Even if you buy a reliable car, change its oil regularly, and drive carefully, you can’t avoid visits to a mechanic. These repairmen have more training and tools to tackle automotive problems. Finding a trustworthy mechanic can be a challenge. But bad mechanics will do certain things that raise red flags. If you know the signs of a bad mechanic, you’ll be able to waste less of your time and money.
The mechanic isn’t certified
When asked to show proof of certification, a bad mechanic may become defensive and claim they have enough experience to keep you from pressing the issue. You can check to see if a mechanic is certified by checking the ASA’s or AAA‘s website.
The mechanic is inexperienced
If you take your car to a mechanic who has no idea what they’re doing, you will be charged extra for more hours of labor. A bad mechanic may claim it will take a few days to replace something simple like a tire rod, while it will only take an experienced mechanic an hour or two. Always check to find out how long a fix will take at another auto shop.
The mechanic finds more work
Another way mechanics can make extra money is by claiming that your car needs more extensive repairs. In order to have a certain part replaced, they may tell you something else needs to fixed first before they can get started on the initial repair. This is often just an attempt to bill you for more labor.
The mechanic won’t let you see the old parts
A bad mechanic will try to charge for work by “fixing” something that wasn’t broken in the first place. If you suspect this, always ask to see the old parts. A truthful mechanic will have no problem showing them to you.
The mechanic won’t admit to mistakes
Replacing parts or filters is a relatively routine task, but mistakes can still happen. It may be due to an issue outside of the mechanic’s control, but a good one will still take responsibility. A bad mechanic will pass the blame off instead of admitting they are at fault.
The mechanic uses too much technical jargon
Many people simply use their cars as a means of transportation and don’t know much about what goes on under the hood. A bad mechanic will use this to their advantage. If questioned about a repair, they may claim they know what’s best for your vehicle or it’s “too complicated” for you to understand. If your mechanic refuses to walk you through the problem when asked, go somewhere else.
The mechanic uses scare tactics
You’ve probably heard the classic “I wouldn’t drive that car out of this lot” from a mechanic who wants your money. Bad mechanics use scare tactics to make you feel unsafe driving your vehicle in its current condition. This way, you’ll be more likely to accept what they say without question. If you feel the mechanic is threatening you, it’s best to ask for a second opinion.