In life, we build many important professional relationships on trust. We must trust doctors, dentists, financial advisers, lawyers and others to give us honest, professional opinions. Because they are experts and you are not, you don’t have much information to weigh their claims against. A good working relationship requires that you believe they are doing their best to truthfully advise and help you.
Among relationships built on trust, many consider a trustworthy auto mechanic to be a truly valuable find. But if you’re taking your car to the shop for the very first time, how do you know if they can be trusted?
Here are seven signs you can trust your mechanic.
If a friend, an acquaintance or a car dealership recommends the mechanic, that’s a good indication you should at least try this one out. Of course, you might not always be so fortunate to have any word-of-mouth recommendations. In these cases, online reviews can help you decide where to take your automobile. However, you should always take online reviews with a grain of salt. The online world is full of people who have an ax to grind, and their opinions are not always a reflection of reality.
- Open to second opinions.
A good mechanic should be okay if you tell them you want a second opinion. This shows they have confidence in their judgment and abilities and will be able to win your business. A word of warning, though: Be careful not to come off as overly skeptical. This could be taken as an insult, especially if you have already established a good working relationship.
- Don’t rely on scare tactics.
If the mechanic tells you “I wouldn’t drive one block in this car,” they’re probably trying to scare you into giving the garage some business. Unless your car is smoking under the hood or you literally have no brakes, you can drive a few blocks to another garage. Scare tactics are a sign of dishonesty!
- Trustworthy certifications.
Most reliable mechanics have certifications from the ASA, ASE, AAA or other independent agencies that show they meet certain standards when it comes to competency and customer service. These certifications make for a good first impression.
- They don’t upsell you with needless add-ons.
If you go in because your window isn’t rolling down and the mechanic tells you your air conditioner needs to be replaced, tires rotated and alignment adjusted, you’re probably being swindled. So be wary. It might be the case that there is indeed something wrong with your car that you did not know about, but if this happens too many times, you should consider visiting another mechanic.
- They return your old parts.
Trustworthy mechanics don’t keep your old parts. Instead, they return them, whether you need them or not.
- Willing to answer your questions.
Because your relationship involves a financial transaction, you should be sure you know what you’re paying for. Mechanics understand this, and if they are any good, they will be willing to take the time to answer any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to annoy them! If they get defensive, it might be because they’re trying to pull a fast one or fix a problem that really isn’t there.
While there are some crooked mechanics out there, the majority take pride in their work and want you to be happy, too. If you can find a mechanic that has qualities like those above, you’ll be on your way to building a solid working relationship that will keep your automobile running for a long time.