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Monday, November 21, 2011

Finding the Right Mechanic

As a mom, I do a lot of driving. I need my mini van “typical mom vehicle” in good shape. I like to make sure everything is always running well. I get my regular oil changes and have the tires rotated.  I’m really not mechanic savvy or want to be for that matter, but I do want to know if I take my vehicle in to a shop or mechanic that I won’t be ripped off. I’ve been to places where they will up sell you on services that you really don’t need. Why do they do that? In my mind, I think to make more money and because they know most women don’t know too much about cars.  If you’re like, me we want to have our vehicles safe because we have our children in the car and don’t want anything to happen especially because we didn’t have something fixed.
I am so fortunate to have found a great mechanic in town that I can go to and have look at my van whenever I have a problem. He usually checks it out right on the spot and tells me what’s wrong and how much to fix it. A few years ago, I remember taking my van in for something that needed to be fixed, and I first had it checked out by the dealership to get an estimate on the price of fixing it.   I had my two little girls with me when I got the estimate. We had to wait in the lobby for 2 hours for the dealership to give me an estimate that was pretty costly. I called my husband to see if he wanted me to go ahead with getting the van fixed after the estimate. He thought it was high and said to take the van to our local mechanic Craig at Honest Engine and see what he says. When I took it there, it was half the price and it took 30 minutes to fix.  I was so impressed.  He was so nice and didn’t make me wait. Since than, I have had a flat tire and within minutes he fixes it. The other good thing is it is usually half the price of other places I have gone to in the past. I just feel like I’m not being taken advantage.  His oil changes are a little more than some of the places around town with discounts, but I don’t mind paying a little more for an oil change because I don’t get harassed about all the things I need to get fixed on my van that really don’t need to be fixed. I know if Craig tells me something needs to be fixed, it needs to be fixed. It’s nice to be able to find a local mechanic that you trust and cares about people rather than making a few extra bucks. I think that’s why his shop stays pretty busy. People like the way he does business.
I also have to tell you about another recent experience I had, which I found to be amazing. I had one of my front headlights go out. I thought, I am going to be proactive and go to one of the auto part stores and get the bulb for my husband to fix. I don’t know why, but going into an auto parts store is out of my realm. Probably like how a man feels if he had to go in a store for makeup. Anyway, I went in and told the man that I had a headlight out and needed a new bulb. He said ok, we have it. The next part of this is experience is what caught me off guard. He said would you like me to put it in for you? I said ok. At that moment, I really didn’t know if he was just being nice or if I was going to charged to put the headlight in. I didn’t ask and thought I might as well get this done because it’s dark outside and I could get a ticket, if I don’t get this fixed. The man named Jerry put the light in. He didn’t charge me anything to put the light in. I asked him if he could take a tip. He said no they don’t take tips. I than asked him, if they do this for everybody. He said we try as long as it’s not too extensive of a job to do. I was so excited to go home and tell my husband, I actually had the light fixed and they do it for free at the Pinellas Park Auto Zone when you buy the parts there.  People like Craig and Jerry make me feel so much better about going to get my vehicle fixed and make me believe there really are nice people out there who care and are helpful especially to mom’s like me that just want their vehicle in good running condition. Thanks!

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