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How do you know you have a qualified guy

I am needing to have some work done on my mini van and my normal mechanic who does really good work said that what I need to have done is really beyond what he is comfortable doing and sugguests I find someone with more background in doing this type of job. I have gotten a price from the dealership and figure they do this type of work so they should know what they are doing and are “certified”. But besides them what kind of things/questions should i ask of other shops that would lead me to believe they know what they are doing.

I am needing to have the timing belt changed out on a kia sedona and from what I have read about it, done wrong and my engine is history and doing the job right is not an easy job.

I’m kind of surprised your normal mechanic can’t do a timing belt. But, have you asked him who he’s recommend?

Note: The dealership is no guarantee that the job will be done right, but they do have a lot more money to compensate you with if they screw it up.

He has never done one before on this type of van and all that is involved he just didn’t feel he would be the best choice and i like that he is willing to say that instead of ‘trying’ it and things come out bad. He didn’t really know of anyone, said i should consider the dealership.


Well, at least he’s honest about it. You have to give the guy credit for that.

Timing belts can be a pain in the butt. I’ve replaced four in my garage at home, on four different vehicles, with no problems, but when it came time to have my Honda’s timing belt replaced (with balancer belt, etc.), I took the car to a mechanic who specializes in Honda and paid him do it.

Shop around. You can compare dealer prices with other independent mechanics. Someone will do it for you.

This is one of the rare cases in which it might make sense to go to the dealer. Assuming they will guarantee their work.

Have the dealer do it. If it fails it comes with a 1yr/12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. So all the collateral damage done is covered by dealership/Kia. A small mechanic who does things cheap usually does not carry any insurance. The mechanic is losing his shirt on fixing the damage if he does not blame on defective part and you eat it.

The fact that you are taking the complex nature of this job seriously speaks volumes about your judgement,good job. What you need to find is someone who can prove they have done the job on the same engine you have multiple times (and not the same car over and over).

I know this may be a tough bill to fill in the event your pool of mechanics to pull from is small, but try.If you do chose the Dealer you are going to have to find a way to get your car dispatched to an experienced man, the mechanics at Dealerships also have varying levels of skill. The perfect situation is if you knew a mechanic at the Dealer that you could request by name. Your end result will probably not include meeting this goal but talk seriously with the Service Advisor (even if you need to see the Service Manager stressing how you want this job to go right, perhaps he gets the message that you will not tolerate your car being dispatched to a mechanic that is still learning.

Well, at least he’s honest about it. You have to give the guy credit for that.

That is the kind of guy I look for when I need help. Far too many try to do jobs they really don’t have the skills to do.

The dealer may be the least expensive–they do this job all the time. Practice makes perfect. Many on this board swear by independent mechanics, but even the best independent may never have worked on a Kia minivan before. I vote for using the most experienced person on this exact vehicle rather than trying to save a few bucks.