When your car experiences a problem that proves to be beyond your troubleshooting skills, the next best step is to go to a mechanic. Ignoring the problem or trying to fix it yourself without the right tools or skills can make it worse. But before you head on to the nearest auto mechanic, here are some things you need to do to make it easier for both you and the mechanic:
- Clean your car
It is a common courtesy to clean your car before you take it to the mechanic. Although it doesn’t have to be spotless, your car should not be dirty enough to get in the way of the mechanic’s job. And, of course, it’s quite embarrassing to show up to the repair shop with your car caked with mud and expect the mechanic to work under there.
Similarly, make sure that your car is free from clutter. Remove trash and items that can get in the mechanic’s way when they try to inspect the car’s interior. Doing this will also help get rid of unnecessary weight that can affect your car’s performance.
- List down your car’s problems
If your car is experiencing multiple issues at once, it’s best to list them down so that you don’t forget. Take note of the specific sounds, smells, or sensations that you’ve observed, including the frequency with which they occur. If your car stops working, note what happened before it did. The same goes for other occurrences, such as when your engine starts making noise or when your AC stops working entirely.
Your mechanic will appreciate you making clear and complete notes of what has happened to your car. This makes their job easier, which will, in turn, increase the quality of their work.
- Look up common terms
Familiarize yourself with common auto terms used to describe symptoms before going to the mechanic. In this way, it will be easier for you to understand what the mechanic is saying, and in turn, they can explain the issue a lot better to you. This is especially important if you know next to nothing about cars.
- Research repair details
It’s okay to ask the mechanic about details of the repairs, especially if you are not familiar with the process. However, avoid asking redundant questions or asking them to explain the process again and again. You have come to them because you trust their skill and competence. Asking them to explain over and over again is not only annoying but sometimes disrespectful.
Do your own research before going to the mechanic (that is, if the issue is obvious enough for you to diagnose on your own). In this way, you already have an idea of what the repairs will be and how long they will take. If you can’t diagnose the problem before heading to the mechanic, however, you can do your research while waiting and ask questions only when needed.
- Plan ahead
If you take your car to the mechanic, you will likely not be able to get it back until hours or days later, depending on the repairs it needs. That said, plan when it comes to transportation. If your car is your main mode of transportation, figure out how you’re going to get around without it for the next couple of days.
If the repairs are going to take at most a few hours, however, free up your schedule so that you can be readily available when the mechanic needs you. If this is not an option, leave your contact numbers at the repair shop and keep your phone close by in case they call. You can also inform your boss ahead of time that your car is at the shop and that you might need to step out of work for a while to pick it up.
- Prepare funds
Most people will go to the mechanic to get a quote before commencing repairs. If you are working with a limited budget or perhaps want to shop around, you can ask for quotes until you find the best price.
After which, prepare the money for the repairs. It’s best to have a little extra if the mechanic needs an extra part of discovers an additional issue. Mechanics are usually not tipped, so you don’t have to worry about cash tips. You can express gratuity in other ways, such as giving sincere compliments, recommending them to other people, and buying them some coffee.
Before going to the mechanic, don’t forget to do these things first. Not only will it make your experience easier, but it will also help your mechanic do their job better, helping your car be fixed in no time.