Do you have a mechanic you trust?

I had a good relationship with a mechanic whose shop is a 10-minute walk from my front door. I initially went there for convenience more than 15 years ago, and came to trust him completely with all things automotive (there have been instances where an issue was a quick fix and he didn’t charge me anything).

So when my vehicle died on the road a few months back, I had it towed there only to learn that my man (who was the owner) had retired and sold the shop. The day my car crapped out was literally the new owner’s First Day of ownership.

Long story short, he fixed the problem but I don’t feel good about it. I was caught betwixt a rock and a hard place, and the bill seemed way too steep to me. And I did not receive a satisfying response with regard to the cost.

Anyway, I think I found a new shop. My other vehicle had a loud rattling noise from the exhaust. I found a place with excellent Yelp reviews and brought it there. I braced myself for needing an entire exhaust system, but the mechanic called me this morning (they are open 7 days a week, woot!) and said it was only an exhaust pipe hanger that I needed. Cost: 30 clams.

How about you. Do you have a guy?
(and as I typed that last sentence I got a Déjà Vu vibe. Maybe I’ve posted this before. Oh well.)

I do have, thank goodness. I bought my propane powered van in 1999 and he was the only propane certified mechanic around so it was Hobson’s Choice at that point. Turns out he’s an incredibly good mechanic and is fair and reasonable to work with–I mean, he and his brother came down to Portland from over the river to help me out with a catastrophic hose leak on Christmas Day and didn’t even charge me for it, that’s how awesome he is. He just didn’t want me to accidentally turn myself into air pollution or be stuck away from home for days. He mostly just does conversions now, he’s the authorized dealer/installer for every propane, CNG and dual fuel conversion kit on the market and he’s making good money at it but I’m one of the few old school customers he’ll still take on, even for my gas powered vehicles. Love that guy.

I do have a place I can trust.

When my father was killed I lost him not just as the best dad but as my mechanic for most things. Anything too big he knew who to go to.

My dad’s best friend recommended a shop after Dad was gone. They have always treated me, the mechanical doofus, with respect. My car gets seen to promptly and the fees are fair.

I sure do. A few of them–all old guys who have been in the same place for decades. They always treat me well and give me straight answers. If something isn’t that important, they will tell me. I currently have a very tiny air leak that causes the check engine light to come on every week or so–one of the guys assured me it’s not harming my car and told me to drop by once a week for for him to check and reset it.

Whenever a friend is looking for a mechanic, especially women, I take them to the shop and introduce them to one of the trusted mechanics and say “Hey Joe, I’d like you to meet my friend Jane…she’s having trouble with X Y and Z…could you take care of her?” and they do.

Yes. The only issue is that he has a full time job and does this at his house–so there can be a significant delay before he fixes it. But since I have two vehicles this is not a problem for me. Since I have old vehicles I don’t need the high-tech equipment of modern repair shops.

I used to.

A guy that was the father of a friend of one my kids had a small shop. He just liked working on cars.

I could go over, explain what I needed, and he’d call me when he had a block of time free. Really good rates that way.

But you can’t keep a shop like that open.

Why, yes, yes I do. Mr.Wrekker is quite the mechanic. He’s a retired engineer, but his first love is auto mechanics. Loves his motors. He can generally fix or at least diagnose anything.

Would he do work on weekends for your fellow Dopesters?

Kidding… got a great car guy (shout out to Omer!). We were lucky to buy our first little house in a cute little neighborhood with a quaint little tavern and a smelly little bakery across from a greasy little gas station on the corner.

If you want something fixed right, they can do it. If you’d rather pay half that much, and not wait for parts, Omer can bend a pipe cleaner just so…

It’s revived my hopes of owning a quirky old car like a Citroën 2CV or a BMW Isetta, because Omer could keep it running for me.

Yes. I think he’s good, AND he’s local to me (bonus!) so I can walk up there to pick up my car when it’s been serviced. For a while, I was getting the mobile mechanic to my house (the fuel pump in my previous car had died, so it was either tow it somewhere, or fix it here). The young bloke who came was very good, but he got promoted and I got a guy try to rip me off to the tune of thousands of dollars. I’d already looked up what might have caused the problem, so I didn’t fall for it. Took it up to the local guy and he charged me $20 for a quick “fiddle”. If he tells me something needs replacing, I believe him and just tell him to do it. And I trust that he actually does it.

I used to have an older guy who retired and was replaced by more expensive/no good, same as OP. It surprises me that business owners who buy a business don’t appreciate why a business is successful and just think that the customers will just “be there” always. They can disappear in an instant.

Sure do. I met him on craigslist where he was advertising his mechanic services.

I google my car when something goes wrong, buy the parts and he installs them. He works pretty affordably too. The total cost of fixing my car is about 1/4 what I’d pay in a shop for the same services.

