Great if you can read the codes.... better if you can rely on experience to know what the codes indicate in the way of problems in each case.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

I can see you certainly know what you are talking about and put it down so clearly. Easy for anyone to learn and follow you valuable advice.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hello, hello, I am very pleased you find it easy to follow.

Thank you for your participation in my motoring hubs, I always appreciate it.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

I do not drive, but I know this information will be very useful to people looking for the right mechanic. My mom was way over charged a few times before she found a good auto shop. I voted your hub up, because it is very useful!


Uma07 5 years ago

An automobile service center is the most indispensable part in anyone's life who owns a vehicle.To start one is is easy but having it going should be the hardest thing.All depends on a good mechanic as you say earnestshub.I got so engrossed reading your hub I forgot the tea I was drinking :)

Two points you made were the best for me...one-the mechanic should love his job and second- his loyalty towards the owner.

Voted UP!Great hub,very useful and very informative!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you SweetiePie!

I'm glad your mom was smart and changed mechanics.

A mechanic who is passionate about the quality of their work is the key.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Uma, you chose two very important points in your comment.

It really does matter that a mechanic loves the work, and loyalty is essential to the whole business operation.

I would like to see LESS auto workshops that are better quality.

A good workshop is always busy and is a good business to own.

The best way to stand out as a workshop is by knowing your business and choosing only the best people to work for you.


map65 5 years ago

great info, thanks for sharing!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you map65. Glad you liked it.


TONY 5 years ago

THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION I HAVE MY OWN AUTO GARAGE IN BRASIL AND IT IS HARD TO KEEP A GOOD MECHANIC I AM NOW BYMYSELF AGAIN AND THINGS ARE DIFFICULT FOR ME. I HAVE STAYED OPEN FOR 2 YEARS NOW BUT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH PAYMENTS, I HAVE LOST AROUND 5,000 REAIS ALREADY IN 2 YEARS NOT GOOD AT ALL BUT HANGING IN THERE. I BOUGHT MY FIRST LIFT BUT EXPENSIVE OUT HERE FOR THE MONEY WE MAKE IS LITTLE COMPARED TO OVER THERE, I LIVED THERE FOR ALMOST 39 YEARS AND KNOW THE DIFFERENCE,BUT THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION I NEEDED AND STILL NEED TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL ONE DAY HOPEFULLY SOON THANK YOU.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

You are welcome Tony. If you read all my auto hubs you may get a few ideas, if you are short of time, just read the one on marketing... it will show you how to take a unique position above your competitors.


bizwin profile image

bizwin 4 years ago from England, UK

Great auto repair info. Well written. Thanks.


abdul samed 4 years ago

hi my name is abdul samed from accra, ghana. i will like to know can you can help me to fit a new auto shop in accra,ghana.

my contact is abdulaisamed@yahoo.com


Reves-diary profile image

Reves-diary 4 years ago from Dhaka

Great hub for me as it will help me while looking for a good auto repaid shop. For me it also depends on where you live as well.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working