How does one vett a potential mechanic? Or more simply, Rivers if you weren't going to do the work your self, how would you satisfy yourself that the person you would pay would do good work?
For example: I have one open ended question I ask people in interviews which I use to gauge skill level. I can tell from the answer exactly how much knowledge the person has.
I am just going to lead with this example;
I can work on my own cars if I had to, but I don't like to and don't want to and they are not what I have learned about and practice on a daily.
Sure if it needs brakes or fluid changes etc, okay- but major shit, no....
I buy my 4 wheeled vehicles brand new, when they need work (more than what I want to do to them) I trade them in on another new vehicle, often this is about the time I wear out the first set of tires, which quite often is a few years down the road since I rarely drive 4 wheels
So I had this 2002 Ford F350 with a 7.3L diesel, after 80k and 10 years it was losing power and had a much too often no start.
the cam position sensor I had replaced atleast 10 times and the intervals each was lasting was getting shorter and shorter.
Finally one day even after taking the 10 minutes I now could change that sensor in- to a brand new one and it still would not start.... I figured I would recheck codes and see what I came up with
Code reader was telling me bad injectors
I already knew that was likely not the case and that some of these had issues with the wring harness under the valve cover coming loose ( Ford had a TSp about it)...... (Yes I buy the oem service manual for every vehicle I own)- so I struck off to check these and while getting in there noticed that the inlet rubber connector (from the air filter to the turbo) had a tear in it, and that the turbo itself had the vains all chipped up at the end and when spun by hand it would just touch the turbo housing... been sucking in dirt and unfiltered air for god knows how long- the tear was on the bottom and that rubber piece is only 4" long total
Well while bad, that was not the "no start" issue, so I continued..
All the wiring was good and while in that far I checked each injector and injector cup...all good
Anyways- so still no start- so one of my customers who is a ford diesel mechanic (although he knew dick little about the 7.3, really only knew about the 6.0.. but he professed he knew enough about 7.3L's too) came over and said he could figure it out........ well he said the injectors were bad
I already knew they weren't but even after telling him I knew they were good he persisted that those need replacing (to the tune of about 5k) the code says so. His computer program also showed the low oil pressure----he scoffed that due to cranking speed and said he "could hear it was not turning over fast enough" thus the low oil pressure-but it needs injectors installed...fuck that, they were two brand new 1050 CCA batteries that were fully charged, the engine turned over faster than it ever had since new.
I reluctantly had it towed to the Ford dealer I bought it from and had them test it/diagnose it.... same conclusion as the other guy, "you need all new injectors and injector cups-it'll run about 5k-6k."
I towed it back home thinking no fucking way am I spending 5k and I guaranfuckingtee that isn't the issue.
So I studied and read and scoured the service manual and bought my own "auto ingenuity" scan tool with every adaptor to fit every car/truck/suv ever made......walla- high pressure oil pump (which is used to fire the injectors) was bad, only putting out about 1/2 the oil pressure it actually needs to fire the injectors. (so even at cranking speed the oil pressure needs to be high enough to fire the injectors)
Aftermarket high flow high pressure oil pump was a couple hundred bucks, a new inlet snorkel, a new rebuild kit including all new bearings, seals and the 19 vain turbo drive instead of the oe 18 vain and the truck started right up- sure the auto ingenuity tool was several hundred and I did clean up the inside the turbo housing and no doubt the extra clearance from the gouges lost some boost. But the truck was running and running damn well.
I traded it in the next day on a brand new truck..
The moral---there isn't one........but often just because someone claims to know shit, they don't know shit... I knew after 30 seconds of talking to the first guy he didn't know diddly about the 7.3l and the guys at the Ford dealership who should have seen tons of 7.3L diesels (farm country) just cared about the $89 diagnostic fee and what a code reader told them.........and apparently hoped I would just throw 5-6K at them and when that didn't work hand them more until they threw enough money and parts at it to get it running... or maybe they were just going to do the oil pump all along and pocket 5k?
So to vet a perspective technician;
I have no fucking idea would be the best answer I could give you. But that said, knowing as much as you can from several sources about your problem you are experiencing and knowing how to use the correct terminology and explain the problem goes a long way to figuring out if they are just mouth breathers wasting oxygen in the world or if they actually know anything...
Obviously for this to work you would likewise have to be pretty damn knowledgeable on the subject at hand and know more than just what one would read somewhere.
Most of my customers come via word of mouth- that is probably the highest qualification one can get, if people always come back, recommend their friends and generally do all your advertising for you.... You probably are doing it pretty well.
Anyplace can have someone upfront who is a great talker, and can read people well to steal your hard earned dollars. There truly aren't that many techs who can do the work and fully explain it in a manner which most people understand (or they simply don't care to)
See I told you I had no fucking idea how to pick a tech...
I am a tech first and foremost, I am picky as fuck and don't tolerate any bullshit or stupidity. I talk how I talk like it or not, I shoot from the hip and don't beat around the bush about any subject ever.
I am all about the facts, I couldn't give two shits about your feelings- there is no place for feelings to be involved when it comes to working on or talking about a car/truck/motorcycle/house or whatever object needs repair- they are all disposable and replaceable objects, IMO if you have feelings towards it-you are the one who is fucked in the head.
If you need your hand held about how this needs to be done, go cry on someone elses shoulder, mine are too busy fixing shit that very few others care to fix correctly.
That doesn't really answer your question but........
Know as much as you can
Use the proper terminology
And go in prepared with questions and follow up questions
referrals can be hit or miss, but if you can find referrals from people who had the same issue or the same problem fixed, well that is a step closer to being helpful
Maybe some others will chime in on how they decide who they want to fix their shit.
Because actually I would be as interested to know as anyone.