I try to tip him when I can.

I’ve been thru a lot of mechanics in my time, usually for the reason cited in the OP: the owner retires/sells the shop and I don’t entirely like/trust the new owner(s).

Once I had that happen, but the owner sold the place to his top mechanic, so I figured everything was great. Then about a year later, that guy went crazy, committed himself to a facility and his family sold the shop.

That sukt.

Anyway, I always find a mechanic I can trust. The folks I’ve been going to for the past 5 years have been great and they know they’ll see me a couple of times a year for maintenance. They do good work, their rates are reasonable, they’re generally pleasant AND they get the work done when they say they will.

You nailed it, blob.

I even made a point of saying to the new mechanic, “I’ve been coming her for many years because I trust the previous guy. I’ll be happy to keep coming here many years in the future as long as I feel I’m being treated well”.

Long story short, I won’t be back.

When we moved to this area 14 years ago, I mostly used the quick lube places or the dealer, since it was easy. Then I had an issue come up with my van that the dealer said would take 2 days and cost some crazy amount.

Just for the heck of it, I took it to a little place that I’d seen advertised on TV - they were able to fix it the next day for less than the dealer had quoted. We’ve been going to them ever since and as long as Paul is running the place, we’ll continue to go.

Their prices are reasonable and they’re trustworthy - I learned that when I dropped of my (by then) much older, high-mileage van and said “Check it over and tell me what it needs” and the answer was “Oil change - everything looks good.” Said van had 235K miles on it when I sold it, and this week, I’ll be taking in my Sonata for its 150K mile service. I love my car guys.

I have a terrific mechanic shop for anything related to the underside of a car. It’s a small shop with four bays. They fixed a front end problem with drift on my RV that had been plaguing me for several years. Nobody else, including Ford, could seem to figure it out. This guy nailed it in about 20 minutes and charged me what I considered to be a ridiculously low price. He also fixed a brake rotor problem on the same vehicle for about $80.

We had “a guy” we trusted. He died, his sixty-something year old son inherited the business but after a few years he is hanging it up.

No idea who we will use now. I’ve been asking friends, but nobody I’ve asked is as happy with their guy as we were with ours.

Yea, me. :smiley:

I own five, old vehicles and do almost all my own repairs. The only thing I don’t do is major engine and transmission work. It’s saved me a boatload of money over the years.

My old Crown Vic had been making an annoying rattling noise for months. Of course the day I took it in to a well-reviewed shop nearby, it stopped doing it. They kept it for three days, taking it apart looking for the problem. When I called to check up on their progress the 3rd day, they rattled off a very long list of stuff that was wrong with it (and I had every reason to believe them), and told me that “frankly, if it were mine I’d get it to a dealership ASAP and trade it in while it’s still actually running.” That made sense to me, so I asked them to put it back together so I could do just that. When I asked what I owed them, their reply was, “We didn’t actually fix anything, so you don’t owe us anything.” I offered to pay something for their considerable time and effort, but they insisted I just come back when I had something for them to actually repair.

They have a customer for life (or as long as I live in the DC metro area, at least).


I do. I married him.

My husband works at a small shop that restores Corvettes. He is the main heavy mechanical guy. He works on engines, electrical systems, transmissions, what have you. He doesn’t do body work or paint but he could. He takes care of all things related to the vehicles.

The biggest downside is that his shop is so busy (humble-brag) that he can’t work on our cars during the week. This means I had to pay someone to change the oil in my car the last two times.

I do not. I’ve been ripped off or cheated ever time (but one) that I have ever tried to get someone to work on anything.

Same boat. I could do minor stuff, small engine rebuild and stuff, so after being cheated for the millionth time, I just decided to jump in and try it myself. I figured the worst that would happen is I couldn’t do it, and the car was broke before I started. :smiley:

I’ve had many successes and a couple epic failures (in the middle of a couple of those right now :frowning: ), but at least I’m not getting screwed over by some shit-hook. I’ve learned that BMWs are a joy to work on, and really well engineered. I’ve also learned I can’t rebuild whole engines or rely on promised help. :rolleyes: I won’t attempt anything transmission-related. When they go, I’m screwed.

I really wish I could find an honest, dependable and skilled mechanic. I’ve got a lot of money to put into some nice stuff. Instead, it just sits in my garage.

I recently bought a 2006 Corolla. The rear windows (electric) didn’t work. I looked at numerous youtube videos, but decided that it was more work that I wanted to perform. I wanted them to function because the dog likes to put his nose outside the window.

Took it to a mechanic. He said that it seemed they had never worked. Strange that the person who bought the car new never had it fixed. He sprayed some WD40 on the switch and walla they came to life!

When I asked him how much. He said, “Buy me a six pack”

Happiness is having a car and a good mechanic.