Posts Tagged ‘Mechanic’

How To Choose An Auto Mechanic (Technician) and An Auto Repair Shop

January 12th, 2021

This article is how to choose an automotive technician. We used to call them mechanics and some were named Grubber with arms so long that their hands dragged on the ground. These guys could fix things and many times without the right part being available. These old time mechanics were the guys you took into the outback.

Today the automotive technician wears a sharp shop uniform and does his work with a $100,000.00 worth of shop equipment. This guy’s service charges range where from $70 to $120 dollars per hour in the Tri-City area. If you are going to pay some one as much to fix your car as you did your doctor a few years ago then you should spend some time in selecting an automotive technician.

Some of the things that should be considered important in selecting a technician;

Ability to read
Desire to do a good job.
Has an honest boss.
Works for an honest business.
Constantly up dates his training.
Works on many makes and models.
In choosing a technician it is recommended to choose an independent shop for a number of reasons. The most important is that the technician in an independent shop has to work on everything. This gives him greater insight and a much large pool of experience to draw upon.
You should check with people that have taken their cars to this shop. Most shops will recommend a few of their good customers that you can call. Ask these folks tough questions.

Interview the shop owner.

Ask the owner if he still works on cars.
Ask him how he writes his estimates.
Ask him how he figures the markup on parts.
Ask him what his warrantee policy is?
Ask if he has a written pricing policy and warrantee policy.
Ask what his credit policy is.
Ask if you can pick the technician to work on your car.
Interview the technicians in the shop if possible:
Ask how they are paid?
Ask if they are expected to bill more than 120 hours per month. (If they are find another shop).
Ask if the shop pays for education and seminars.
This all comes down to basic honesty. Flat rate is a method to write estimates but in should not be the end bill. If the flat rate program is good then the bill should be close to the estimate. The rub comes from the technician that works 40 hours per week and bills 80 hours per week. This means that the customer is overcharged by 50%. We are am not a great proponents of flat rate billing. Rattlesnake Mountain Enterprises spent a lot of time choosing a good flat rate program for doing estimates and bills. This program is the fairest that we could find both for the shop and the customer. I have yet to bill more than 25 hours of my own work in a week. Yes, I would be told that I was not efficient enough for a dealership or large independent shop. I have read some shop business plans that were based upon all technicians billing 120% of their time.
If you get positive answers to most of these questions, then give the shop a try. As you can see it pays to choose your auto repair facility before you have a serious problem.

Charles L. (Bud) Evans is an experience automotive repair technician specializing in the difficult to solve problems with 30 years of full and part time auto repair experience. His education and experience include a masters degree, a major in industrial technology, several years teaching industrial technology and auto repair and 15 years experience as a health p