Mechanics


#1

I’m having trouble finding a decent mechanic… the one I have now is highly recommended, but he’s a little hot tempered. Are they all like this? lol… maybe I’m being too picky. I guess this isn’t really a question… just something I wanna get off my chest. I’m Rob by the way :slight_smile:


#2

Not really, but does he loose his temper with you?


#3

i think he’s like that with everyone… he reminds me of tony the mechanic from seinfeld, haha.


#4

Either don’t let it get to you, or find another. Apparently it’s getting you down, or you would not have posted here. BTW, don’t let his bravura keep you from making your points or getting complete answers to your questions. You are the customer, and you are entitled to understanding what is done.


#5

How about some details about why you’re having trouble finding a decent mechanic?
Why do you say your current mechanic has a hot temper?

After someone mechanics for a number of years they may become irritable, short, wary, and distrustful of the public.
Why? Because every mechanic will face X number of the general public every week who:

  1. Wants a diagnosis so they can fix it themselves or take it elsewhere to get it fixed cheaper.
  2. Wants a quote on repairing one thing and expecting it to include half a dozen “add-ons”.
  3. Brings a junker in and expects one low price to fix 6 years of neglect, abuse, and home butchering.
  4. Wants to use a shop bay free of charge so they can DIY with a “little bit of advice”.
  5. Leaves a vehicle with a blown engine/trans/whatever at the shop after hours and blames the shop for it the next day.
  6. Blames the shop for ripping them off based on an estimate they don’t like and an untouched car.
  7. Wants a used engine/trans installed that is “guaranteed” by their buddy to be good and blames the shop when the engine is burning oil like a grassfire or the transmission is slipping.
  8. Authorizes X dollars for a repair and then gets irate when told the price is not negotiable at job completion.
  9. Authorizes X dollars for a job and complains about being ripped off 2 weeks later when they’re told by someone “you coulda done got that fixed cheaper at…”.
  10. Curses the mechanic for not giving an etched in stone price on tracing an electrical fault; often on a 10 year old car in which half a dozen people have had a hand in “electrical diagnosis”.

That’s just a few of the reasons why he may be a bit hot tempered.


#6

after a time or two, maybe you can get to KNOW and TRUST your mechanic.

possibly then he will seem less irritable and more outgoing.

OK has some pretty humorous (but true) anecdotes that help give you thoughts on why the mech may be a grouch.

i have found that after i got to know mine, that everyone has a bad day, and even after that my mechanic is still pretty darned good.


#7

OK, is this the way you’re putting your book together? Bits and pieces?


#8

Good thing for a mechanic to be able to keep it cool under pressure but faking happiness when there is plenty of work is hard to do sometimes. Hope you find a good one. I’m good with a hacksaw, hammer, chisel, prybar and drill.


#9

I copyed,and pasted this beauty. EXCELLENT!

I have a few to add,but this beauty is going to get shown.

NICE.


#10

The mechanic I use is the most even keeled person and best mechanic I have done business with. He also is beyond qualified as he has worked on my specific make for a few decades prior. Not sure how he does on other makes as his shop is generalized now.


#11

I hope that there is a complementary list for the reverse - why the public is wary & distrustful of mechanics. I won’t make it to 10, but some fuel for the fire is careless stuff like cross threaded bolts, over torqued lugs (as well as other connectors), the “fixes” that turn out not be fixes even when one is assured that the “fix” is required, the inability to tell the difference between legitimate come-backs and nutty customers, insanely high parts mark-ups (for some things), the inability to actually listen, etc. etc.

Now, many will say that most of those problems come from not using the “local, reputable” mechanic but it really isn’t that simple. Here is the curse of being the good mechanic - you get so busy that you need to either keep people waiting for a really long time, turn down work, or expand. I live in an area that many would say has grown much too fast, and the best shops (by word of mouth) have pretty much all expanded. But the cost of size becomes quality - as you know, “its hard to find good help these days” - quality control goes down hill (not by neglect - just by having too much going on all at once). For a customer it becomes difficult, at best, to peel through the layers of people installed to handle the customers. Getting to have a conversation with an actual mechanic becomes an ordeal, on top of the fact that you might have ended up with three different mechanics each doing different things (the character who mounts and balances the tires is not the person who does the alignment who is not the person who runs diagnostics on the electrical system). No “one” is actually looking at your car, and no “one” there really understands or knows the issues that got the car in to begin with. There may be the “manager” person who is supposed to oversee it all but they are not the one actually doing the work either, so all they have is the information that comes around from all of the different people looking at the car. But that information is necessarily incomplete and filtered. Each of the people involved might be terribly competent, but the problems are not just in the people as individuals. I have experienced these same basic things at more than one “local, reputable” shop. (Of course, rapid growth is something that kills businesses - only time will tell for some of them).

When I was a kid, the little town I grew up in had its local garage - we’ll call it “Ted’s.” When you went in with your car, 9x of 10 “Ted” paused in what he was doing and came and had an actual conversation with you. He listened, asked questions, explained, and explained some more after work was done. If “Ted” wasn’t available you spoke to Ted’s wife who ran the office who did the same. Everything didn’t always go right, but you either already knew why b/c Ted had explained what might happen, or if there was a mistake it was fixed promptly and apologetically (who never makes mistakes?) This is not sappy nostalgia for my childhood - its just that it is harder and harder to actually find a “mechanic” - as in - an actual person who knows what s/he is doing, gets to know you and your car, and actually gives a damn about your car.

That’s partly why I’m on these boards - I don’t really have the time or the expertise, but I do as much work as possible on my own and I learn things up here. I try to do so much on my own b/c I have been through a string of “reputable local” garages who are just too busy to worry too much about one little old beat up car. And I’m not just one of those customers with unrealistic expectations and a desire to blame mechanics for things they don’t deserve. I can give some of the “stories” if anyone wants to hear.


#12

I agree with the others, it’s just a matter of finding the right shop. My guy is very good, he has a shop that only works on one brand of cars with about six technicians. They are probably better than the local dealer (and just as expensive), but they are very busy and he is very accommodating to his clients. They will do whatever it takes to fix the problem correctly, not to just patch it together so it’s “good enough.” They are one of the few people (besides myself) who are allowed to work on my cars.


#13

I have never enjoyed a thread (on this forum) as much as this one.

Take a bow group!

FWIW, I have used the same tech for 16 years now and as I will be moving in the fall, I am not looking forward to finding another tech as level headed or as knowledgeable as him.


#14

excellent insight! ‘admitted amateur’ pretty much hit the nail on the head… I also believe it helps to be educated about your vehicle not only to save time and money bringing it in the shop, but also to know when you’re being swindeled, or suspect being ripped off.

I found something I think we can all appreciated… I laughed out loud when i came across this: Raging Mechanic contest