Nuts and Bolts #2


Now that you’ve passed the first test and not told your mechanic that you know nothing about your car, you’re ready to move on to what exactly to say when you drop off your car.

A mechanic’s absolute favorite customer is the one who drops it off and says “oh it’s making a funny noise, I have no idea where it’s coming from and I desperately need it by the end of the day”. Now some of you are thinking, “Oh please who could say something so ridiculous?” and some of you are now hiding under the sofa in embarrassment. Don’t worry, your embarrassing days are over from here on out, so come on up off that dirty floor (if you’re anything like me you haven’t actually vacuumed under there in a while).

First off, let’s say that you are bringing your car in for something particular (I’ll get into details in the future), but for now, just try to be specific. If it’s because you heard a noise, try to track down where it’s coming from, even if you have to enlist some help so that you sound informed, i.e. someone drives back and forth while you listen.

So say something like, “I hear a noise coming out of the right front wheel”.  They’ll say something like, “ok, we’ll check it out and let you know” and here’s the most important thing that you can say at that point. “PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU CALL ME AND LET ME KNOW WHAT IT IS BEFORE YOU DO ANY WORK”.  A follow-up of ” I’M ON A TIGHT BUDGET” if you can manage it, is really great, but I know some of you can’t utter something like that, so suit yourself.

That simple easy sentence will change your relationship with your mechanic for the good.

Go ahead, try it.


About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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