Never Say This to a Mechanic


rev up your engines
now I’ve been working on cars for over 51 years it’ll be 52 and
exactly a week from today so you can imagine I’ve heard a lot during those 51
years now here’s things that I heard from customers that it’s better not to
say such things to a mechanic no one should waste anyone’s time but you want
to spend a little bit of time explaining the whole problem and then the mechanic
explaining okay let me analyze this then I’ll tell you the steps I’m gonna do to
fix it now the last thing you want to say to a professional mechanic who’s
good at his job yes oh I’m in no hurry to get my car back
take your time never say that to a really good mechanic people used to say
that all the time to my grandfather was also a mechanic was that a mistake
because good mechanics guess what they have work all the time so if you say
you’re no hurry probably everybody else coming in says
can you fix it as fast you can’t I got to get it back on a road you don’t
want your car on the backburner I’ve seen cars that other mechanic garages
been there for months and I’m saying we’re just doing that clunker sitting
there sit out a guy said he wasn’t any big hurry so I’m in no big hurry fixing it
don’t ever say that to a mechanic if you want your car fixed in a reasonable
amount of time now number 2 on the list is do not lie to your mechanic because
you feel stupid because you did something that damaged your car I don’t
care what you did your car I just want to be able to analyze the problem and
fix it as quickly as possible so don’t have me going down rabbit holes in the
wrong direction looking for a problem then I can figure out right away if you
would have said oh you know I ran into a curb last night and all this problems
started after I ran into the curb now if you ever had anything like that happened
and you know tell the truth to your mechanic most mechanics these days
charge $100 plus an hour we’re working on your car you’re gonna be wasted a lot
of money and we don’t waste any of our time or your money trying to figure out
what’s wrong I’ve had many times customers tow cars over here
what happened to the car he said oh I don’t know it just stopped running while I
was driving realize there’s a zillion things
that can do that tell us I’ll say hey you know give me
the exact scenario then they broke down and admitted to me they overheated
it on a highway they only had a couple miles to go home so they kept driving
the car didn’t run anymore so I knew they probably blown the engine I checked
the engine shutting off the engine was blown they needed a new engine they
shouldn’t a waste of my time checking a million things when he could have just
told me what happened and I would have done one test on the engine that said
you wrecked your engine now what do you want to do because the really good
mechanic is busy all the time he doesn’t want to waste time on things that are
unnecessary so always tell the truth about your car so he can figure it out
as fast as he possibly can without having to be Sherlock Holmes and
starting to analyze in a million things to get down to the one thing it actually
is the problem now the next thing not to say to a mechanic is don’t tell them
mechanic that you know all about cars and that you just don’t have any time to
work on your own car so you’re bringing it to him when in fact you really know
much about cars all you’ve never worked on cars don’t do that because any good
mechanic is smart enough to know if somebody really knows about cars or not
it’s more of a humorous thing really but I had a customer and he says ah Scotty
a guy told me about you I fixed my own cars but out of time anymore cuz I’m
bartending all the time can you work on my car I said sure I worked his car and
since he was a bartender I went with the wife to the bar and he was making us these
French 75 howitzers and I said Bob why did you tell me that you worked on your
own car you have any time he said well Scott he says I was afraid you you’re a
ripoff mechanic and you were gonna rip me off
so I pretended that I worked on cars so you wouldn’t try ripping me off and I
just laughed and said Bob I know you didn’t know anything about cars it’s my
talking to you you know it doesn’t matter to me tell them the truth don’t
make up crazy stories because my mechanics can figure out pretty fast
what you know about cars and I leave it to the professional but give them all
the information that you possibly can about your problem but don’t throw any
lies in this isn’t a murder mystery where you’re the murder suspect you’re
trying to throw the detectives off your trail tell the truth about everything
that you know is wrong with your car cuz really you drive your car 99.9
percent of the time I spent a very little amount of time driving other
people’s cars unless it’s a really messed up problem but then I got a
hookup my fancy scan tool driving around hope that the problem reoccurs then he
analyzed the data you can cut through a lot of that crap if you pay close
attention to your car and then when you have a problem explain okay this only
happens when I’m going 55 this only happens when it’s raining or this only
happens first thing in the morning keep that information so you tell the
mechanic so he can get rid of all the ancillary information that he doesn’t
need and get down to the rabbit hole where the problem exists and perhaps one
of my all-time stupid things then I’m told time and time again is somebody
bringing a car and they’ll say oh well I’m only keeping this car for another
month or two so I don’t want to spend much money fixing it so you know I don’t
want to do anything that’s really expensive but in reality you plan on
driving the car for years more I’ve had a few customers mind you if they’re
obnoxious enough I’ll just stop working on their cars I’ve had a few over the
years that would do that and then you see them a year later two years or three
years later sometimes even five years later driving the same car that they
said they were only gonna drive another month or so because an honest mechanic
will tell you the truth about a car what you’re planning on using it for and what
you need to fix you get an old car like my old Celica it shakes at idle when
it’s in drive especially with the a/c on it’s always done that since I bought it
with two hundred thousand miles on it did I ever fix it no and the reason I
didn’t fix it is because they add new is flipping in a neutral with the a/c on or
off and it idles like a dream that tells me there’s either a weakness in the
torque converter inside the automatic transmission or the transmission itself
is a little bit more but it’s perfectly fine I don’t take it on trips to California
everything Texas to California it’s no big deal ten years later still runs
perfectly fine it just shakes too much when you put it in Drive a reverse only
one you’re idling then you put a neutral stop shaking run smooth as can be any
honest mechanic is gonna tell you what actually needs fixing and what doesn’t
need fixing every year this happens scores at times somebody comes in friend
told them about me and they got a laundry list like this of $3500
to work that the dealer told them they need to do on their car so as new
costumer I put on my fancy scan tool and check absolutely everything jack it up
check the suspension wheels brakes and a lot of times I tell these people you
know you really don’t feed you to anything to your car at all other than
change the oil in it now of course mechanic should say stupid things that
are customers of course they shouldn’t be dishonest and lying saying you need this
and that everything else you shouldn’t have a mechanic who’s always trying to
sell you things that you don’t necessarily need or that can go for
quite a long period before they need replace years ago I got one of these
Pico scopes it’s in this freeze-frame oscilloscope you hook it up to your
laptop and you can analyze electronics it’s a great device but some people take
them too far I checked the graph I had against good ones and bad ones and it
said oh that one’s on its way out it’s almost gone you need to replace the
electric fuel pump mind you the vehicle was running perfectly fine as it was I just
decided hey here’s some new technology I’ll try it out so I told the customer I
said you know your car’s running fine I did this test and it says your fuel
pump is on its way out if you want to do some proactive stuff you can change it
but since it’s running okay you know I mean can do whatever you want so when he
found the cost changing out the fuel pump he said I’ll wait till the stupid thing
breaks cuz he only used it as an In Town commuting car was an old beater
car and he had aaa towing so if it ever did break and cost him anything he
told over here not fix it but three years later he’s still driving the car
and the fuel pump was still humming along and it ran fine so sometimes you
could take this technology too far and start selling things to people that
really might last quite a bit longer before they’re gonna break down now you
know some dumb things not to say to a mechanic and how to successfully
interact with a mechanic so that you get your car fixed as soon as possible
without wasting his time or your money looking for a problem that can easily be
figured out if the truth is told in the first place
so if you never want to miss another one of my new car repair videos, remember to
ring that Bell

About the Author: Michael Flood

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