If you want longevity out of your vehicle, you must ensure you're keeping all of your maintenance up to date and fixing any necessary repairs. Keeping up with maintenance and repairs will allow you to drive your vehicle until it dies for as long as possible or sell it for the maximum amount while it’s still functional. We know vehicle maintenance and repairs aren’t cheap so it’s important to go to the right mechanic so you end up at the garage as little as possible. A great mechanic is one that does reliable, quality work for fair prices. In this article, we’re going to go over 7 things to consider before hiring an auto mechanic.
1. Are they certified and licensed?
The last thing you want to do is take your vehicle to someone who isn’t certified or licensed to repair or do maintenance on your vehicle. A licensed mechanic has been educated through years of study/training and hands-on experience. Knowing that the mechanic you hire is licensed should give you the confidence to know that the mechanic will know what he/she is doing even when less common problems arise. There are also manufacturer-specific mechanics who know the technicalities of a particular manufacturer.
2. Have they been recommended to you?
One of the best ways to find a great mechanic is through word of mouth. Whether you ask for recommendations via social media or ask your friends or family the next time you see them, you should get some honest feedback. If you’re looking for a specific type of mechanic, one who specializes in electric vehicles, for example, using only forums or social media can be a great way to find an expert specialist.
3. Read the Reviews
Reading online reviews is a great way to quickly get a feel for how a mechanic/repair shop does business. You can see reviews on social media pages, but our personal favourite is looking at Google reviews. A great strategy to take when looking at Google reviews is to look at them by “most recent reviews”. This can give you an idea of how they currently operate, not how they operated two years ago. A lot can change in two years and you don’t want to miss out on going to a great mechanic shop because they had some poor reviews in years prior but have since got their act together.
4. Do they offer mobile services?
Many mechanics offer mobile services, depending on the situation you’re in this can come in handy. Mobile mechanics can be summoned to your location whether it be your house or your work and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance without you having to drive to them. While having a mechanic who’s willing to come to you may not be necessary for you, it is worth considering before choosing a mechanic.
5. Do they allow after-hours drop-offs?
For a lot of Canadians, it can be difficult to bring your car into the mechanic shop between the conventional 9-5 work hours. That’s why many mechanics allow for after-hours drop-offs. If you’re someone who struggles at getting away from work during the daytime, be sure to ask your mechanic if after-hours drop-offs is an option. If they do offer it, it’s also worth asking if the shop's insurance covers theft or damage.
6. Do they give service reminders?
Life gets busy, and our vehicle maintenance is not always at the top of our priority list, so it’s easy to forget these things. Good mechanics will help you stay on top of maintenance by giving you reminders of service needed or upcoming appointments. Whether it’s an oil change, tire change or annual inspection, knowing your mechanic will call you in when necessary makes things much easier.
7. Do they offer tire storage?
Canadians know that in order to keep their vehicles under control in the winter, they need to have a set of winter tires. Every Spring and Fall, Canadians swap their all-season tires and winter tires. It’s becoming more and more common for mechanic shops to allow storage of off-season tires. For people who live in small houses or apartments, not having to find a place to keep your off-season tires can be a huge pain reliever. So when you’re looking for a mechanic, it’s always great to ask if they offer tire storage.