Owning a car in Nigeria is a necessity and can even be a lot of fun if you reside in those less congested cities with good roads. You can easily drive around town reaching your destination on time without getting stuck in traffic or starting your trip hours ahead of schedule.
However, whether you live in a bustling and jam-packed city like Lagos or in those cool and less congested cities like Calabar, your car is bound to experience some form of mechanical and technical failures at one point. As a result, you will likely have to visit a mechanic workshop or have your car checked and repaired as per the issues noticed.
So, mechanics play very important roles in helping keep our cars in good condition and that is why it is important we manage our relationship with them carefully. We will have a look at a few tips that will help us manage our mechanics in the best possible way.
1. Be loyal if you believe you have found a good mechanic
Loyalty is the key. If you have found a mechanic that is trusted, one that has diagnosed your car correctly every time and has fixed every issue properly then you must try every means to keep them happy and one way to do that is to stay loyal and stick with this mechanic.
These days it can be difficult to find a mechanic that fits this description and still remains honest. Sometimes they might be very experienced and good at the job but are just too dishonest and will find every means to rip you off. Still, others may be so honest but are not so good at what they do. Thus it is vital that when you find a mechanic that is honest and is also good at what he does, you remain loyal.
Loyalty is key to managing mechanic relationship
Another way to show your loyalty is by referrals. Since you trust your mechanic and you are certain that if you referred someone to him that he/she will do a solid job, then try to recommend him to your friends and family. If you do this, you will show him how much you trust him and value his work. This will definitely improve your relationship with him/her.
>>> Here are List of best auto mechanics in Nigeria
2. Overpay sometimes
Yes, you heard me right! This trick always seems to work in helping build a solid relationship with mechanics. I know money is not so easy to come these days, but if you want to save yourself some money in future you may have to invest it in some way and one way to do this is to offer your mechanic extra cash after he/she finishes working on your car. Why not tip in extra N1,000 or N1,500 on the bills and see if you won't get the best services the next time you visit that workshop.
Mechanics generally seem to cheat clients with a history of being close-fisted. But if you overpay sometimes, your mechanic will naturally feel indebted to you and may not feel so comfortable cheating you the next time you visit.
>>> If you haven't decided a good mechanic you can trust, read How to choose your car mechanic in Nigeria
3. Be a bit liberal when negotiating workmanship fees
Please don't always try to get the best deals every time you visit the mechanic, especially if they know you are capable of matching the figures. Some car owners will rather start a fight with the mechanic when the guy mentions his fee and will end up spending 30 - 45 minutes beating down the price. If you do this consistently every time you visit the workshop, you will have a history that may not really favor you. There may be times that you are genuinely low on cash and need a favor from your mechanic, but since your history precedes you, you may not be assisted.
Consider that you noticed your bearings are singing seriously, and you have new bearings in your boot but don't have the cash to pay for it to be changed, a car owner who has always been liberal with negotiating fees will likely be assisted and the bearings fixed at no cost. But consider a car owner that spends 30 - 45 minutes beating down the price will he get the same level of treatment? Likely not.
>>> You might also like to read: 5 things you should never say to auto mechanics in Nigeria
***NOTE: We are not saying you should not try to negotiate a fair price, but please try to shift grounds sometimes. You might end up spending more because you tried to save a few kobos. A mechanic might notice an issue that if fixed on time could cost less and decide not to tell you. For example, he noticed that the bearings in your fan are bad, understanding that it doesn't cost more than N500 to change but he just wouldn't tell you till the motor fails and this will cost about N7000 for the Belgium part. So please beat the price, but do it with sense and conscience.
4. If you still doubt the reasons for loyalty, here are more
Try resisting the urge to have more than one mechanic for a particular car. It is best you stick with one trusted mechanic rather than alternating between a number of mechanics even when they deliver the same level of competent service. If you stick with one person, that one has a perfect knowledge of your car's history and will be better positioned to deliver prompt services within the shortest possible time.
How you treat your mechanic will define the way he/she treats you
Consider that you took your car to another mechanic and he did some repairs that your main mechanic later noticed. The implication of this is just too obvious, you may likely lose your mechanic's trust and the rest comes as a consequence. We are not saying you should stick with an incompetent mechanic but make sure to exercise a very high level of discretion when it comes to mechanic trust, they are capable of plenty of things.
We hope you were able to learn a few things on how best to manage the mechanic relationship. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share on your social media pages and also with your friends and colleagues.