If you are heading off on a trip somewhere, whether it’s a short or long term trip, one of the worst things that could happen would be for your vehicle to break down. So how would you find a mechanic that knew what was wrong with your vehicle and how to fix it without it costing you a fortune? These are my tips to help you out with that question.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Have your vehicle serviced by a reliable mechanic before you leave on your trip. Make sure you tell your mechanic that you are going on a trip and are towing a trailer or van. Also tell him what sort of driving you are going to be doing – eg. rough tracks, beach etc. Giving him this information will enable him to check all the right things for you.
CHECK YOUR VEHICLE
Take the time to get to know your vehicle. Know how to check the oil, water, brake fluid etc. If you are not confident with doing these things get your mechanic to give you a run down on what you should be doing. A little bit of mechanical knowledge can also help you explain a problem that you are experiencing.
ROAD SIDE ASSISTANCE
Consider becoming a member of a motoring organisation eg RACQ, NRMA, RACV. They can offer roadside assistance, towing, accommodation etc in the event of a break down or accident.
In the event of a mechanical emergency, you might give consideration to the following before choosing a repairer.
If possible take your vehicle to a mechanic at its manufacturer’s dealership. In theory, they should be more easily able to obtain parts and should have training specific to those vehicles. Their workmanship should then be guaranteed across Australia.
If no dealership is available, contact your motoring organisation, to see if they can recommend someone in the area.
Make sure the mechanic you choose is licensed and a member of a Motor Mechanics Association.
If you are having trouble finding a mechanic, ask the locals who they recommend.
If the job is looking like it is going to be a big one, and it is possible to do so, get a couple of different quotes, in writing, so as you know exactly what sort of cost you are up against. It is a sad fact of life that sometimes there are people out there who just want to make a quick dollar.
Hopefully all your travels will be trouble free.