whats a good mechanic

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 21:21
ThreadID: 55817 Views:2316 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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after reading a few recent post from people looking for a good mechanic.
i as a mechanic in a 4wd shop was wondering what it is people look for in a good mechanic.
is it labour rate
showing used parts
doing stuff others dont
please let me know
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Reply By: Footloose - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 21:31

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 21:31
A very good question. Sadly, I know very few that conform to Footy's code of mechanics ethics LOL

1. Must know what he's doing. i.e. my machine not used to learn about that model. Doesn't try and bullchit me ...I'm only pretending to know nothing

2. Doesn't give the job to 1st year apprentice when my life depends on the results.

3. Quotes a price and if the end price is going to be much higher, rings me and asks is it Ok to go ahead.

4 Doesn't try and use his xray vision on my wallet when meeting me for the 1st time.

5 Knows that he might be able to earn more in a mine...but he's not in a mine!

6. Tries to give an accurate starting and pick up time.

7. By conforming to the above, earns my trust and patronage for the next 10 years. Then I'll also recommend him to others , and bring my wife's, son's and daughters vehicles in to him.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:19

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:19
Hi Footloose, we've got one of those mechanics, have been following him for nigh on 15 years now. He has his own business which he and his father run,(no apprentices) the trouble is he is always flat out.

To add to that list, when we are away and things go wrong and we need a part we just call him and he will source the part at the best possible price and get it couriered to us, the only instructions with that is to make sure we take the vehicle to him when we get back so he can check to make sure all is well, if all OK there is no charge.

He saved us hundreds of dollars when we were in Coral Bay and needed a new radiator, got our quote from the local guy and then rang Joe (our mechanic) who sourced the one we now have and got it flown up for the savings mentioned above. The local guy fitted it and I must say he was good.


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Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:27

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:27
D, when you see your mech the next time, please award him the Footy medal of honesty. Such people are to be treasured.
I can well imagine what my current mech would charge to organize that job...and that's without actually doing it !
I was going to say that a good mechanic is an oxymoron....obviously it isn't.
Crikey, what a time to have my faith in humanity restored...Easter :))
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:54

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:54
D is he a hills local or out of the district?
I use CD's in Forrestfield ok but not a 4WD specialist. Usually go to Robson Brothers if heading off on a long trip.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 00:43

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 00:43
Hi Duncan, no he is down in Cannington, in Railway Parade opposite the railway station, We get him to do all our Services, even the 4by before we go out. We can only speak as we find.

If you want any further details send me a MSG or email.



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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 11:56

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 11:56
Hi Footloose, these people are out there, for us it was a fluke that we found him, even if he went up the Northern Suburbs we would still take our vehicles to him. The whole family does. One of our daughters bought herself a new Honda Euro last year and she wanted him to do the services on that, the dealer (surprisingly) agreed to it but said that any warranty work needs to be done by the dealership.

Back in the Seventies we were living in a small country town here in WA for 16 months, we had a new XC Falcon, we had no trouble with the car until we hit this town and then for the 16 months that we were there we had a monthly bill to pay the mechanic, after a while we became very suspicious but things were going wrong, anyway when we left that town we had no more trouble with that car, we towed the caravan with four kids up North to Darwin, no problems with it, so for all the good ones there are bad ones as well.





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Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:20

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:20
well for a start i can reconmend two ones my best mate and another igoes to my church!

Centralcoastof nsw: Denis Cole, The Trailer Centre west gosford, he has worked on just about everything and calls a spade a spade won't bullchit you and fair and resonable!!! after all he taught me!!!

The second in newcastle is Cullens Automotive out at cardiff, good honest mech, won't bullchit you either!!!

what constitutes a good mech:

In all my honest opinion for what it is worth!

The little things like tops your fluids up, make sures the car is running 100% sweet and if not sure, won't charge to look at it, fair and reasonable, also will follow up to see if there's a problem, will also let you know if you need stuff before it is needed, won't lie to the missus people who take the time to know your needs of the vehicle.

thats what i think a good mech should be!!!!

Well thats my 2 cents worth!!!

sorry nowimnumderone if i cut your grass if your round central coast, newcastle way!!!!
AnswerID: 294157

Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:30

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 22:30
I want:

Someone who wants to build a reputable business with RETURN customers

To do that all I want from my mechanic is

1/ Know your product.
2/ Give your customer some of your time to listen to the customers concerns
3/ Quote on work to be done (when the obvious applies)
4/ provide feedback on work carried out so the customer understands what was done.

Sure price is important but more important to me is trust in knowing the things I can't see, have been done and done well.

I hate it when a mechanic or anyone for that matter says "this product XYZ is really popular' (usually a tyre shop)...so what...Popular why??? It's more likely a bulk special purchase price was achieved from a supplier and the shop is trying to flog the thing to all and sundry.

Customer service is everything whether it be a mechanic, shop assistant or someone at the end of a phone. We all know it and have been there done that.
AnswerID: 294160

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:02

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 23:02
A really good mechanic we used to have (that is did a good job and took pride in his work) would put the vehicle's nick name on the bill - a bit like a pet vet. Personal touch. He left and his replacement was a bit iffy and didn't stay long. We have some good mechanics in town now.

