Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 31st 2014 Contents These are two questions many drivers do not have
the answers to, so they just end up settling for less
than quality service and they don't even know it.
Here's how you can break this cycle and become a
knowledgeable vehicle owner with a good mechanic.
Firstly, according to Javan Lewis, Managing Director
of Automotive Services Depot Limited, one should
get referrals from others who have used this me-
chanic's service before. As the saying goes, actions
speak louder than words -- in other words; one's work
speaks volumes. Therefore, a mechanic's qualifica-
tions and skill is reflected in the service he has pro-
Lewis said, "Another important characteristic of a
good mechanic is being technologically advanced.
Since a lot of the servicing required by most of the ve-
hicles manufactured today is electronically done it is
key that your mechanic upgrade his knowledge and
machinery to keep up with the vehicles he will have to
"Owning a one-stop-shop is another plus in a me-
chanic, as this eliminates the hassle involved in you
shopping around for car parts after the mechanic has
identified the problem. Women especially find this
quite handy as all they have to do is drop their car to
be checked and repaired or serviced, then pick up their
car when the problem is fixed," Lewis added.
However, a mechanic should also have good manage-
ment skills, says Lewis. Taking care of your vehicle is
similar to taking care of your body, as a mechanic is a
"car doctor". Your mechanic should be one that con-
sistently practices taking records of any repair or
service he has done to your vehicle. This is just as im-
portant as your doctor keeping records of your ail-
ments and his diagnoses for future reference.
For this to be possible, as a vehicle owner, one should
practice preventative maintenance rather than just
taking your car to the mechanic when there is a prob-
lem, he added. All vehicle manuals advise one when to
change parts according to mileage. The general rule
however, is that you service your vehicle every 5000
miles. It's just as when you go to the doctor for a gen-
eral check-up, although you are not sick. The only dif-
ference is, for vehicles, it is called an All Point Check
and checks all the components of your vehicle.
If you were practicing preventative maintenance, your
mechanic would be able to keep record of your vehi-
cle's changes. Lewis advises in this case, that you re-
quest a Service Report so that you can keep track as
well. He advises that from the time you purchase your
vehicle, you should take it to the mechanic to be as-
sessed, so that he will have records of the vehicle's
problems from the beginning. Because of the large
percentage of foreign used vehicles in Trinidad and
Tobago, this may not always be possible. "Still, if your
mechanic is technologically advanced and you are
pleased with his service yet he does not practice good
management skills, you should keep track of your ve-
hicle servicing and repairs yourself," Lewis said.
"How your mechanic performs his service is not the
only criterion drivers seem to look for," advised Navin
Ramlochan. Ramlochan started off as an apprentice
for a mechanic and there quickly learnt the trade. He
has observed that local drivers also use location and
accessibility of the business place, a safe and secured
compound for their vehicle to be stored. Also the
honesty of the mechanic as well as the cost of his
service are other variables when selecting a mechanic.
Although cost should never be considered over qual-
ity service, he says, sometimes, high prices do not al-
ways mean good quality. To combat this, just as
Lewis advised, Ramlochan also puts high emphasis on
using referrals to guide your decision.
So now that you've become an educated vehicle-
owner, maybe it's high time you started ensuring that
your car gets the service it deserves.
Are you getting good service from your mechanic? What
traits do you look for when deciding on whose hands to en-
trust your vehicle into?
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