I’m a liar. At least, sometimes. I just went to the dentist and as far as she’s concerned, I floss day and night and brush vigorously, but not too vigorously (a healthy amount of vigor).
As I’m lying in the dentist chair, it occured to me that I lie to my doctor too. She thinks I eat an apple a day, exercise regularly, and take all the vitamins.
I lie to my parents. As far as they’re concerned, my house is always this spotless, my kids are well mannered angels who say the darndest things, and I never, ever spend too much time binge-watching Netflix.
He thinks I get oil changes every 3,000-5,000 miles and that I always check the dipstick when I get gas (Truth is, I’m the dipstick). So when my go-to maintenance guy asked if I’d curb-checked recently, I told him, “No way, why?” (I’d hit the curb almost every time I went through any drive thru.) When he asked if I punched the gas, and revved the RPM when my car wouldn’t move, I said “nope” (as I side-glanced at my stalled car with a blown gasket—whatever that means).
Does your mechanic trust you?
Before I worked at BG, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal for the person servicing my car to know these details. It’s the problem that matters, not the cause. Right?
Wrong. Now that I’m a responsible adult, I know that if I want to keep my car driving the way I like to drive (slowly and safely if you talk to my dad), I need to work with my mechanic, not against him.
How to find a trustworthy mechanic.
When disaster strikes (a vehicle), many of us Google “trustworthy auto shop near me.”
For years, those in the automotive sphere have fought the stereotype that “all mechanics are liars.” Of course, there are some out there. Just like there are dentists who are liars and doctors who are liars. (That’s partly why we don’t always listen to them and why malpractice lawsuits are a thing.) But if that’s the case, then why isn’t “trustworthy doctor near me” a top search?
I may have opened a can of worms with that question so we’ll just bury it and get back to the point: All mechanics aren’t liars. Just like a doctor and dentist look out for your well being, your mechanic does too, via vehicle safety and longevity. Are they all making money while making sure you’re safe? Yes. It’s their job. There’s no shame in making money, people!
If most mechanics, doctors and dentists are truthers, then why don’t we trust them with the truth?
Here’s what a lot of drivers don’t know about mechanics:
- They want customers to drive safe, dependable vehicles. Sometimes, that means spending a little now to avoid things getting dangerous (and expensive) later.
- They know when you’re lying. Like when I said, “I don’t know what happened, someone must have door-dinged my car, just on the rim right there.”
- They’re telling the truth!
So here’s what you need to know when a mechanic talks to you about keeping your car on the road:
- There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free vehicle.
- Trying to treat your car like a maintenance-free vehicle just guarantees that it will need repairs.
- Most suggestions aren’t “add-ons.” Sometimes, they shouldn’t even be “save-laters.”
- Listen to your mechanic, he’s probably trying to teach you something.
- Because your mechanic doesn’t drive your car, you have to work together to make sure your car performs as it should.
With a majority of doubters in the driving public, I’m not sure one blog post will change everyone’s minds. However, if you send this to 10 friends and they send this to 10 friends, and so on, then we’re getting somewhere. Word of mouth.
While we’re changing minds one social media share at a time, I have another suggestion…
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just be there in the service bay, with our cars?
Wait, BG did that. It’s called TruVideo. It’s exactly what it sounds like: The truth, as told by video.
A mechanic can take a photo or shoot a video explaining a service and then text it to you using the TruVideo app. Technology, am I right? See if your shop offers it. An educated customer is the best customer. Be an educated customer.
Now to go solve an even bigger problem: Our pathological lying tendencies.
by Danielle Wallace
Content Strategy Manager
Earning my mechanic’s trust since 2006