My grandpa owned his own auto shop and was a great mechanic. My dad worked on all of his cars. Let’s just say the DNA did not get passed down. Though, at least I know when to seek help.
Recently, I owned a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid. Within the last year, I went to two dealerships in San Diego seven times with in a 9 month period. Yet, 30 days after the last visit, I totaled the car due to brakes giving out and hitting a median that tore at my transmission. Had I been on the freeway, it could have been much worse.
All seven visits, I mentioned the brakes and the suspension felt off. Struts were replaced when I was able to reach the managing mechanic (on the third visit). Unfortunately, most of the other visits were hindered by the intake professionals. My experience was that they either did not believe my concerns or could not determine how to communicate to the mechanics my concerns or simply were too busy or since I was under Honda Care, they were not going to make a commission so why bother. Nevertheless, due to my inability to convince them, or the Honda Dealer mechanics to “replicate” any noises or concerns, the brake problem and “suspension issues” were not successfully discovered before my accident. Trust me, I can admit that for 9 months, I fretted every time I got in my vehicle as the car made noises that sounded “wrong” to me. Fortunately, upon presenting the frequent visits to my insurance company, the car was totaled and I was able to move forward. Yes, Safeco rocks!
I appreciate the costs associated with repairs and maintenance. Yet, I need to restore my trust in the professionalism and fairness I believe mechanics can have, like my grandpa and dad. My safety and reliability with my clients depends on a mechanics ability to address concerns and maintain a reliable safe vehicle for me. My last car ownership experience did not reflect that honesty and safety. From overstating of miles per gallon to the brakes not being available at the end.
Two weeks ago I purchased a 2001 Mercedes E435. I am seeking a mechanic who can look under the hood and make an evaluation about the engine and transmission. I have a 3 month/3,000 mile warranty and I want to make sure this purchase was a value. Further, I want to be able to have a trusting professional relationship with the mechanic and his shop.
It may seem I need therapy after the relationship scars of my Honda. But, a mechanic who focuses on addressing Mercedes truly an automobile whisperer?
While your shop is in the neighborhood, my friends who are “car people” have been clear that I should find an experienced Mercedes Mechanic. With their advice ringing in my ears, yet no concrete introduction to pursue, I have developed a few questions to assist me in moving forward.
Mr or Mrs Mechanic, would you provide responses to the following questions so that I can glean information that can lead me to a potentially long term, though likely and admittedly expensive, relationship?
Who is the Mercedes Specialist at your business you would recommend and how long has the team been working on Mercedes successfully?
How many years of experience with Mercedes does your lead specialist have?
If you do not exclusively work on Mercedes, what percentage of your business comes from servicing Mercedes vehicles?
What would an assessment of the engine and transmission cost?
While I have access to all of the records, we may also need to consider an oil change, and the regular maintenance. What are the costs of these items at your business?
Lastly, if you simply could not address my Mercedes, which Mercedes Mechanic in San Diego would you confidently refer to me for reliable and trustworthy service at a competitive price?
I look forward to your responses (if you respond) so that I can move toward selecting a mechanic. I know that your answers will inspire me to select your company and team. Trust me, my “car friends” are addressing the many mundane, somewhat superficial Mercedes questions I have. You, I have confidence, will handle only the most serious and deeply concerning, and of course, always in a professional manner. Remember, begin with communication that develops trust.
Just like my Grandpa and Dad.