THE WORKSHOP: Apprentice diesel mechanic hard at work.
THE WORKSHOP: Apprentice diesel mechanic hard at work. Bruce Thomas/Coffs Coast Advocat

DR DIESEL: Finding the right mechanic

READER ASKS: When it comes to picking a mechanic, what questions should I be asking them? And how do I know what a fair hourly rate is?

WHEN it comes to finding a good mechanic, you should assess them on face value.

Do they speak with confidence?

Are they fluent in their explanations?

The biggest thing is to talk to others in the industry, use other people's experiences to give you a guide.

Narrow the list down based on reputation and all you can do is give them a go.

Remember that there will always be someone who didn't have a good experience with certain mechanics, ultimately you need to go with your gut.

You need to shop around especially when it comes to hourly rates.

It's free to ask but costly to use a mechanic that is only interested his own back pocket and not yours.

Hourly rates vary depending on location and the type of workshop you are visiting.

There are many things to factor in when comparing hourly rates.

You may find that the person charging the lowest hourly rate will end up costing you more because they will charge you for every hour and may not having the correct tooling etc.

Whereas a large corporate workshop, while more expensive will use standard times and are only charging for what is fair and reasonable.

You will usually find that genuine dealers have specialised knowledge, tooling and diagnostic equipment, therefore can diagnose and fix quicker than a non-genuine workshop so that you can get back on the road sooner.

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