Mechanics are probably the third most unreliable artisans in Nigeria - just after tailors and masons. But this doesn't mean every single one of them can't be relied on.
Being able to find that reliable one is not a walk in the park. You'll have to do a lot of research, carry out visits and even trials to be sure they are as genuine as they appear. This is probably why wealthy car owners just take their vehicles to the brand's registered dealers when they wish to fix a fault. It's usually expensive but at least you'll get your car back in due time.
However, if you're able to find a good roadside mechanic who isn't cunning, you have probably hit a jackpot. But how do you go about it? Here are some essential steps on how to find a reliable mechanic in Nigeria, collected by Naijauto. Take a good note for yourself!
1. Visit the mechanic workshops around you
Since you can't actually find a reliable mechanic in Nigeria online, the best bet is to visit their workshop. First of, start from those around you. No mechanic workshop looks as clean as a corporate office. You'll likely see grease, tools, metal and nuts lying around. But how scattered or arranged they are, tells you if the mechanic is an organised person.
Also, an ideal mechanic will walk up to you or send his attendants to politely find out what you seek. This shows they are always willing to come to your aid when something goes wrong in your vehicle.
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A good mechanic should be easily accessed
2. Ask for recommendations and mechanics' contacts
Ask your friends or neighbours who have cars to give you their mechanic's contact details. When you get a substantial number - say 10 - give them a call.
Anybody who's reliable in their work should not difficult to contact. Even if you call and they don't pick immediately, they should give you a call back. That's a sign of reliability. You wouldn't want to use a mechanic who can't be trusted to be at your beck and call during an emergency.
3. A good mechanic gives you an estimate
If your vehicle is bad at the time of your search for a mechanic, you can get an estimate for cost of repair from the mechanic you decide to work with. It must not be in writing but they estimate also shows they have significant knowledge on what fixing your car entails.
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4. A reliable mechanic allows you pay in two major installments
When fixing your vehicle, you get the estimate and discuss about discount. If a definite cost is agreed upon, a reliable mechanic will allow you pay in main installments. The first is about half the cost which you would normally pay as the work starts and a second which will be paid when the job is done. However, to find out more about the integrity of the mechanic, you can keep an eye on their pace and seriousness of fixing your vehicle. Some will take the part payment and get the job done, others might take it and decide to delay. Avoid the second set of people by all means.
5. Look out for lazy mechanics
A reliable mechanic will get your job done within the stipulated time. If they tell you it will take 5 days and your car gets ready after two weeks, find someone else. In as much as you should be patient when your car is being fixed, you should also know when a mechanic is just after your money. Lazy or greedy mechanics want to have all the customers without being sure that they can do the job. Don't fall victim.
With all said, you need to ensure that your car is well taken care of. The way your car looks is how it will be treated. Therefore, do your part, follow these tips, and you're on the right part of to a healthy vehicle that will last donkey years!