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Five Questions to Ask Your Mechanic

If you don’t know much about cars, choosing a mechanic can be a tricky business. It is important that you choose carefully, as you car is not only one of the most expensive items most people are ever likely to own, but also, if not maintained properly, one of the most dangerous. Get it right though and you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you have done everything possible to ensure that your car is in the best possible condition. Here are a few questions you can ask your mechanic or automobile repair company before deciding if you want them to service or repair your car.


Are you accredited?

A good mechanic will be an accredited member of the major motor industry associations. These associations vary from state to state. In New South Wales, The Motor Vehicle Repair Industry Authority (MVRIA) licenses motor vehicle repair businesses and is responsible for the certification of trades people that work in those businesses. In Victoria, the professional body is VACC; in Queensland it is the Motor Traders Association of Queensland (MTAQ). In South Australia you should look for accreditation with the MTASA and in Western Australia, the industry is regulated by the Motor Vehicle Industry Board. Don’t be afraid to ask to see certification. A good car repair company should be happy to prove their credentials.

Do you specialise in a particular type of car or work?

Some mechanics and car repair companies specialise in particular vehicles or types of work. This can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on what you are looking for. A specialist in Italian sports cars will be just the thing for a service of your vintage Alpha Romeo, but you might decide to go elsewhere to repair your Holden ute. It is not that specialists are either better or worse than generalists; you just need to decide which option is appropriate for you.

Will I get a written explanation of what was done to my car?

Mechanic’s invoices can be confusing affairs. You are entitled to expect any works that you pay for to be adequately explained to you in terms that someone without mechanical expertise can understand. Demand a fully itemised invoice with written explanation of all works carried out. A reputable car repair company should have no problem providing this.

Do I get a warranty?

Choosing a company that issues you a warranty for all parts and labour is a great way to ensure peace of mind. You know that the company has confidence in the products and services that they are offering, and in the unlikely event that they let you down, you can have the problem fixed free of charge.

What would do if it was your car?

It is easy to get confused if a mechanic is reeling off all sorts of options to you. They may just be trying to give you all the information available, but it if you do not know much about cars it can leave you none the wiser. It is often a good idea to turn the question round onto them. Ask them what they would do if it was their car. And when they tell you, ask them why. Turning the question round to the mechanic puts them on the spot and you are more likely to get a straightforward honest response.

2 comments

  1. Sarah Smith says:

    Thank you for explaining that all quality mechanics are going to be accredited members of the major motor industry associations, like the MVRIA, VACC, MTASA, and other associations. This will be really helpful in our search for a quality mechanic to look at my husband’s truck. After he came back from offroading with his pals, his steering seemed to be off.

    March 8th, 2019 at 10:29 am

  2. Dean Phillips says:

    I really like how you said that a good car repair company will be happy to show you their credentials. My brother recently bought a used car that he plans on giving to his daughter for her 16th birthday. It might be smart for him to take it into a mechanic to ensure that it runs properly.

    May 2nd, 2019 at 9:45 am

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