While many of us can recognize the characteristics of a good mechanic, it can be a bit more difficult to see signs that you’re dealing with a bad one. While many mechanics are honest people, the few bad ones make life difficult for those who genuinely want what’s best for your vehicle.
Here are some of the main signs to look for in a bad mechanic:
Tries To Make A Sale Using Scare Tactics
There are times when a mechanic should “scare you straight” when it comes to your vehicle – when continuing to operate it in its current condition could cost you your life, the lives of others, or end up costing you far more money than you’re able to pay. However, you should be wary of any mechanic who tries to scare you just to make a sale. Look out for hyperbole and exaggeration.
Refuses To Reveal Certifications
If you’re dealing with a mechanic who claims to have certifications, ask to see them. Any hesitancy or refusal is a red flag. After all, if a mechanic has a certification, it means that they worked hard for it. They achieved something special. Any normal person would be happy to show it off.
Requests Payment Upfront Before Starting The Job
This is especially true at an actual repair shop (not just a friend looking to help you out). Another thing to watch out for is if the mechanic refuses to give you an estimate.
There is an exception to this: if you’ve had problems in the past with paying the mechanic.
Doesn’t Own Up To Mistakes
Mistakes happen. It’s part of life. Anyone with character can admit to them and take responsibility. Bad mechanics try to throw others under the bus (even you!) if a job doesn’t go according to plan.
But remember, there is also an exception to this rule. Sometimes problems happen at mechanic shops that are truly outside the mechanic’s control. Sometimes auto repair shops even lose money on a job.
Things To Look For In A Good Mechanic
Now that we’ve covered what you don’t want to see in your mechanic, let’s cover some of the things that you do want.
- Communication: A lot of people don’t know the first thing about their vehicles beyond filling up the gas tank. That’s why they take them into professional auto mechanic shops. A good mechanic can explain what’s going on with your vehicle in a way the “layman” can understand. They should be able to answer any questions you might have. After the job is done, they should give you the information you need to help prevent this problem from occurring again.
- High Quality Labor Practices: Good mechanics genuinely want what’s best for your vehicle. That means they won’t take shortcuts or try to cover up problems just to make a buck.
- Good Reputation: Good mechanics are usually recognized as such. You can check their reputations online in many cases. The same goes for auto repair shops themselves. Be sure to do your research before handing your vehicle off to someone for repair and maintenance.