One of the best ones, prior to us taking any of our vehicles to him, was the only authorised gas vehicle mechanic in town. A couple of years ago, when son and d.i.l. had a baby, they got a wagon which was gas only. With new baby, they set out to go to Bunbury shopping, and the car stopped. Son called me from someone's phone along the way (like they do when something goes wrong). He didn't know enough about gas cars to let me know what might be wrong. I said i knew of a gas mechanic; give me 10 minutes and call me back. The mechanic, who didn't even know who i was, diagnosed the problem from my un-mechanical description, told me what son should do. This was enough to get them going for the day, coming to this mechanic to replace the faulty part in due course. He got their business and ours after that.

In a small town, do one bad job and everyone knows. Only the good ones stay for the long run.



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Reply By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 01:01

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 01:01
A down-to-earth nature that reflects honesty.

I take my car to a bloke that lets me watch what he does. He owns a 60 series and has worked on all manner of 4wd being in a rural town.

If it takes him longer to do a job than what the manual specifies, he doesn't charge you extra.

He owns his own business. I have taken my car to another 'reputable' mechanic in the area which is a big business catering for the area and find the labour rate outrageous. Sure, they have to cover their wages/overheads, but you are only getting the same job done. Perhaps if they give you a basic check of radiator level, oil, lights/indicators/windscreenwiper reservoir etc and fixed 2 minute jobs for free (like replacement globe)
AnswerID: 294170

Reply By: Member - Pixie - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 08:34

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 08:34
In addition to Footloose's comments

one that has patience with me and my questions and is willing to help me learn to do things myself (essentially losing some work from me in the process with oil/filter changes etc.). This to me displays more of his concern for me rather than the contents of my wallet

I also want someone that I feel I am not paying him (or his apprentice) to be learning something new. That the problem i bring to him he has seen 100 times before

someone who will tell me when something is not worth the money to have installed

i know a mechanic that loves pre-trip inspections because he can fit windscreen wipers for $5 and charge $15 - money for jam

labour rates is not a big deal for me. they have to be reasonable but i am prepared to pay a bit extra to have a mechanic that i like. most of the things i look for don't actually cost him anything more than a bit of extra time and if he bills me for that then i don't mind either
AnswerID: 294190

Reply By: cackles - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 09:59

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 09:59
My partner is a mechanic, did his time on landrovers.
His number one rule for working on a vehicle is that it has to be safe and reliable, work on it like it's your own car and your own family in it.
A good mechanic should also treat the ladies with respect.
The amount of times other mechanics have tried to squeeze me because they think they can, "you're wrong luv, why don't you get your husband to give us a call" I reply "husband is a mechanic and here's his list" all of a sudden they can help me.

AnswerID: 294193

Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 12:51

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 12:51
goodday #1
straight out honesty to both male and female customers not trying to ripoff either because he thinks they dont know what the problem is
as an electrical tradesman i have found honesty pays off in the long run
we are currently residing in our van at the inlaws in Moe vic and i have started using a bloke i knew years ago but never used because i never had a diesel took my truck to him weeks ago he did exactly what i asked and came back with a report of some other bits it goes in tuesday for them because he didnt just do them with she,ll be right hang the expense they,ll just have to pay up .I was able to budget to get these bits done instead of struggling to pay up as some do

AnswerID: 294212

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 17:19

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 17:19
I am suprised no one else has suggested this,

"What's a good mechanic?"

Hard to find!!! That's what.

I say that but I moved 1200km and found one within walking distance of home.

He is a Subaru specialist but his attention to detail and willingness to listen mean he has picked up two cars for regular servicing, and a third is on the way. I was not sure about taking the Patrol to him but he drives a Hilux with chunky mud tyres on it and seems to love being out in the bush so he understands why I want it done right.

Oh! He is on Forest Rd at Lugarno in Sydney in case you were wondering.

AnswerID: 294245

Reply By: Member - Yikes... (WA) - Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 00:25

Friday, Mar 28, 2008 at 00:25
well.. prob not this one !

Booked the Troopie in for a major prior to the circle trip next week. Called him up - great chap, helpfull "bring it straight down"and I will get it done tomorrow at a good price.

WOW - no notice, get the bugger done - of I trot... got a winner here I strut...

Get down there the next day: "can I have it for 2 days if I need it - a couple jobs came in" Well being not that fussed about a overnight stay for the troop's, I said that if he really needed more time than today to take it and not rush on the car...

Well.. 2 days later.. call up and ask when will it be ready... "not today - call me at 930 in the morning tomorrow and I will have a definitve time for you. Total service time required.. 3 days.


So I asked if he had found any issues with the car so far ... Nope.. ok thats not the reason.. SO i ask, Have you even started on my car yet, "oh worked on it most of yesterday and all of today" he says...
- in no uncertain terms I told him that 3 days for a service is pushing his luck.. Was I unreasonable?

Funny thing is - if he told me up front that he needed it for 3 days as he was flat out - I wouldnt have minded, but I sure do now.

Of course - Maybe my lack of mechanical skill misdirects me, MAYBE 3 days for a major service even if the injectors or brakes or anything else dont need overhauling is about right... Hate to see what the case would be if I did a head...

AnswerID: 295152

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