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

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78 Questions

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Last Answer on October 20, 2013

Best Rated

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 5 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.

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 5 years ago

HAHA, Thanks Frank.

Do you think people overestimate the frequency with which mechanics try to rip customers off?

Asked by teri_805 over 5 years ago

Short answer YES! Most folks know very little about modern cars. They have been told their whole life that mechanics(dealers) will rip them off. I have worked with a few guys that were complete hacks. I would not let them change the oil in my lawn mower. That is not the norm. Most of us are honest, and just want to fix cars right. The other issue is there is more than one person that comes into the equation. You can have a mechanic that is 100% honest, but a service advisor that is a lying scumbag. The best advise is try and find a mechanic that will be "your guy". Someone you can trust, and know that they are looking out for you.

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 5 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!

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 5 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!

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 5 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.

What made you decide to specialize in VWs?

Asked by RJ over 5 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.