How do you know if your mechanic is honest?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

Is there anyway to learn, without spending a lot of money, whether your mechanic is competent and honest?

RAY: Well, you can test for dishonesty without spending any money. For instance, if your mechanic's valet answers the phone, and says he'll call you when he gets back from the club, I'd go someplace else.

TOM: Actually, you can devise a simple test for honesty. It can't be anything too obvious. For example, if you drive in with a brand new muffler and ask him to check your exhaust system, he's going to suspect something. A good test would be to ask him to check your brakes about three months after you've had new pads installed. If he tries to sell you brakes, go someplace else.

RAY: To test for incompetence, ask him to check your brakes three months after HE replaced your pads. But seriously, Karl, if you're suspicious of your mechanic, go find another one. You'll never be convinced that he's entirely honest, and he'll be insulted by your accusatory attitude. Look for a mechanic you like and trust instinctively. I'm sure you have better things to do with your time than running around getting your brakes checked.

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