The Search For a Good Technician

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We’ve all had difficulties finding good technicians, whether it’s for the television, the leaky faucet in the kitchen or the pesky light in the garage that doesn’t always go on when you flip the switch, finding a qualified competent technician has been (and I suspect always will be) like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Well the same holds true for a qualified automotive technician. Today’s modern automobiles are more sophisticated and complex than ever before.
Gone are the days of the basic carburetor or the simple ignition systems, basic two wire circuits are almost as antiquated as Morse code and even basic maintenance on some models requires a two year college degree.

So what does that mean for the average automobile owner a dozen and a half years (or so) into the twenty first century?

It means one of two things:
The first is you are familiar with the seven vital systems of your current vehicle and are mindful of when they will require routine service and maintenance. You study the particular uniqueness of your vehicle’s platform and are comfortable with service requirements of each component and are able to perform the services competently.

The second is you seek out a qualified, certified and competent technician that you can trust who knows your vehicle, but beyond that cares about your vehicle. It’s one thing to know a particular product or component but without a passion for competency or accuracy, all the knowledge in life means very little when it comes to competent service.

So assuming you fall into category number 2, the next logical question is, “how do we find such a technician?” Some folks believe that we find such a technician at our local dealership, after all, the emblem on our steering wheel seems to match the emblem on the big neon sign in front of the dealership so those guys must be the most knowledgeable, best trained and most competent folks on the planet…right?

Hmm,. well, maybe not so much. Granted there may be qualified technicians at the dealership but then again, there’s no prerequisite for being hired into a dealership service department. I personally have known countless dozens of technicians at local dealers that have absolutely no automotive experience at all. One such example is a young man who prior to his being hired at a local Cadillac dealer was a short order cook at Carl’s Jr.

He was fired from his fast food position at the fast food restaurant and applied for a position as a janitor at the dealer. As it turned out, the dealer needed a quick service lube technician and decided he fit the bill.

He was immediately dispatched a new Cadillac XLR for a routine 30,000 mile service. You can imagine our surprise when this nervous young man reached out to us for some direction for the proper lifting points to get the car into the air to begin service.

Somehow, I believe that if the owner of that XLR knew his vehicle was being serviced by a young man with no prior experience he would be much less confident in that dealers desire to deliver the best service possible.

There are countless other examples that we could describe here but that would bring us no closer to answering the vexing question ..”How do we find a solid technician?”
So here are a couple tips for finding and identifying the technician you ultimately want working on your vehicle:

First, determine if the repair shop or dealer is accredited with AAA, ATRA, ASC or some other Nationally recognized affiliation. If you have a complaint or a concern at the local level, it’s comforting knowing you can go to the ‘next level’.

Second, ask if the technician is certified in the area that you are having serviced. ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certification is an industry standard that any technician worth their salt should have.

Third, always ask to speak directly with the technician who will personally be servicing your vehicle, this is the most important piece of advice we can offer. You can learn a lot about a person by looking them in the eye and asking direct questions. If the repair facility or dealer refuses to allow you to speak to the technician, that is an immediate red flag and the next course of action we recommend is leaving as quickly as you arrived.
There is absolutely no acceptable reason for ever refusing a potential client from speaking to the individual who will be performing service on their vehicle. It is an absolute deal breaker every time…no exceptions.

Automobile repair has come a long way over the past forty years or so, but for many, it still can be a daunting task. Do yourself a favor, be ready, be prepared.

Text us anytime at 877-209-4480 we’ll help you find a qualified repair facility in your area

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About Author

Donny is a Southern California specialty shop owner with primary emphasis on transmission and differential systems. He is an automotive technology graduate with over 30 years of experience. He and his wife own DMC Transmission outside of Los Angeles and were awarded “Shop of the Year” honors in 2010 and 2011.

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