Honest & Caring Mechanics Do Still Exist

We all know that folks will post a negative story more often than a love letter. Here’s a love letter. I manage all the vehicles in my family to one degree or another. When the Highlander my son drives displayed a “Maint Required” light and was squeaking, I directed him to our trusted mechanic. In went the car, out it came in under 3 hours. Oil changed a loose belt tightened up a bit. My son handled it all, but I phoned the mechanic because I consider him a friend and because I keep track of the use of that vehicle for others besides my son. My mechanic, Mark, is not a young man anymore, and he and I discussed the difficulties of working in the heat and humidity.

This morning our phones had messages and texts. Mark said that when he looked a the old filter this morning he noticed there was no gasket. He regretted to say he wanted the car back to check and see if he mistakenly left the old one on, thus doubling them up. He was very apologetic.

I doubt many mechanics would take the time to double-check or call back a customer in this situation. Far from being annoyed, I thanked Mark, and my son is headed back to the shop for a pit stop and a new filter and oil change top-off. There are still trustworthy folks out there. We are glad in my family that we have one of them near us.


Agreed. My mechanic is a small, but busy garage in my downtown, that’s been operated by the same family for over 30 years. They’ve always been honest with me, and even saved me some money when a cheaper fix was available. Plus, they have treated my wife very well when she takes in her car. Not every place treats women well, unfortunately.

They also do all the maintenance on the local police cars and USPS vehicles, so I figure they have to be trustworthy. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I do 90-95% of my own maintenance. Mainly the PM stuff. The rest I either don’t have the equipment (ex: tires and alignments), or I don’t have the skills or I just don’t want to, I will take it to a trusted mechanic. However I don’t have just one. I use one guy for tires/alignments…one for general repairs that I don’t want to do…and a transmission specialist for fluid changes or other things related to a tranny. There are very very few mechanics who do everything these days. Systems have become too complicated, so they seem to specialize.

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In my area I have found a few downright dishonest mechanics, a few more incompetent mechanics and far more good and honest mechanics. We always hear about the bad ones but hardly ever the good ones.

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Spot on. I did use two tire specialists, but my local mechanic near my home recently upgraded his tools including a new balancer from Snap On that is giving me outstanding results. My recent tire swaps involved a lot of frozen lugs, so I like that he can manage that if need be. My tire guys could not.

+1 to both you and the OP.
My local mechanic’s shop (the one that just celebrated its 75th anniversary under the ownership of the same family) has long held the contract for maintenance and repair of the local USPS vehicles. (The township has their own shop for police cars and other municipal vehicles)

They’re out there, the shop that my folks have used since 1993 or so started with the 30K service on mom’s '90 mazda which was by the book at a fair price that was about the same as the best dealer quote but only a few miles away instead of 50mi round trip. They were just starting out and used 1/3 of the building where now they use the whole space.

The Mazda was stalling when you let off the gas sometimes and when dad stopped by with the car the mechanic told him to pop the hood and while dad worked the gas pedal he soaked the throttle plate with cleaner and told dad to drive it around and see if that helped any. Refused to charge us for that one.

The slight noise from the manual transmission turned out to be the result of a leaking seal caused by a bad CV Axle (we’d had the seal replaced less than 1,00mi before) they replaced both axles under warranty just to be safe.

Long list other shops in town that really do put in the effort to treat their customers right. Of course there are some that we don’t know how they’re still around.

This experience proves yet again the value in establishing a relationship with a good independent auto repair shop. Mark takes care of his repeat customers (you…) as well as knowing a lot about their cars. This is especially true for those that don’t do their own work.


For all of the 80’s we had a mechanic named Richard who opened his own shop after leaving the VW dealer around 1979 so he was the perfect guy to maintain our '78 Rabbit Diesel as well as the 70 Datsun 510 which we dropped on his doorstep when the brakes almost failed as we were less than a block from the shop.

Left it in front of the office with the key attached to a note telling him what happened. I’ve seen the invoice more recently in the files and it was a bad wheel cylinder on one of the rear wheels so a brake job with new cylinders and rebuilt calipers fixed the car for $200 in 1986 or so.

He suddenly sold the shop in 1990 right before we towed the rabbit in with a no start problem and didn’t know that the shop had new owners. They tried but it was as if the three stooges were mechanics. Had the car for a week and called us saying it starts now, Go to pick it up and it didn’t start. Finally got it going after 6 attempts and we drove it away and got another week out of the car. Bought a new car (which was the plan at that point anyways) and found the current shop 3yrs later when the dealers wanted to play pricing games on a major service.

The euro specialist my brother’s loyal to refused to charge him to fix the Jetta he brought in because it was just a loose vaccum hose and another problem that they showed him how to fix. Now they have looked after a 2006 Legacy wagon,2009 VW GTI both since brand new. And a new to them Toyota Sequoia. Only buys cars they work on and has been given very good advice on which cars to buy next.