Most used diesel truck buyers don't have a plan or shop for repairs. We sell used diesel trucks, and we see some customers often flail around when the inevitable happens. And worse, sometimes they end up in the hands of the shade-tree diesel "experts."
Don't let that be you. Here's a quick primer on how to find a diesel mechanic near you and avoid being a repair scam victim.
In Tucson, Arizona, we use Monsoon Automotive. The answer is simple if you own a diesel truck in Arizona -- go there. 🤣
But for the rest, here are our tips...
Check which labor catalog the diesel repair shop uses
When searching for a diesel mechanic, it's important to ask which labor catalog they use.
The labor catalog is a pricing guide that diesel mechanics use to determine the cost of repairs. Some common labor catalogs include Mitchell, Chilton, and AllData. It's important to find a diesel mechanic who uses a reputable labor catalog to ensure that you're getting a fair price for the repairs and they're not simply shooting prices from the hip.
Compare diesel shop labor rates
In addition to checking which labor catalog a diesel mechanic uses, it's also important to compare labor rates. Labor rates can vary widely between diesel repair shops, so it's important to do your research and find a diesel mechanic who offers fair and competitive pricing.
Rates can vary wildly across the country, but $120-$175/hr is common. Also, expect a price bump for customer supplied parts.
Consider the warranty on diesel truck repairs
A good diesel mechanic will stand behind their work and offer a warranty on repairs. The length and type of warranty can vary between diesel repair shops.
Top shops typically offer 2 year, 24k mileage warranties on their diesel truck repairs. And it's not uncommon for 3 year / 36k depending on parts and the job.
But.. that warranty typically doesn't apply when you supply your own parts. Make sure to ask the shop their rules on customer supplied parts and how the warranty may change.
Read the reviews for diesel mechanics near you
First, if all they have are 5.0, perfect ratings. 🚩🚩🚩
Then, read the Google review responses from the diesel shops and mechanics close to you. Don't give too much weight to the reviews -- you never know which ones are fake, both good and bad (yes, there are a ton of fake bad reviews from competitors and random people).
Instead, focus on how the repair shop responds to bad reviews, particularly where the customer seems reasonable. If the shop handled the criticism in a fair, professional way, then you're 90% of the way there.
Google "Diesel repair shop near me"
One of the easiest ways to find a diesel mechanic in your area is to search for "diesel repair shop near me." This will bring up a list of diesel repair shops in your area, along with their location, contact information, and reviews.
The bottom line is interview and research. Ask the diesel shops about their shop rate, labor catalog, warranties, and check the reviews.
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