How Do You Go with Trusting Mechanics?

So sent my car for minor fixes, gasket head leaking and advised if its cheap fix the brake lights too one wasn't working.

Got quote for $380. $300 for gasket and $80 for brake lights, as they were apparently socket fix?

Well could've been a fuse or just light itself.
How do u trust your mechanics?

Comments

  • +1 vote

    How do u trust your mechanics?

    Not possible.

    • +5 votes

      That's not true! If they're a family member you could probably, maybe, possibly, trust them a little….

      In all seriousness though, I trust my mechanic - but really because he's done work for me and for my family for going on about 20 years now. Save for that kind of relationship…

      • +2 votes

        I don’t want their trust… I just want their money :D

        muahahaha…

      •  

        A good mechanic will survive as you stated you keep going back and recommend them to family & friends.

        A bad mechanic will not survive or at least not for long as you won't recommend your friends or family to go there.

        Goes with any business.

  • +3 votes

    I don't trust any mechanics, mainly because I don't know a thing about cars and they always call me wanting to charge me more to clean the fuel injectors - I always say no because I am pretty sure its a scam. From the quick Google I did $300 to fix a leaking head gasket seems reasonable.

  • +1 vote

    I used to have one I trusted implicitly until there was a lot of stuff to do on the car. That wasn't a problem because it was about the age where those things needed to be done but when I got the itemised bill and it included $28 for a standard after-market brake bulb for a Honda Jazz, not including labour, that was the end for me.

    • +2 votes

      yep. there is always one "wtf" thing on the quote that makes u question everything else on it and everything else they have ever done.

  •  

    Head gasket at 300 is not expensive… Light at 80, if it's just the globe yes expensive, if it's the full housing, that is cheap.

    •  

      Eh, $80 for the part (socket + bulb?) and labour isn't too bad, depending on the make and model.

      • +1 vote

        Depending on the work required it might be reasonable.

        On my brothers old Tarago he asked me to change a headlight, that's easy I thought, I can change my commodore bulbs in like 2 minutes. Hell no, I had to remove the front bar, and then the headlight assembly just to get to the back of the headlight. Never did that again.

        $300 for a headgasket sounds cheap, again depending on the car. Assuming they are fixing it properly. Usually involves removal of the heads, which can include removing the whole intake manifold, rockers and rods if older, cam if newer, removing the head, getting it shaved, cost of new gaskets and new bolts, and then installation.

        •  

          Theres actually a trick to change the Tarago headlight globe, you access it via the wheel arch where there is a plastic cover that can be removed. Not easy but def saves removing the whole front bar and headlight. Next time perhaps ;)

          •  

            @ArabMoneeey: Son of a……

            Well he doesn't have that car any more, so not a problem. They were a stupid angled small bonnet with very little hand room.

            Now we have a Landcruiser and an Elantra in the garage, both very easy. Especially since the Landcruiser is LED headlights.

    • +1 vote

      maybe it's audi led brake light

  •  

    $300 is fix a gasket is normal.

  • +1 vote

    I trust mine. First time I took my previous car to them they said an exhaust connection was rusted out(car was sounding loud-ish) Only charged for the part and not the labour as they already had the car up and it was a straight forward job.

    Been going there for 9 years now.

    Toys muffler&mechanical Redcliffe Qld

    •  

      This is near me! I might have to give them a shout. Have you had a positive experience for all of your 9 years there?

      •  

        Yes, positive experience , would not publicly recommend them if they were not good.

      • +1 vote

        I've used them before. Rob or his mum will set you straight.

    •  

      is it the same guy that does your car or they palm off to apprentice

      •  

        they have the same 3 or 4 guys about 30+ years old working there. i can't see who is actually working on it. or whether they have an apprentice.

  • +1 vote

    Well could've been a fuse or just light itself.

    You can easily check the fuse or choose to pay $80 for a mechanic to do it.

  •  

    Gasket sounds reasonable; you said the light socket will be fixed - seems about right for a replacement socket + labour.

  •  

    I still trust my mechanic, even after the time my wheel nearly fell off because the nuts weren't done up.

    • +3 votes

      Would you be interested on high yield investment vehicle with 300% return?

      Regards,
      Nigerian Prince.

  • +1 vote

    I think $300 is suspiciously cheap for a head gasket repair.

    •  

      Very cheap to do it properly. Unless we are talking an old 202 or something, I fail to see how a mechanic is removing the intake, removing rods+rockers+lifters/or a overhead cam, unbolting the head, shaving the head flat, installing a new quality head gasket, installing new TTY bolts, re-installing all the parts, and doing this for $300.

  • +1 vote

    Lol you didn't have the head gasket replaced for $300. It was the rocker cover gasket. Pretty hard to know if the brake light is too high or not, what car? Was the holder melted/corroded?

