Auto Mechanic

Auto Mechanic

Charles ~ Humble Mechanic

Raleigh, NC

Male, 32

I am one of about 200 master certified VW techs in the USA. I do everything from basic maintenance, to advanced diagnosis. I eat, sleep and breathe VWs. I also have my own website dedicated to helping everyone to understand their car, and see the behind the scenes of being an auto mechanic. You can see more at

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

83 Questions


Last Answer on October 20, 2013

Best Rated

Just wanted to highlight one of your quotes, which is one of the most profound we've seen on Jobstr to date: "When the economy went to hell, people shifted... They are starting to realize that sitting behind a desk does not equal success." Nailed it.

Asked by Jobstr Frank over 7 years ago

HAHA, Thanks Frank.

Is there a consensus among insiders as to what car brands are most/least likely to end up in the shop for repairs? Is there a particular make/model that you'd advise everyone to stay far away from?

Asked by samsam over 7 years ago

There are some common "great" cars. Most folks will say that Toyota is the best car on the road. Ask the folks at the dealers how that worked out a few years back. Then you read about how all german cars are trouble. Here is the facts. ALL brands have issues. Some more than others, but they all do. Cars will break, parts will fail, people will fail to maintain their cars properly. Then there is the fan mentality. Some folks are die hard Ford people. Me, I will not own another ford again. The one I had was junk. But I will also not own a Honda again. The service at my local Honda dealer was awful. The worst part was, I work for the company that owned the dealer. Brands that were thought of as bad years ago have really come along way(Hyundai and Kia). As long as you understand that all cars will break, buy the car that fits you and your needs. Oh, and good MPG doesn't hurt either.

Do you ever feel like friends and family take advantage of your expertise and ask you for free help with their cars? How do you handle this?

Asked by slowgrind over 7 years ago

HAHA, sometimes. When I started my current job, I moved 900 miles away from all of my family and friends. So it was not a huge deal at first. Everyone I knew I worked. It can get a little frustrating when the only time people call you is for car help. I try to help as many folks as I can, and LOTS of my friends drive VWs. Here is what happens more often. People will make big car choices with out asking me first. Then they are shocked when things go wrong. I hate to see friends and family spend money and time needlessly, when I know that I could have helped them.

Every time I bring my car in for any kind of servicing, I'm told I need my air filters changed (even if it's just been a couple months). Is this b.s.?

Asked by benjiboo over 7 years ago

Maybe. It really depends on where you are located. If you are near the beach, your filter may be getting clogged up with sand. That will cause it to need replacement more often. I would guess that you don't need a filter that often. If the place you are taking it to says you NEED a filter everytime, I would consider finding a new shop, or just tell them no, OR have them show you the dirty filter. That is the best way to know if you need one or not.

Do you thnik mechanics are more likely to take advantage female customers than males, and for that reason would you tell female customers to bring a guy with them whenever possible ?

Asked by greatscott over 7 years ago

I have been waiting for someone to ask this question. I do not think that a female is more likely to get taken advantage of. Most of the time the mechanic does not know if it is a guy or girl bringing the car in. The type of customer that will most likely get taken is an ignorant one. I don't mean that to be rude, but it is true. A customer that says things like "Do whatever I need done" or "I don't know anything about cars" is really likely to get screwed. The plus of bringing someone(guy or gal) with you is a decision making teammate. Even if both people know nothing about cars. To be honest, I find that women are more educated about their cars. Thank you for asking that. I LOVE that question!

What made you decide to specialize in VWs?

Asked by RJ over 7 years ago

I was a VW fan for a few years before working on them. The blue cluster lights were the first thing I fell in love with. I had a choice from VW, Audi, MB, BMW, and one more that I don't remember. There are more VWs on the road so that was the final deciding factor. I don't regret it for 1 second. Thanks for asking that, it is always fun to reflect on that decision.

I've always been told to buy American, because if the car breaks down, the parts are cheaper and more readily available. Is that accurate?

Asked by The Rocket over 7 years ago

I think that there is some truth to that. I also think there are more places that make and sell some parts for American cars. I would say that is true for just about everything except modern electronics. It is pretty much the same across the board. So many manufacturers share similar electronics. My advise for buy a new car is 1)Do some research on maintenance costs. 2) Test drive, test drive, test drive 3) Buy what you like and what fits you and your car needs. Great question!