As electric and hybrid cars become more and more common, consumers are looking for more options that just the dealer when it comes to hybrid maintenance and repairs. How is a consumer supposed to pick a new mechanic for new technology? Here at Convoy Auto Repair we know we are committed to keeping up with the newest and greatest in green technologies, but how would the average car owner be able to find the right mechanic for their electric vehicle (or hybrid car)?
Pop Quiz! Take a note from your least favorite teacher and give any potential mechanic a pop quiz by asking a few simple questions. You'll quickly be able to determine if the mechanic is capable of handling electric and hybrid vehicles, and to make sure they’re ready for your business. First, make sure they’re aware of your service intervals and the manufacturer recommendations for your model. You should always review your owner’s manual and be familiar with what your specific car will need over time, but it never hurts to make sure your mechanic has done the same homework. Another question you can ask is about the brakes. Electric and hybrid vehicles have regenerative braking systems that are a little more complex than your standard vehicle and they require a little more know-how. Does your potential new mechanic have the tools and expertise to fix your brakes? The more details you hear the better this mechanic knows his or her electric stuff!
Image: James Hamel
You can also check with your local dealership and model-specific online forums for recommendations about where to have your hybrid or electric vehicle maintained outside of the dealership. Other owners in your area have probably worked with mechanics and have valuable thoughts and opinions. A good recommendation from a trusted source can be like striking gold.
Many services required by hybrid and electric vehicles can be handled by standard mechanics; things like wheels, steering systems, belts and hoses, and other regular ol' car parts can be more expensive to repair at the dealer than your local mechanic. However, there are some that can only be handled by an authorized repair facility to keep your car in warranty. It's important to make sure your mechanic knows what he can't do, just as it's important to know what he can do!
By keeping these questions in your back pocket, you’ll be in the right place to find a great mechanic for your electric or hybrid vehicle, wherever you may be.