    •  

      That sounds much more plausible.

      Of course depending on the engine even that could be either too expensive or too cheap. I replaced the ones in my VY commodore in approximately 15 minutes.

  •  

    I highly doubt he done the head gasket for that price. That job would have left you crying its a major job lol.

    Most likely the brake issue was the switch that needed to be changed so its a bit harder.

  •  

    Yep, trust my mechanic, mainly cause he’s always turning down work when I come to him complaining about noises, or for instance when a dealer wanted to change the shockers and he could have gone yep they need to be done and got the work but he just shrugged his shoulders and told me not to worry about it. He’s a good mechanic and we’ve used him for about 10 plus years and he does a good job.

    Unfortunately I’ve found a lot of bigger companies it’s easy to just become a number when it comes to a service situation.

  •  

    Same with how you trust your doctor…..you don't make a commitment and google afterwards.

    •  

      And patients often don't know what they're googling, do not remember the discussion with the doctor nor understand the question they've asked, nor the answer they've found.

  •  

    I don't trust my local motorcycle mechanic. When my scooter had a major problem I left it with them and they said they'd look at it and see if it could be fixed, after initially saying it was unfixable. I had to call them repeatedly to get any info (every week or so) in which they would give no info (main guy away - haven't got around to it yet - want to ask opinion from someone who isn't here - etc) and they only got back to me after I went in to take photos for someone who wanted to buy it for parts - they obviously thought I would eventually forget about it and they'd get to keep it for free!!!! After I had gone in they said they could do a temporary fix for $X (hundreds) and they would have to wait for a part to come in to fix it properly for $Y (1-2 K) and they would deduct $X from $Y for the final repair cost. Seemed reasonable, so I agreed to that, then a few weeks after that I called to see if the part had come in, it hadn't, that repeated itself multiple times over months until they said there was some kind of problem in the shipping. I asked for a tracking number so I could follow it up myself since these guys were incapable. One guy said they wouldn't give it to me and another said there was no tracking number (!) obvious lie. It has been going on that "temporary" fix for about two years now.*

    • Disclaimer: I hardly ride it, my bike was out of action for so long I went from not knowing how to turn on a car to getting my P plates as I had to be able to get around. And this is from someone who was scared of driving so that gives you an idea of how long they dragged the whole nightmare out for

    If anyone lives in Canberra and wants to know which 2 places I recommend and the name of this place to avoid at all costs just send me a message

  •  

    I absolutely trust mine.

    I drive a Subaru and initially always had it serviced by a Subaru dealer. After being horrified by the cost of some upcoming services I asked around and these guys were recommended to me by a friend that knew them well.

    I must say, I wasn't too impressed initially, the first service seemed a bit slap dash but they knew their stuff so I went back. They are Subaru specialists and they are known in the motorsport community as they involved in rallying. Since then, they have always, always impressed me. They make the effort to know me personally and never have to look me up when I call. They are always happy to do little bits and bobs for me as I'm not mechanically minded at all. They will change the wipers and headlight bulbs with a smile.

    They know me and my vehicle well and given I do a very low number of kms, they service my car reasonably, finding the balance between over servicing and saving pennies at the expense of pounds.

    I'm so happy with them, it is likely they will be the deciding factor in keeping me with Subaru for my next car.

    If they were going to rip me off, they would have done it many years ago. I don't intend to keep my car once it reaches a problematic age, but they tell me with my low kms, I'm a while off that yet.

    I would recommend them to anyone.

  • +2 votes

    I think the worst place for dodgy mechanical repairs are dealerships (Stealerships). It seems to almost be a cultural thing to charge customers for work not done etc . I have had a couple of different Toyota dealerships charge me for work not done over the years and in a couple of cases this has lead to significant repairs being required later on ..

  • +1 vote

    Coming from someone who's been in the Automotive Industry for 35 years, NEVER ever trust a Mechanic! I know several, would never let them near anything I own,except maybe for a 'second' opinion(ie: I suspect bushes in the front end need replacing, etc)

  •  

    Kind of over mine. Last service, after driving for a bit the car started shaking and not idling properly. I suspect they didn't put the spark plugs back or did some damage checking them. Had to get it towed..

    They then replaced the spark plug cables that were 6 months old and all the plugs.

    And once had $15 charge to clean engine bay where I split some oil

  • +1 vote

    It sounds like you don't trust the mechanic as you are already questioning their quotes, so why not attempt to repair it yourself?

  •  

    I travel 30kms to get my servicing done by a mechanic who works on his own, its not uncommon to wait 4 weeks for a service but he is anal about everything he touches.
    in saying that i have never asked for a quote off him for anything and in most cases i know what extras need to be done before i book it in.
    even when i have the new car warranty to fall back on i pay my mechanic to rectify warrnty issues unless its going to be expensive.
    if it goes to the stealership for warranty where the apprentice wants to flog my car down to maccas for an ice cream, i specify no test drive.
    he was a referral from a friend 20+ years ago and i have never looked back. I am the other side of 50 and until i came across this guy it was always a case of "no faith"

    you just need to find the right guy, there are good people in all areas/trades you just have to sift thru the other 95% of thieving sh!t to get to the right guy.

