There Are 4 Words Every Car Mechanic Absolutely Dreads Hearing

Being an auto mechanic can be challenging. In a way, mechanics are vehicle doctors that find, diagnose, and fix problems and perform maintenance. But they also must communicate effectively with vehicle owners. They must possess both technical and customer service skills. And if you asked a service technician to talk about his or her day, you’d probably hear some wild tales.

It’s not uncommon to find conversations between fellow car mechanics online, where they share stories and frustrations about the job. From ridiculously complicated auto repairs to know-it-all customers, there are quite a few legitimate complaints. But for many service technicians, there are four little words they dread hearing most. 

Your auto mechanic has a host of responsibilities

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Being an auto mechanic, whether at a small garage or a large dealership, is a tough job. There are specific training and certification requirements. And according to Trade School Future, the duties can also be physically demanding. Plus, trying to figure out what’s wrong with a car across a variety of makes and models can be a daunting and ever-evolving process.

Technicians must also be able to communicate with vehicle owners. And this part of the job can be crazy, given customers’ different personalities and demands. 

Four words your mechanic dreads hearing

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In one discussion on Quora, a few auto mechanics chimed in with common complaints about their customer frustrations. One shared his biggest gripe, and it involves four little words: “I fixed it myself.”

That phrase sends chills up technicians’ spines. The Quora commenter further explains that, more often than not, the fix the customer claims to have done at home ends up requiring even more work. The mechanic ends up having to undo the client’s DIY attempt before addressing the original problem.

And ignoring protocols or cutting corners with at-home repairs can cause serious headaches at the auto shop. It can be especially frustrating because the technician has to try to explain why the repairs will take longer and, in many cases, cost more. 

A mechanic’s life could be a reality TV show

Service technicians have some crazy tales about life as a mechanic. The above Quora discussion sheds light on some mechanics’ other customer frustrations.

One example is the story about a customer who said, “I’ve been complaining about this car since it was new.” The technician pointed out how there hadn’t been any records of issues or complaints with the vehicle before this appointment.

Customer demands, contradictions, and finger-pointing seem almost comical and unreal sometimes. Mechanics should wear body cameras and be the stars of their own reality TV shows.

Other service technician frustrations 

The saying goes, “The customer is always right.” Well, they’re not always right when they’re trying to diagnose or repair a car. Some auto mechanics get frustrated with vehicle owners who disagree with them about a diagnosis or repair suggestion, according to Winworks. “That’s wrong” or “you’re wrong” can be a significantly disrespectful response.

Even worse are vehicle owners who lie. They can fib about vehicle conditions, driving habits that lead to conditions, and even self-attempted fixes at home. Lies only prolong the repair time because the mechanic must do more research to find the root of the problem.

If you’re an auto mechanic, you probably appreciate some of these frustrating stories. And if you’re a vehicle owner, don’t act like these other customers. If you take anything away from this Quora conversation among professionals, at least recognize that “I fixed it myself” might be the last thing your mechanic wants to hear.