Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Non-menacing Mechanic

Being transparent is the key. Mentioning unmentionables.
Lately, I responded to a post on craigslist featuring a Dodge Intrepid for sale for $700.
After talking with me for a few minutes, the seller asked me why I would drive all the way from Las Vegas to Phoenix just to pick up a car who's engine had failed.
I explained that I had started the practice of rebuilding engines and reselling the restored cars because so many people decide to get something new when an auto gets to that point. As a shop mechanic, I had struggled for years to convince people that it might be a good idea to keep the old car. To trust me. To spend large amounts of money. To take a risk.
Most people couldn't be convinced. So I started rebuilding the engines and reselling the restored vehicle. It is the same difference; but for most people, it is so hard to justify trusting a mechanic, they would rather trust a craigslist offering!

We talked for quite awhile.

"Most people", I said, "get so distressed at the prospect of the cost and confusion of repairing the old vehicle that they give up. They are fearful. They have been taught, mostly by mechanics, to distrust mechanics."

She told me of her experience up to posting it on craigslist. The first mechanic she had had it towed to told her "It is too old and has too many miles on it to bother. It will cost so much to have it fixed, it isn't worth it."
She thought about donating it to her favorite charity. She decided to see what she might get for it to "scrap it out".
Being a businesswoman herself, she decided that if a pick a part dealer was willing to give her $450, she should try listing it for twice that and see what happened.

After talking with me more, she said, "I sure wish I could get you to work on my car."

I had exposed my passion for Dodge Intrepids. I had told her what good cars I had found them to be.
I told her that I just loved working on them. After all though, hers did have a lot of miles on it. The bearings going out wasn't unusual for that make and especially for the miles; but I also told her that, other than that problem, they were really reliable.

She had had it towed again for a second opinion before listing it online. That mechanic told her that, sure, he could put a newer engine in it but it would cost $$$? He would be having someone else look for an engine online and would get back with her. He wouldn't tell her whether or not she "should" bother to have it "fixed".

read more here....