  • +3 votes

    I love how everyone is an automotive expert, yet still seem to take their cars to a mechanic. I'm lost for words.

    Head gasket for $300. Yeah nah. I don’t even think on most modern cars I would even pull the head off for $300, let alone machine it, supply new gaskets and reassemble it for $300.

    As for your tail light, if it was your expert opinion that the globe, fuse or relay was shot, why didn’t you just fix it yourself? Seeing as you're the expert.

    The only mechanics I don’t trust are the ones at car stealerships. And a lot of the time, it isn’t their fault. They are mostly young, inexperienced kids just doing what they are told. It's the service advisors and service managers I don’t trust. They are the salesman of the department. They are the ones pulling the $200 blinker fluid bullshit over you, not the guy in the workshop. He just does what he is told and reports things that could be an issue, the upselling goes on way above his pay grade.

    Find a local, older mechanic that works for himself (or with only one other guy there) that usually has a wait list to get in. These are the guys I trust. They know their stuff and come from an era where quality counted over quantity. Having just finished a TAFE apprenticeship, I got to see first hand what the quality of the current batch of tradesmen/women are like.

    • +1 vote

      Not sure why down voted. I agree.

      In my experience, most people don’t want to rip you off if you treat them right. Sure, there are some dodgy people out there trying to get maximum dollar for minimum effort, but most want their reputation to keep business coming in. Repeat business and recommendations by friends is where you make decent money, ripping off customers just causes dramas.

      I prefer to know what is required if my vehicle (which requires my research), ask for a rough price up front, get it done and pay. Sure, I’ve been upsold, but I don’t pick up some things that are wrong with the car because I don’t inspect every little thing and the mechanic finds them while working on other stuff. On the flip side I’ve had little things done as extras for no charge, like globes and fuses because it costs next to nothing and creates good customer service.

      • +2 votes

        exactly. Most mechanics are not out to rip you off. They have to compete with other mechanics and stealerships in the area. Stealerships are the real theives. If anything, they are the ones out to stitch people up. They have huge overheads and they know that once a person buys a car, they are usually trapped into servicing to maintain their warranty. They will try everything in the book to get you to commit to spending more money. I know this because i was part of it. Morally i couldn’t do it any more, so I got out.

        I have found that the biggest problem is the "know it all know nothing" types that go and ask a mate who has a mate who knows a guy from school whos dad was a mechanic and get some half baked bullshit sold to them how they could have done it for a slab of beer and only take 20 mins, when it is in fact a major job. Or the drongo that brings in the wrong part in they bought off gumtree or ebay and get all butt hurt when you tell them it's the wrong part.

        I think another issue is that people in general dont know enough about cars and automatically assume that they are easy to work on, while some aspects are, some are not. I also think that the general public's lack of real knowledge on how to understand vehicles and having to place that trust in someone else breeds distrust. People want to think they are smarter than a mechanic when it comes to cars, and the realisation that they are not breeds fear of being sold a line of bullshit.

        But, with any profession, from garbage pickup to surgeon, there are always going to be people who are crap at their job and give you a poor result. Mechanics are no exception. There are good ones and there are bad ones. But like always, it's a case of not distrusting all of them because one was bad at their job.

        My tips are always, avoid stealerships. They employ the cheapest workers they can find, usually 4th year or guys just out of their apprenticeships. They have high turn over, so no one really gets a lot of exposure or experience. The wheeling and dealing is done by seasoned sales people, not the mechanics, dont get the two confused.

        As for the negs, I don’t care about fake internet points. I have a fan club of butt hurt morons that follow me around and anonymously neg every comment I make because they are still crying over being caught out bullshitting 20 threads ago.

        •  

          I have a fan club of butt hurt morons that follow me around and anonymously neg every comment I make because they are still crying over being caught out bullshitting 20 threads ago.

          How do you know this?!

          • +1 vote

            @John Kimble: Because it usually happens on benign comments, like "thanks OP". And the relentless negging usually lasts between 4 and 10 days after I have proven some bell-end wrong and then they randomly come to the surface and I get negged out of the blue again on a benign comment.

            They repeat on me like a bad case of herpes. Just when i think they have calmed down, random negs appear.

            I have found that this occurs every time I prove some dimwit wrong in open channel. People don’t like being proven wrong or have their beliefs/ideals challenged in an open public forum, so they think the best way to hurt me is to post little imaginary negative points on my random comments.

            It's a cycle I can almost set a watch by, it's that predictable.