Monthly Car Care Blog

January 19, 2019

Social Media Thoughts

Let's face it. 

We've all done it. 

Someone posted something on social media, under a news article, or where ever, and we knee-jerked and wrote something right back without thinking it through.  It didn't help them, and it didn't help us. 

How did it happen in the first place?  We don't talk to people face-to-face like that.  Why do we do it on the keyboard?

I've been going along posting things on social media and under news articles for quite some time.  The first time it really hit home how poorly I was communicating, was when I was on a social media site for mechanics. 

The various sites for information on vehicle repairs have picked up on the social media trend and now have spaces for mechanics to post questions and answers about repairs with other mechanics across the country.  I was recently posting a question about a problem I was having trouble diagnosing.  The other mechanics answering my question were for the most part polite, but one of them was just rude, "Haven't you figured that out yet?  Everyone knows the basics here."  And on it went. 

Believe it or not, a mechanic can go for thirty years without seeing a problem that some mechanics would think to be basic.  When it shows up in your shop it's the first time, and it sometimes throws you for a loop.

When I saw his response to my question, the first thought that came into my mind was, "We write what we think, we don't think what we write." 

Now if I was talking to my colleague down the street about a problem, I wouldn't talk to him that way, and he wouldn't talk to me that way.  We would be polite and understand that maybe he has never seen this problem before in his shop and give him some respect.

Since that encounter, I have changed how I communicate on social media.  I have come to expect that when we post something, it is bound to get negative feedback, just because, we all write what we think, we don't think what we write.  However, I now write down what, I, want to communicate on a separate platform.  I read it out load to myself several times and make changes.  I wait several hours, or days before I decide to take it off that platform and paste it to social media. 

You know what I found out?  I rarely post it if I think about it.  I end up erasing it. So now I am hardly posting anything at all.  It sure does prevent a lot of trouble with relationships.  You ought to try it. 

Don't write what you are thinking.  Think, before you write.

January 12, 2019

Bad repair? How to talk to your mechanic

So you took your vehicle in to have something repaired; it works for a while but then it starts doing the same thing again.  Or maybe you had the water pump replaced and the pump gasket starts leaking.  How about those hated words, "Ever since you worked on my car......."

We've all been there with something, whether it be a car, or a clothes washer, or a roof repair.  It has happened to us all.  It just goes to show that all of us are fallible.

However, more times than not, when it comes to a mechanic, "That guy messed up my car.  I'm not taking it back to him."  I did that before I was a full time auto mechanic.  Now that I do my own work, I'm stuck.  And, I've ate my own words.

Most of us who are professional mechanics want to do a good job that stays fixed and satisfies the customer.  We want to do a good job every time, all the time. We respect ourselves and we respect you.  Now think about that. That means that most of us operate from respect, not greed, or being a know-it-all.  We are not going to tell you, "You're just hearing things.  Keep driving, it will be okay."  No. We want your car fixed right because we respect you, and we will go the extra mile to see that it gets done right. 

So the repair went wrong.  Stop.  Think the best of your mechanic.  Remember that most mechanics want to do a good job for you. Respect him. Tell him what is happening without getting on his case or getting emotional.  Tell him how badly you need your car and what your time-frame is.  With this information he can tell you what he can do for you and together you can work something out to get your vehicle back running the way it is supposed to in a reasonable amount of time.

In other words, don't treat your mechanic like you treat people on social media.  Treat him like you want to be treated if you made a mistake.

Maybe next time that I have time....I will share some thoughts about social media.  Believe it or not, social media has extended it's influence into the automotive repair industry.  We have our own, mechanic's space, so-to-speak.