7 Questions You Should Ask Your Auto-Mechanic

These Questions Will Help You Get The Best Repairs From Your Mechanic

a mechanic dong repairs on a carIf you own a car, that car will need repairs at some point. It’s unavoidable. What you can avoid is not getting the best repairs. When you go to a mechanic, it’s useful to come in armed with some questions to ask. These questions will help you determine the mechanics qualifications as well as make sure you get exactly what you need. According to SE Performance, a mechanic shop in Cache Valley, Utah, here are the important questions to ask.

1. What Are Your Certifications?

Any mechanic worth his salt will have certifications to prove their skills.  When you first visit a mechanic, you should ask them to show you their certifications. They should be able to show them to you and tell you what they are. If they can’t show you their certifications, you should consider the shop a little suspect and consider going elsewhere.

2. Can I get A Free Cost Estimate?

A good mechanic should give you a free cost estimate if you ask for it. They should never charge you for it, and they should definitely not refuse to give a cost estimate. You have the right to know what the cost of the work is. You need that information to make the right decisions about your car needs and if they refuse, or try to charge you for it, you should probably go somewhere else.

3. What Kind of Warranty Do You Offer?

Warranties vary from one mechanic shop to the next, but most will offer something. Before you go forward with any repairs, you should always find out what assurances they can offer on their work. Shops that are confident in their work will offer guarantees. That’s how you know they’re confident in their work.

4. Can You Show Me The Old Parts?

car engineShady shops will often make money off of you by doing “duct tape fixes” when parts need to be replaced. These patch jobs will get the car to work a little longer, but will ultimately break down again. They lie and claim the part has been replaced, then send you back on the road with a car they know won’t last. Asking to see the old parts is a way to make sure they actually replace parts that need replacing.

Before they do any work, make sure they’re willing to show you the parts. This shouldn’t be a problem, and if it is, think twice about letting them under the hood.

This also serves a great education experience, as you’ll get to have a look at the part and they can show you how and why it broke down. This will give you insight into how your car works and make you more informed the next time you visit.

5. Which Repairs are Necessary and Which are Recommended?

When a mechanic does an assessment of your car, they will provide a list of issues that can be addressed. This list will be comprehensive, and that includes both immediate safety issues, and problems that can be delayed. If you simply ask the mechanic to fix everything, they’ll certainly do it, but then you’ll be left with a hefty bill. Before letting them go ahead with repairs, ask them which ones need to be done and which ones are only recommended.

For the recommended maintenance, ask how soon they recommend having it done – could be anywhere from a few months to a year. While fixing everything up right away might be a good idea, that’s not always financially viable. Find out what can be put off so you don’t empty your bank account fixing your car all at once.

That said, don’t neglect recommended fixes. If a mechanic recommends something should be fixed or tuned-up, it should be addressed when you can, even if it doesn’t need it immediately. Don’t put things off too long, or they might grow into more serious problems.

6. What Are My Repair Options?

Whatever the problem with your car is, you almost always have options on how to fix it. It’s rare for problems to only have one solution. If you don’t ask what your options are, you’re at the mercy of your mechanic for the fix. Some mechanics will opt for the fix that makes them the most money. Others will instead pick the one that makes them do the least effort. These aren’t always the best fix. Ask about all potential options and be sure your mechanic explains each one. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. You may not be an expert, but asking questions about this will show you that your mechanic is.

7. Can You Show Me What Repairs You’re Doing and Why?

car repairs
Photo by Malte Luk

A good mechanic will be able to explain exactly what repairs are needed and why. They should also be able to explain it in terms you can understand. While cars are complex machines, it isn’t that hard to understand how they work, especially the individual parts. If your mechanic can’t explain what he’s doing in a way that is simple and easy to understand, he may not be very good at his job. Or he may be trying to cheat you.

As with asking to see the old parts, this also gives you better insight into your car. Knowing more about how it works lets you better handle similar problems in the future. It will also make it easier to spot shoddy or dishonest mechanics, and that’s a huge plus.

Ask Questions To Find the Best Auto-Mechanic

There are a lot of mechanics out there. Many are good mechanics, but there are always those who don’t know their job, or who are dishonest about their work. Many mechanics will overcharge people who don’t seem to know about cars, especially women. Mechanics are less likely to try and scam you if you ask a lot of questions. They know you’ll ask them of the next mechanic you go to, which will expose them as dishonest if they try to pull a fast one on you. The answers also give you information on your car, making you more knowledgeable and harder to cheat in the future.

These 7 questions are the most basic questions you should ask any mechanic before you trust them with your car. If they’re good and honest mechanics, they should have no trouble answering the questions clearly. Remember, there are no stupid questions; only stupid people who don’t ask them. Don’t be afraid to ask.