VEHICLE SERVICING: Servicing your car is a good way to keep your ride in shape but what if your car is out of its warranty period? Read our 8 tips for servicing your car. Image: iStock
Cape Town - Earlier in February, SA mechanic Fazlin Kasker, shared her top 10 craziest customer experiences.
She shares one of her bizarre encounters:
Customer: “Please check my aircon its doesn’t seem to be working lately."
Kakser: "Your model isn't fitted with aircon. Did you have an aftermarket aircon fitted?"
Customer: "No, I bought the car with an aircon unit. I normally take it to have the aircon regassed!”
Kasker: *some time passes* "We checked, your vehicle doesn’t have aircon."
Customer: "Well, you must have removed it when you serviced my car!"
How do YOU feel about local mechanics?
We asked users 'how do you feel about mechanics in South Africa?' and a homepage poll garnered 20 198 votes:
Dodgy, the lot of them - 5203 votes
A few bad apples ruin it for the rest - 8770 votes
I have great experience with mechanics - 1370 votes
I sometimes receive good service - 3206 votes
SA has qualified, professional technicians - 1649 votes
'A few bad mechanics ruin it for the rest'
The majority of users (8770 votes) believe that a few bad mechanics ruin the reputation for the rest of the industry. That being said, 5203 think the majority of mechanics in SA cannot be trusted.
Only 1370 said they have had great experience with local mechanics while 3206 said they 'sometimes receive good service'.
Sadly, only 1649 believe SA has 'has qualified, professional technicians.'
SA mechanic woes: Top 10 crazy, funny customer questions
Les Mc Master, national chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), responds:
"Possibly the most accurate response in terms of the general perception of mechanics is the 43% saying a 'few bad apples out there spoil the bunch'. Sadly, the really good mechanics are at the short end of this perception.
"General discussions amongst consumers normally turn to politics, mechanics, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, etc. and often perceptions are created following even a very trivial experience.
'Satisfying the motoring public is a tall order'
"Fact remains, that the majority of people own a car and maintaining that car is not cheap.
"Satisfying the motoring public is a tall order and is becoming increasingly more difficult as technology advances. In the good old days when the bulk of complaints circled around a very small area, for example, fuel consumption and misfires, it was far easier to hand a vehicle back to a satisfied customer purring like a kitten.
Read: Planning an SA road trip? 20 vehicle checks you must do!
"Today’s vehicles, with their multitude of electronic components which, when they malfunction, activate an 'engine check' light on the screen in front of the driver, has created a far more complex diagnosis and rectification scenario. Coupled with the current unavailability of scarce components, mechanics often have to deal with situations out of their control. This in turn can lead to disgruntled consumers."
Here are a 6 tips for choosing a mechanic:
1 Ensure that the mechanic is a specialist in a certain brand of vehicle. He/She will be up-to-date with the latest developments and changes on that vehicle brand.
2 Take the time to explore the workshop and, in particular, look at the tools and equipment, the functionality and general appearance of the workplace.
3 Ask questions on the type of parts generally used and the staff’s experience (certificates)
4 Look for detailed invoicing procedures. Are the parts individually stated on the invoice with the labour pertaining to that part?
5 Ask questions about past repairs successfully done and compare your diagnosis to that repair.
6 Look for a workshop that has been accredited by a reputable association such as MIWA. This will ensure you are dealing with a workshop that has been assessed and certified and there is recourse should you not be satisfied with the work carried out.