5 Things You Should Never Say To a Mechanic
Posted October 10, 2014 by Ken Kupchik
We already covered 5 Things Your Mechanic Won't Say To Your Face, so now it's time to flip it around a bit. We've come up with a list of 5 things you should never say to your mechanic. Of course, you can say whatever you want, but this list is a good road map for better interactions with the people working hard to keep your car on the road.
1) "I went to college so I didn't have to be a mechanic"- Trying to denigrate someone's chosen profession is never a good thing to do, especially if you're expecting someone to do a good job working on your car. Mechanics need plenty of education to do their job, between trade school, certifications, and the most important education of all; real-world experience. Just because your mechanic didn't sit through 10 lectures on the causes of the French Revolution, doesn't mean you shouldn't respect their knowledge. By the way, if you are the kind of person who does say things like that, you're just a jerk.
2) "But my cousin told me the problem was this, not what you're telling me" - Well then you should have your cousin work on your car, since apparently he is the expert. There is a small chance that someone else who you told about your car problem diagnosed it correctly, while the mechanic who you took your car to, inspected the car and performed a diagnosis is wrong, but the that chance is very remote. Unless your relative or friend physically inspected the car and diagnosed the issue, and didn't just tell you the first thing that popped into his head, keep this one to yourself.
3) "I don't trust you" - Believe it or not, most mechanics are overly sensitive about their trustworthiness. It's a small segment of the business that has given the rest of the industry a bad reputation. I once asked a mechanic for a copy of the records of work done along with the credit card receipt after it was printed, despite them having to do more work to the car. He handed me the paperwork and said "You really don't trust us that much, huh?" My requesting the paperwork had nothing to do with trusting him, and everything to do with trusting my credit card company, but it shows what they have to deal with on a daily basis from suspicious customers. Another time a friend of mine lost his GPS console after having the car inspected at a local gas station. He went back and accused the owner of stealing right to his face, and got in a heated shouting match. Six months later he found the GPS, in a small storage compartment under his car radio, where he had hidden it himself before dropping the car off to get worked on.
4) "Can you come down on the price?" Would you ask your doctor to come down on the price of a knee replacement? Well, you might ask but the result won't be favorable. Some people are hagglers, it's true. But remember, your mechanic needs to make a living and there aren't many shop owners driving around in a Bentley and flying in private jets. A mechanic is a blue-collar job with blue-collar wages, so trying to negotiate the price of an oil change isn't really fair to the guy just trying to make an honest living. This is something that people do try from time to time, but remember that labor and parts aren't the same as buying a used car.
5) "I can get a better deal somewhere else" - While this might be true, there's no point in saying it to a mechanic. If you don't believe that someone is offering you a fair price, you should absolutely take your business somewhere else, BUT there is no reason to approach the situation from a point of negativity. This happens constantly with something as sensitive as money and car issues, coupled with stressed out customers and mechanics, things can turn ugly quickly. You need to do what's right for you, so if it's going up the street to someone who might save you a few bucks, that's what you should do. But there's no reason to throw it in someone's face, especially if it's probably an overworked mechanic, or a service adviser who is just doing their job.
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