Every single mechanic out there does side work. Whether it be just for family or friends, or a whole list of clients, anyone who wrenches for a living will work on cars on the side. I do this on occasion too, for a select group of close friends and family.
This past spring, I had started doing a few more jobs for some neighbors and people they know. This turned out to not be a good idea. First of all, now I can’t get one of the people to stop calling me and asking me questions about their car, or other cars. It’s like I want to say ‘just leave me alone!’. It’s getting very aggravating! Another one is a new neighbor on my street. She has a van that she said the check engine light was on. I took the time to diagnose her problem and tell her the parts she needed to get for her van. We agreed that I would repair the vehicle once she saved up some money for the part and to pay me my labor charge. Well, come to find out, she had the van fixed elsewhere after I told her what was wrong with it!!
This is a very big no no! I took time out of my schedule to help her out, use my personal scanner and tools to diagnose her van, and she totally blows me off for the repair! Needless to say, she will won’t ever get any help from me again. I also feel like telling her she owes me money for looking at the van. No respectable person would not pay for a service. My time has value, as does my skills, technique and tools! So there’s one customer gone from my client list!
So, if you know a mechanic or know someone who knows someone who works on cars. Just be respectful of their time and talent. Sure, you’re probably going to get a better deal than paying someone at a shop to fix your car, but don’t low ball them or expect to pay next to nothing for a job. Everything still costs money! You pay for quality, so expect a deal, but also expect a fair charge for his or her services. Don’t be nagging all the time about other problems on your vehicle or friends vehicles or be looking for free advice all the time. That’s the best way to say goodbye to a great mechanic!