He’s greasy, often has bad BO and sometimes can consume 100% of your time when your car’s undergoing a major service. During peak times he doesn’t always scale well and can’t help you out until he can get more guys on, so there’s a bit of a lag if something urgent comes up during a peak time.
Sometimes he’s unintelligible and isn’t consistent.
But he gets the job done and you put your life in his hands.
There often seem to be two schools, the dealer mechanics who have a fleet of guys and associated apprentices. They do one particular model and they do it well, if you need something else then you’re out of luck, it’s out of scope. The service centre has a white floor and walls and big movable red racks of tools. You don’t see grease, car guts anywhere. They pick you up and drive you to and from the service centre. You lose your car for a day and and if anything goes wrong even longer. Expensive computerised record keeping and billing is the norm. They ring you when you need a service. You get a detailed accounting down to the washers and spark plugs they had to replace they used.
The other is the local guy down the road, walls and floor pitch black with soot, grease and oil. Old parts stacked down the side where you walked past, because they might need them at some point in the next 20 years. Record keeping is a torn and tattered book with blackish stains and finger prints. You have to take the initiative, you walk into the tiny office after managing to find the door and when you hit the bell a mechanic greats you after a couple of minutes. You ask him for a booking, he digs out the book, stick’s his finger in his ear to get that annoying piece of ear wax which has been bothering him all day, has to yell out to johno in the back because the bookings are a bit smudged but you innevitably get a booking. You get a smudged crumpled account with one item, ‘service’. You’ve got to trust that he did the right thing, sometimes he’ll let you down but most of the time they’ll save your time and money. You feel lucky and privileged.