BDR Automotive

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1605 Washington St

MON – FRI: 8 AM – 5 PM
Closed for Lunch 12-1 pm

Ask Brian
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BDR Automotive

Tips for Talking to your Mechanic

Ask Brian: Tips for Talking to your Mechanic

We sat down with co-owner Brian of BDR Automotive to learn more about talking shop, and talking the talk (say that five times fast) – tips for talking to your mechanic. More often than not, Brian receives this question: “Brian, I get a bit tongue-tied when it comes to talking to a mechanic. Do you have some tips for me?”

The best advice I can offer is to seek out a mechanic who you KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST!  Find a mechanic or automotive repair shop that communicates with you throughout the repair process. You don’t need to know a lot about cars.  It’s HOW you are treated that matters. If the mechanic takes the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and keeps the communication open, then you develop trust in that person. Find a mechanic who values his/her work and stands behind each repair.

Here are some tips to help you develop a relationship with your mechanic:

Communicate clearly and ask questions!

Before you talk to your mechanic, write down any specific sounds, sensations, or smells associated with your car’s problem. When does the problem occur? How often? Note when the care was last serviced and if what the issue was at that time. If the mechanic suggests specific repairs, ask exactly what will be done, how long the repairs will take, and how much they will cost. 

Get an estimate in writing.

You want a written estimate so you can see exactly what is planned for your car’s repairs. It should include a cost breakdown so you can review it carefully and ask any questions that you may have at this point. Estimates can not include unforeseen difficulties, but should any occur, be sure that the mechanic will communicate with you before additional work is done. 

Speaking the language

Here are some common vehicle symptoms and their definitions so you can talk “shop” with your mechanic:

Bottoming out: When you hit a bump and you feel that the underside of your vehicle has hit the pavement.

Hesitation: A brief loss of power when accelerating.

Shimmy: A rapid, side-to-side motion that feels like it’s coming from the tires or the steering wheel. Note when you feel it – at a certain speed or on specific road surfaces.

Misfire: Hesitation that occurs, usually when fuel in one or more of an engine’s cylinders fails to ignite properly.

Dieseling: A sputtering sound that occurs when an engine continues to run for a few seconds after the car has been turned off.

Brake fade: When your vehicle takes longer than usual to come to a full stop.

Knocking: A rapid rattling sound that you can hear when you accelerate.

These tips for talking to your mechanic will help you to build a relationship that you can trust. That way, you’ll never feel like you’re speaking a different language.

If you have a question for Ask Brian at BDR Automotive, send us an email and we’ll be sure to answer it in our blog.

Chris Grady
Chris has joined the BDR team as highly certified technician. He is a hard worker and very reliable. Chris specializes in diagnostics and prides himself on proficiency and getting the job done right the first time! Chris has the proven ability to deliver quality work with excellent customer satisfaction. Chris attended Mass Bay Community College where he earned his degree in Automotive Technology. He has gone on to become ASE certified as well as having certifications in KIA and TOYOTA diagnostics.

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