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Old 06-01-2023, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
Isaac Zachary
High Altitude Hybrid
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Gunnison, CO
Posts: 1,977

Avalon - '13 Toyota Avalon HV
90 day: 40.45 mpg (US)

Prius - '06 Toyota Prius
Thanks: 1,049
Thanked 543 Times in 435 Posts
How do you find a good mechanic?

  1. The first mechanic I went to I needed a clutch replaced. After that the car's alignment was so bad it would bounce all around and by the time I figured it out (I was new to owning a car) the tires were to the metal bands. He fixed the alignment for free, I ended up buying tires from somewhere else.
  2. When I bought tires from another shop I went with brand new tires. But when looking at the tires afterwards I found that they were two different brands, not at all the same tires all the way around. I complained but they refused to do anything about it.
  3. My break lights went out and changing the bulbs and brake switch did nothing. It turns out that the 1984 Toyota Corolla I had also had a brake light controller in the trunk. I took it to a Toyota dealer and they took several hours and never fixed it and charged me $200 (this was in the 90's). I ended up asking around and found I could just get the part at a junk yard for $10 and swap it out myself, which I did.
  4. Another alignement in another car and they changed out some bolts that hold the shocks onto the steering knucles to do the alignment, which was standard proceedure on a 1985 VW Golf. But they used cheap week bolts that a week later had stripped themselves and were coming out! I didn't go back and will no longer go back for anything.
It seems everytime I go to a mechanic I have a bad experience. I'm just not sure who to trust. How do you find a good mechanic and keep a good relationship with him or her? I'm to the point I'm aligning my own cars with strings and levels and chaging and balancing my own tires. But there are things I just can't do anymore. I can't fix the radio in my Avalon. I can't change the brake fluid properly. There are probably a lot of other things I can't do.

That and there are things I would want the mechanic to do, but they have their own policy. Like when I want to use an OEM dealer part but the shops around will only install parts they buy from NAPA or Autozone. Sometimes I ask for something and they're like "Why would you want to do that? We never do that. Maybe try somewhere else."

Where do I go for help? SMA, Shadetree Mechanics Anonomous?

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