Tag Archive for: advice

There are a lot of goals I have with the automotive podcast. A huge goal is to help technicians get better. If you are a new tech starting out, or an experienced tech needing a reboot, I am here to help. I encourage folks to send in questions so I know where I can best lend a hand.

One of the questions that I get the most is:

“Charles, I am just starting out as an auto mechanic or automotive technician, any advice to get my career going?”

Well folks, it just so happens that I do have some advice. In fact I have a ton of advice. But understand that you are not going to watch one YouTube video and “get it”. This is a process. Just like learning how to fix cars is a process, learning how to be a complete mechanic takes time. So I put together this video to help get you on track with becoming a successful new auto mechanic.

Join me today as we discuss:

  • Knowing your roll as a new tech
  • NEVER stop working
  • Give it a try first
  • Be patient technician(it’s harder than you think)
  • Advice from Todd Gordan, Joey Logano’s crew chief
  • and more

Trouble viewing? Watch “5 Must Follow Tips For New Auto Mechanics” on YouTube.

As always I love to hear your thoughts. Please post them in the comments section below.  Also if you have an idea for a show you can email me, or use the contact me form!

Help Support The Show
Many of you have asked about supporting the show. For that I thank you. For now, the best things you can do are SHARE THE SHOW, and shop with my links on Amazon. You will not spend any more money that you would normally. Here is the Amazon link ~ Humble Mechanic on Amazon or you can check out some recommended tools I have listed below.

Don’t forget to follow me at:

Humble Mechanic Logo

Hey folks,

Last week I asked you guys if you would be interested in me adding a “call in” feature to the site. A place where you can call and ask a question. Once I had a few questions to answer, I would shoot a video or record a podcast and answer them.

I set up a widget on the right side bar. Just click the link and you can call and leave a voice mail. How freaking cool is the internet. There are a wide variety of topics we can cover. Below is a list of topics off the top of my head:

  • Volkswagens
  • General Car repair
  • What does XYZ car part do
  • Should I DIY a specific repair
  • A shop said my car needs ABC-123 repairs, what do you think?\
  • Tools <~ This one excites me 🙂
  • Questions to ask a mechanic
  • What to look for in buying a car, new or used
  • Anything about being a mechanic
  • How Flat rate works

I am sure there are a million other things that people want to know about. I have spent 2 and a half years talking about it. Now you have a chance to drive the ship!

I would really love to make this a weekly thing. But I need your help to make this a success. How can you help? Well, start by calling in. Then share the site. If you are on a forum or Facebook, let folks know.

Oh, one last thing, don’t think that you HAVE to call in a question. You can still contact me or email me, Charles(at)Humblemechanic(dot)com. I wanted to give you another way to get my advice. Your question may also help someone else too.

Humble Mechanic Logo

This question comes up a lot.

How do I know when to get my car fixed, or just get another car?

Thankfully the question comes up much more than the situation. There comes a time when a car reaches the end of it’s reliable life. That means the car costs more to keep on the road than it is worth. Or it will cost about the same as a new/newer car.

So how do you know when it is time? Well, if your car is 15 years old and needs $7000 worth of work, I would say that would be a no brainer. Usually it is not that cut and dry.

I had a really great customer bring her car in for a major service. The service was about $550. As I took a look at her car, I found a few other things that would need attention soon. None of the times themselves were a big deal. The sum off all the things that were needed, was about $2000. Not including a transmission that was starting to shift funny.

Having a $2000 bill on a car is nothing to sneeze at. I had an honest conversation with the customer. I told her that it was not a good idea to make the repair. We also decided that doing the tune up was not a great idea at that time.

I told her that it might be time to trade her Jetta in for another car. She did just that. She traded her 2002 Jetta in for a 2011 Jetta. In a total stroke of luck, her old Jetta needed to have the catalytic converter replaced a few months later. That would have set her back another $1500.

I got pretty lucky on that one. So how did I know it was time? Well, I didn’t really know. It was just a matter of repair costs. Spending about $3000 on a 10 year old car is not that bad. It is not bad if those repairs will keep that car running great.

If you are ever faced with this situation, here are some tips you can use to make that really tough decision.

  • What is the overall shape of your car?
    If your car is a big pile of junk, it may be time to cut your losses. If your car is in good shape, but needs some repairs, making the repair can be a good idea.
  • How many repairs have you made in the last year?
    If you have done a bunch of repairs in the past year, keeping the car and making another repair can be a good choice. If you spent $3000 in the last year or so, another $100 repair is a smart move.
  • Are you making repairs to limp the car along, or are you making all the repairs
    If the repairs will totally fix all the issues on the car the repair might be a good choice. If you need to spend $2000 to just limp the car for another month, that would be a bad move.
  • How many months of car payments will the repair cost equal
    A $5000 repair is 20 months of $250 a month. Just something to consider.

As you can see there is not a clear cut answer most of the time. I will say that there are a few repairs that are deal breakers for me. Things like

  • Replacing engines
  • Replacing/ rebuilding transmissions
  • Major electrical issues. Most electric modules are expensive $600

This is just another example of why everyone needs a mechanic they can trust!