The quest for a decent mechanic

01:25, Feb 08 2013

After taking a ride in these beasts, I've become acutely aware just how spluttery my battered old station wagon is.

Hell, my car has charm, and I would far rather drive that than something reliable and smooth, but the ol' wagon shakes when she starts.  She clunks, she rattles and most worryingly she's developing a ticking sound.

In short, she needs an intense service and look over from a local grease monkey.

A mechanic is the sort of person mothers want their children to be, because their skills are so useful, but get the wrong one and things can turn to custard very quickly.

I'm happy to close my eyes and press my finger on the dusty old Yellow Pages to choose a business for things like carpet cleaning or hairdressers.

For things even more trivial I'll find the business with the coolest sounding name online and ring them first.


But I'd never rely on anything other than word of mouth for a mechanic.

Since I moved to Manawatu I've yet to need a mechanic and I've yet to hear of one I should use. Because I'm currently without that word of mouth here, I'm stonkered. 

So using the considerable power of this blog, I'm making a call for help.

Who should I call from Manawatu to fix my car?

To make things easier, here are my five most important criteria.

-         Honest: A mechanic who communicates honestly what they're doing and what sort of price you are looking at from the start is by far the best. I want to know they can tell me if they've done something wrong. A mechanic who shows you what they're going to do before they do it is the ideal.

-         Cheap: A journalist's pocket is not lined with the gold of the people we often report on.  Money is not the sole consideration, but it's definitely a part of the criteria.

-         Local: Some people don't care but if they're good, I'd much rather give my money to a place with a name like Bob and Trudy Autos than a chain service centre with "79 locations around New Zealand".

-         Charismatic: A garage with laughter, personality, swearing and someone who's not afraid to put up the cliche girl posters is a place I feel comfortable taking my car.

-         Good at what they do: (duh)

Which mechanic should I pick to give my car a full service?  Should I also use them for my warrant? Why?

Email Chris and follow his journey on Twitter @chrishydejourno.

Manawatu Standard