Chaya changing an air filter on a car

Mechanic Shop Etiquette

Building a relationship with one mechanic is probably the best way you can properly maintain your car and save money in the long run. Often people say, “how to I find a good mechanic” or “I have always felt badly in the shop.”

The first step towards building that relationship is understanding the basics of mechanic shop etiquette.

This post is dedicated to just that. You can’t change other people behaviour, but you can change yours. These steps will encourage incredible service and in a timely manner if you follow these steps.

post it notes that say good and morning

Say good morning, good afternoon or hello

This should be a no-brainer, but a lot of people come into a shop frustrated or upset because their car is not working properly. Remember the people assisting you are human too. A kind word and a friendly good morning will go a long way to getting you great service.

Take a few minutes

and explain exactly what the problem you’re having with your car is. When is it happening? What is it sound like or what is it doing? Are there any lights on on your dashboard? When did it start? Going through these questions will help the mechanic be able to look in the proper area, and we’ll give them ideas of what could possibly be wrong. If you leave out information it will make it harder to properly diagnose or diagnosed at all.

Chaya pouring engine oil into a funnel

Don’t come in the shop and tell the mechanic what the repair should be

The reason you brought your car to the mechanic is because you can’t fix it yourself. Usually this also means you can’t diagnose it yourself. Giving us the symptoms instead of the solution will make for a happier service adviser or mechanic.

taxi sign lite up

Unless you’re getting a simple maintenance service, don’t wait around in the shop

Waiting around and stressing about when your car will be done will stress your mechanic out. You want your mechanic to be as relaxed as possible to get the work done properly. Good work sometimes takes time. Waiting around and stressing about when your car will be done will stress your mechanic out. You want your mechanic to be as relaxed as

antique soda machine

Offer to bring your mechanic a soda or coffee

Courtesy gets you a long way. The shop get hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Coffee will give your mechanic a much needed warm up. Soda will work the same way in the summer. This isn’t a requirement, and doesn’t have to be done every time but building a good relationship with your mechanic takes a give and take.

Don’t agree to a service and then change your mind

Make sure all your questions are answered prior to authorize repairs. If I take your car apart and then you decide you don’t want it fixed,  you will still be charged for the labor.

tip jar

Tipping your mechanic is crucial!

Unless your mechanic owns his own shop, tipping is appreciated. This is even more important when the mechanic goes out of his way to help you. Also, did your service writer go out of their way to help you? Did they explain something to you in a way no one else did? Giving them a couple dollars or a coffee will guarantee you amazing service in the future. This isn’t like tipping at a restaurant, you don’t need to give 20% but something is going to help you in the long run.

piggy bank and calculator, budgeting

Check your budget first

Make sure you actually have the money for a repair before you agree to it. There have been so many times when a customer agreed to a repair, only to tell me when the car was finished that they actually have $100 less. In a lot of States a mechanic can put a lien on your car if you do not pay the bill. Most of the time we will try to work with you, but if you say something about the cost prior to the work being done you have a lot more leverage. Same goes with discounts.

coupon on phone

Present all coupons at time of write-up

I know this might sound obvious, it doesn’t happen so often! It makes your advisors job more complicated. If you are making decision over the phone, mention it to your service advisor. If you’re in person, present them then. Simple yet incredibly helpful.

woman with a bag over her head

Just don’t be a jerk

If you have a disagreement, just like in any other industry speak in a regular voice, explain what your problem is and most of the time you will get your way. The automotive repair industry is a service industry. “The customer is right” is the standard. But let me tell you even if you are right and you are screaming or cursing or being bluntly disrespectful you will not get what you want.

name tags

Learn your mechanic’s and service manager’s names

Don’t call your female mechanics or service writers: honey, baby, sweetie, cupcake or anything else cute or sexualized. I can probably count on one hand the amount of people that called me by my name regularly in any given week.

Woman in the automotive industry are not there for your pleasure or entertainment

If you are interested in dating anybody, regardless of gender, wait until your service has been completed. ASK if leaving your number is ok!!!!

woman technician inspecting the underside of a car

Mistakes happen

If you remain calm and respectful, any decent shop will make sure they will be corrected. Give us a chance.

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