diesel mechanicDeciding who you should take your diesel to for maintenance and repairs may seem like an easy task, but in reality you need to spend some time researching the mechanics in your area. What qualifies them to work on your light duty diesel truck? Do they have a good reputation in the community and with other diesel owners in the area? What types of tools and equipment does the shop use to diagnose truck malfunctions? And is everyone in the shop up today on industry changes and quality standards?


Make A List!

Start by making yourself a list of the diesel mechanics in your area. Keep in mind that some may be a bit far away 20-30 mile but don't overlook them just because of the distance. Now that you have a list of potential mechanics mark the ones you have heard good things about about. Also remember to take note that diesel and auto mechanics may have similarities but are two different fields of study, so shot for finding a diesel shop and not a general auto shop.

What kind of service do you need?

Before you start making calls what are you inquiring about? Does your truck need a routine maintenance visit or are you experiencing some kind of malfunction with the truck? Whatever the reason may be make sure you're prepared with the right questions and even some more in depth and advanced questions for the diesel mechanic if you feel it's necessary.

Things to ask!

  • Ask around and see if the shop has the correct/required software to run accurate diagnostics on your truck. If the shop does not have the proper software trying to run any type of diagnostics is a waste of time, and most likely will leave you in the same spot you were in before you brought your truck to the shop.
  • You need to know what the shop uses for replacement parts. Are the injectors/pumps/turbochargers re-manufactured? If so, by who? There are tons of places on line to purchase knock off parts at very competitive prices. Many times theses parts have only been cleaned and then reassembled. They are not rebuilt and do not have any new or replacement parts to be considered rebuilt and should not be used as a replacement part. Ideally you're looking for a shop that uses Factory Certified Parts, also called OEM parts, whenever possible. Using after market parts can cause the engine and other parts to not work how they were originally designed to work.
  • Does the shop have a warranty policy? If so what is it? Does the warranty cover parts and labor? How long is the warranty good for? And make sure it's clear what exactly is covered. If it's not clear to you ask more questions. You don't want to pay for a huge repair to find out the warranty only covered 1/4 of the work done. If aftermarket parts are used in a repair there is a chance that it could void any type of manufacturer warranty, so who's responsible in case of a malfunction then?
  • How are the reviews? Check Yelp, Google, any place that give legit reviews. Also ask other diesel owners who they go yo and why. Ask what types of repairs the shop has done for them and if the repairs help up well or if there was an issue how was it resolved and if they would go back to that shop again.

The Diesel Mechanics/Technicians and other staff.

Make sure that your truck is being worked on by someone with the right certifications. Ideally you're looking for ASE (The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence), and NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation), are the top certifications for diesel mechanics. Also ask how many years experience they have in the field. Hands on work experience of three or more years will let you know that they have had some in depth training with the diesel motors. Having good communication with the techs that work in the diesel shop is very important. Although a receptionist or someone who answers the phones may not seem to be high on the priority list when deciding on a diesel shop it is defiantly something you want to keep in mind. This person may never physically touch your truck but is one of the first points of contact you have when contacting the shop. You want to make sure you are able to communicate your needs and they can lead you in the correct direction. You will be giving payments, scheduling appointments, and various other interactions with this person, so making sure you can communicate well with them is important. Receiving excellent customer service is something we sometimes over look, buy it is a very important part of finding a shop you like to work on your truck.  

Tools and Inspection

Check out what tools the mechanic uses and see how they are maintained. Although the tools won't become part of the repair you take with you they are essential to the mechanics efficiency. A mechanic without the correct and properly working tools may not be a focused mechanic or stay up to date on industry changes. When mechanics and technicians take pride in how they care for their tools and work spaces you can pretty much bank on them having the same high standards when it comes to properly fixing and maintaining your truck. It's also important that the shop inspects your truck thoroughly before and after repairs. The greatest mechanics will always make sure your truck has been inspected after the repairs are complete. They will also know every detail regarding your truck before it is given back to you. This is something that separates the great mechanics from the others.

The last thing to do is schedule your first appointment at the new shop. If things go well and you're happy stick with them if not try someone else on your list. Also leave reviews about your experience so you can help someone else who is looking just like you had.