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Things you should never say to a mechanic

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • tips
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WhoCanFixMyCar handy guide to some of the things never to say to a mechanic to avoid rubbing them up the wrong way

However, what about the mechanics who carry out the repairs? Is there anything that drivers say which rubs them up the wrong way?

Well, we’re here to tell you, yes! There are actually quite a lot of things you should never say to a mechanic…

‘I tried to fix the car myself…’

Mechanic Working on Wheel

If your boiler breaks, would you try to fix it before calling a plumber? Or if you are feeling unwell, would you try and cure yourself instead of going to a doctor?

We’re guessing not.

Trying to fix your car, if you are not an expert, is one of the worst things you can do as you will inevitably cause more damage.

If a driver asks me to finish off a repair that they have started, I tell them I am not interested at all. Cars are incredibly complex machines and it takes years of training and experience to fully understand how they work and what is required to fix them. If a driver came to my garage with a car they had tried to fix, I would turn them away there and then.

Joe Stevenson, Delilahs Mobile Mechanics

‘I bought all of the parts myself…’

If your car need a new cambelt, clutch or brake pads, you can actually buy them off the internet, however, that is the very last thing you want to do.

Joe said:

If a driver brings their car to the garage and hands over some parts they have found on the internet, I’ll refuse to fit them. The fact is that I do not know where the parts have come from and the likelihood is that they are not good enough for the car. I will only ever fit parts which are OEM quality which means that I have sourced from reliable suppliers.  I know that the parts won’t break for a very long time as they are made with the best materials and by the best people.

If a driver arrives with their own parts and I fit them, I would also lose my public liability license and I would even be responsible if something went wrong if the driver were to be involved in an accident. That is why we don’t fit driver supplied parts!

‘I know what the problem is, just fix what I tell you…’

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Even though you might have an inkling what might be causing your car problems, it is best not to instruct a mechanic on what they should fix. The truth is, you don’t know, so you shouldn’t try to tell an expert.

Joe said:

I will always listen to what a driver has to say because I need to understand how their car is behaving in order to provide an accurate diagnosis, but there are a huge amount of things I need to test before I know what their problem is. Therefore, when a driver seems to know what is precisely wrong with their car, I have to explain that they are most likely wrong!

People seem to think that mechanics are trying to rip them off by finding new problems but the truth is that they are really there and they do need to be resolved.

‘Can you come down on the price?’

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We know that car repair can be expensive, does process over 140,000 mechanic estimates each month! However, when you get an estimate from a garage, you should respect their position. You might be able to get a lower quote from a mobile mechanic, but that will be because they do not have such large overheads!

Joe said:

My price is what it is for a reason and it is the same for most garage owners. We have to account for our own time and overheads which need to be built into pricing so we can actually make a living. Having drivers haggle over price is never pleasant because the estimate has been agreed before the work has begun. If you want to choose a cheaper garage, you are free to do that, but don’t wait until the repair has been done to try and get a lower price.

‘All I care about is the price…’

Price is always an important issue when it comes to car repair but it is absolutely vital that you also consider the reputation and online rating of a garage.

The reputation of a garage is arguably as important as price and it is something you should pay just as much attention to.

You can read thousands of driver reviews on WhoCanFixMyCar as over 10,000 garages have been rated by UK motorists.

You can read recent reviews of garages in your area. You’ll also be able to get quotes from local garages on the same page!

‘I read it on Google or saw it on Youtube’

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How many times have you heard it before, ‘don’t believe everything you read on the internet’…Yes, it may be ironic that you are reading this on the internet, but you know what we mean!

Even though an article or video may say that you need to replace your fuel injector, the only real way of knowing is to have an expert diagnose the problem properly.

Walking into a garage believing somebody on the internet, over the word of a technician, isn’t the best way to open a conversation!

If you need to get your car repaired, you can get free bespoke quotes from garages in your local area by going to and entering a few basic details!