The Value and Joy of Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic

by Kevin on October 23, 2009

Last week I told you that knowing experts within your personal network should either save or make you money in the long run. It was a short story about a mechanically inclined friend and his advice that we needed to replace the timing belt on my wife’s car. He potentially saved us $2,500 and a whole lot of heart ache.

The problem we then faced was this: we knew we needed to replace the timing belt, but didn’t have a mechanic that we trusted to do the job right and at a fair price.

The Value of a Trustworthy Mechanic

We do not lack for car shops around our home. We’ve got several big chains in our area. But we haven’t been able to really develop much of a relationship with any of the crews.

Additionally since they are tied to large megacorporations they are less about relationships and more about hitting their numbers for corporate.

On the other hand a local, independent shop has a reputation to protect. It is in their best interest to treat you fairly, to provide great service, and to do quality work.

In short a trustworthy independent shop won’t charge you $300 for a $5 fix. They can see past the short-term gain.

As with any small business your reputation is your business. The better you treat your customers the more likely they are to spread the word to their friends and family about your business.

Tapping Our Network for Recommendations

We went to Financial Peace University the same day the article on knowing experts went live on the site. I’ve mentioned in the past that we are helping facilitate a small group of FPU members at church. (It’s still going great.)

During our discussion talk of mechanics and home air conditioning problems surfaced. We couple was raving about two separate companies they had found that treated them right, showed up on time (for the HVAC problem), and charged a fair price.

We were thrilled and got the information for the independent car shop.

The Joy of Finding a Trustworthy Mechanic

We had our car in the shop the very next day. While waiting in the small lobby for someone to come out to check in the car I noticed their mission statement on the wall.

This is a paraphrase, but it said something like this:

[Company name] exists to provide quality car service to our customers. We believe in doing quality work at a fair price to the customer that provides a fair profit for the company.

It was much longer than that and ended with a verse from Proverbs, but I can’t recall it right now.

Needless to say it made us feel really good about where we were dropping our car off.

Recall that my mechanically inclined friend told me replacing the timing belt and water pump should cost somewhere in the $500 to $600 range.

The shop quoted me $580.

Other shops near us quoted me $720.

The bill came to $575.

Quality work. Fair price for the customer. And the company profited.

We won’t be taking our car anywhere else for significant work even though it is a 40 minute drive round trip. Now that’s car mechanic joy!

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