Apr
27
2019

What Does it Take to Be a Great Automotive Mechanic?

For most of us, a great mechanic is simply somebody that returns our car to us minus the odd noise or strange problem and doesn’t charge the Earth for it! Today we are delving a little deeper into the world of auto-mechanics, looking at some concrete ways that you can use to identify great mechanics… and keep that number in your contact list!

Apprenticeship completion

Unless they have been working in the trade for a substantial number of years, all good mechanics will have completed an approved apprenticeship course. Completing an apprenticeship means that your car repairer has been subject to a standardized system of tests of their ability, and has passed all of them. It also means that they have at least 4 years of working experience, doing car repairs and car service – not an insignificant number!

Certificate courses

An apprenticeship is usually mandatory for good mechanics. Those that go above and beyond what is required might have a few certificate courses under their belts – learning that is specialized to one area of the car. A good auto mechanic might have done courses on:

Diesel engines

4 wheel drive systems and problems

Computerised diagnosis of mechanical faults

Engine machining

This is just a sample of the ways that it is possible to branch out and specialize in car repair. Every course that your mechanic has done will add to their understanding of your car, and allow them to rectify your problem more completely.

Experience

The greater the years of experience after a completed apprenticeship that your mechanic has, the more confidence you can have in their abilities. They will have:

Seen, diagnosed and repaired a wider variety of faults, on a wider range of different cars

May be able to diagnose a problem more quickly… cutting down those all important labour hours on your bill!

Have perfected their systems for routine tasks like car service, again cutting down on the labour hours they have to charge.

What is Important to Customers?

Surveys indicate that while there are quite a few criteria for identifying a good mechanic, there are only a few which really matter to customers! Price is not always the lead factor. Ranking criteria in a recent survey of the quality of mechanics included:

They are always honest

They are competent

The price for car repairs is reasonable#

The problem is fixed first time

Work is completed in a timely manner

If they make a mistake, they respond well to it being pointed out (shops that have a written policy of giving a warranty on labour and parts are a good example of this)

They explain what the problem was

There is no difference in their treatment of male and female customers.

Ability to listen to customer

The ability to listen to a customer is something that you have to determine by actually trying the mechanic out. Most people quickly realise if a mechanic is not paying attention to their explanation of a problem, or has made an early assumption. When you find this ability in a car service or repair place, stick with them!

Clear explanations and options

This was part of the survey criteria, and again is something you have to determine by trying out a mechanic. If a mechanic is able to clearly explain what the problem with your vehicle is, you have a much better chance of making an informed decision about the timing and extent of repairs. If your mechanic will put the problem they see in writing (ie, give you a written upfront quote), so much the better!

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