When it comes time to service your car, you need to find a good mechanic. Whether it’s regular maintenance, like an oil change, or a funny bump-squeak-rattle you need to have diagnosed, a trusted mechanic is key.
Here are some of the key qualities to look for in a mechanic. And don’t forget: You can always trust your local NAPA AutoCare for service on your car at their nationwide locations.
A good mechanic needs the skill to diagnose a problem when you bring in your car. You may have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong so you can point them in the right direction, but maybe you have no idea at all. Your mechanic should be able to listen to your description of the problem, know which questions to ask to narrow down the possible causes and then be able to look at your car and figure out what’s wrong in a timely manner.
This goes together with diagnostic skills. Sometimes a problem looks like one thing but turns out to be something different. Other times, the challenge is figuring out exactly how to perform a tricky repair. Either way, your mechanic needs to have the problem-solving skills to repair whatever is wrong with your car.
Cars are complicated. There are mechanical parts and an increasingly large number of electronic components that all work together. A good mechanic needs a solid grasp of both areas. It’s especially crucial that today’s mechanics understand how to repair the parts that make up your engine as well as understanding how to service the software and computerized systems that often regulate how those parts work.
It’s important for a doctor and equally important for a mechanic to have a reassuring bedside manner. A good mechanic will communicate the problem in language you can understand, put you at ease and be someone you can trust. If you’re confused, they should be able to provide additional information to help you puzzle out the problem.
Your mechanic also needs to clearly communicate the estimated costs of a project, exactly what kinds of options you have and how long it will take to complete the repairs. Being able to converse with customers is likely one of the most important skills for any mechanic.
Check out all the repair and maintenance products available at NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about finding a good mechanic, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.