Shadetree Mechanic Job Opportunity? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-07-2006, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Shadetree Mechanic Job Opportunity?

I''d like to supplement my retirement income and use it to support my car hobbies: Mercedes 500SEC, 380SL, 300TD, +Porsche 356s, +'68 El Camino, +Ford Retractable Hardtop, +F600... and I'm considering offering mechanic services. I do all the work on my own fleet of cars and have been doing so for 40+ years. I've really never worked on anyone else's car except for the occasional boyfriend or girlfriend in a pinch...when the kids had boyfriends and girlfriends in a pinch. I watched my brother-in-law do this kind of work for several years, as he helped out his family's finances in this manner.

What I'm NOT is an ASC certified mechanic and so my work would be uninsured...just as it is for my own cars. Most recently I rebuilt the engine on my wife's 380SL. I'd imagine most of the work I'd do would be oil/filter changes, brake pad changes, spark plug/distributor cap changes, fuel injection testing, etc.

So...the questions for my forum friends:

1. Is there a need for this kind of work...instead of Mercedes owners always using ASC certified mechanics for everything?
2. Am I asking for trouble if I change Bobbie Sue's oil and she breaks her timing chain a week later?
3. Is it better just to help someone out sometime and get referred by word of mouth?

Thanks for your input.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 05:19 AM
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Well what I would do it make a contract that says that you are not responsible for any damages that occure from your services or something of that nature.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 07:07 AM
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I agree about the contract. After 40 years of experience, I am sure you will get business. If you are a member of the PCA, I am sure the 356 guys would be interested. Just put an ad in the local newsletter.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 09:40 AM
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The only advice I can give is.....

please move to Nova Scotia, Canada!!

Former Bio-Blend Benz
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 10:05 AM
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The best way to offer those kind of services is stick with the simple jobs (oil changes, tune-ups, brakes, replacing light bulbs) that can easily be corrected if a customer has a complaint. Put yourself in the customer place...'let's say you took your car to a mechanic to fix a tapping noise in your engine and then you come and drive the car off after he's done the work and you break down a few blocks away. I'm quite sure that you would definitely want to return back to the mechanic who just did the work for you to ask some questions. Correct? Even with a contract that says you're not responsible could cause someone to go balastic on your ass and make your whole life miserable for a few dollars.

Keep that in mind before you start taking payments from anyone for service in return.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2006, 10:36 AM
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It's dicey - there's lots of guys like that around here. On the minor work, you'd be okay as far as risk and liability of issues, but on the big stuff, you'd better be real good and not make mistakes. The mistakes can cost you a pile.

- Brian

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