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How to Find a Trusty Car Mechanic

Updated on April 11, 2019
Rhylee Suyom profile image

Rhylee Suyom has hopped in three different worlds: the academe, the corporate, and the media. He enjoys being with nature and his family.

Having a Trusty Car Mechanic is a True Blessing

If you still don't have one, better find your trusty neighborhood car mechanic fast.
If you still don't have one, better find your trusty neighborhood car mechanic fast. | Source

Finding that Trusty Handy Car Mechanic

Introduction

Having your own vehicle can be a both a blessing and a cure especially if you drive a second-hand car without any knowledge of the car’s previous owner and its history. Having a car would be a refuge from the elements and a hauler for the many things and people we can bring with us. It is a curse when we have no knowledge on how to fix its many possible problems and symptoms. However, the magnitude of the curse increases when we are at the mercy of car mechanics we cannot and do not trust. For this purpose, this short paper is written to guide you in finding and knowing if your car mechanic is someone you can trust.

A Systematic Guide to Knowing the “Who?”

I first got my motorized vehicle back in 2004. It was a beatdown 1998 Yamaha BWS 2-stroke scooter with fatty tires. Having no knowledge about cars or motorcycles, and a gas-guzzling 2-wheeler, I had to constantly find someone I can trust who will not cheat me for both labor and parts. I tried using the scooter for less than a year, but because it dawned in me that instead of saving more from daily commute by having my own scooter, the constant repairs and buying of parts had me thinking of getting a better one. So, after getting soaked in the rain and finding no one to help me fix my Yamaha one bitter cold rainy night, I decided to get me a cheap Chinese Asiastar 4-stroke 100cc scooter. My worries soon left me and for a time it was heaven: I just ‘gas-and-go’ with the occasional change oil and tire check, the maintenance was really next-to-nothing equal to the price of a movie ticket for six months of daily use. Why did I get a brand-new bike? One trusty bike mechanic told me so. From then on, I would often visit him and seek his advice. He would often check my bike for free and at times send me text messages saying that he has something that might interest me for my bike. This is the beginning of how I learned to know the good mechanics from the rotten eggs.

My First Car: Another Challenge

After saving some money and borrowing from my eldest sister, I decided to buy a second-hand car. I drove it to the shop of my mechanic friend Tasyo, but his immediate reaction threw what he would have to tell me later. He was candid and honest but sincere. He told me that I would be having many problems with the car considering that it seems that it was used as a race car (something which the previous owner did not tell me since I know nothing about cars). He explained everything why it was a race car and told me that someone with his own shop should maintain the car instead of someone like me or else I will be draining all my money trying to make it world well. He said the car was meant for the freeway and not for the congested city roads here in Angeles City. I left with a heavy heart knowing that my car would be a burden than a blessing while thinking how much money per month should I be saving to prepare for my payment of my sister’s loan and for maintenance. One day, I had minor problem as the engine started making rumbling noises. I called in Tasyo but his number was no longer active; later I found out that he left for the Middle East to help support his growing family. And so, my hunt for a proper car mechanic began.

STEP ONE: Check Elsewhere Then Have Your Car Checked

I have tried going around repair shops asking the mechanic to estimate the price of labor, length or speed of repair, prices and availability of parts, and guarantee. Make sure to go to at least 3 different shops that are not-so-near and compare their answers. Get the mean or average and use that as a basis.

STEP TWO: The Good Ones Would Want You to Stay and Watch Them Work

After trying flipping cars for almost five years before, I have concluded that the trustworthy ones want you to watch them working on your car. I find it a great learning experience too especially when they start telling you that you will need to prepare this and that or buy a better this and that soon before a part breaks down while you are driving.

STEP THREE: They Will Ask You to Check and Test Their Work

The good ones will ask you to test drive your newly repaired car; show you the old replaced parts; give you any excess item you bought for your car; and instruct you where to get the best parts and services

STEP FOUR: They Will Accompany You When Buying Parts

They usually know when someone is trying to rip you off so they will defend your part as a buyer. I have had experiences where my mechanic friend would not even charge me for a part which he used in my car simply because he had it for free from other people before.

STEP FIVE: They Will be There When You Need Them

In the Philippines, it is OK to tow another car on the road. You do not have to ask the services of towing companies (they are REALLY expensive) to tow your car if you have an option. I have tried calling and asking my mechanic friend to tow my car on many different occasions and he only asks for gas money ($6 to $10) for a relatively long distance (around 10 to 30 kilometers).

STEP SIX: They Give the Best Advice

“Sell you car and get a brand new one, then you won’t have to see me for the next two or three years.” This was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard, like Tasyo’s. I did just that back in 2013 and I have never had any major problem with our brand-new car.

There are other important parts of your conversation with your mechanic which will tell you when he is indeed trustworthy or not such as: when he periodically checks your car then suddenly tells you to be sure with the right fuel, or find another place where you can get a better oil change because your oil filter was not replaced, or getting better tire brands even when he is not selling any. These are the small yet very critical things to spot when finding a trusty mechanic. They dictate what to do or buy; they only give advice as to what would be best for you and your car.

Hope these will help you. Let me know if you have other ways in identifying a trusty mechanic in the comment section. Thanks!

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