A Good Mechanic

I have had a recent problem with the Daihatsu Terios that I usually drive. In the last month it decided to start discharging the battery. I charged it once and when it was down a week later, I knew I had a problem.

A friend recently recommended a young mechanic that lives in Algarrobos. I was told that he was good, that he was very reliable and that he was very honest. I know from past experience it is easy to get over charged when you don’t know exactly what problem you have.

Remembering the recent recommendation, I called him and asked if he could look at the car.

He has a day job, but works at his house during his off hours. He came by and looked at the car. He listed one or two things it might be, but would need a little time to diagnose it.

I left it with him at his house. Last Thursday he called and said he had corrected the problem, but that I had two belts that were cracked and needed replacing. On a nine year old car that wasn’t surprising.

He told me where I could get one, but they didn’t have the second. He gave me some other places to check.

The belt was available in Ricardo Perez Toyota that sells Terios. Their price was a mere $165 plus tax. Since the other belt had only cost around $13, I thought it worth checking more. The belt was available nowhere in David. I talked to the mechanic and he said he thought he could get one in Panama City. I told him to do it.

receiptSunday afternoon, he drove up in the car. I am attaching a photo of the belt receipt he bought. He also returned both old belts. His price for a Japanese belt was $16.82. As you can see the Japanese belt would have cost me a little more at the Toyota dealer.

My total cost for his labor was $65. I met his wife and two young children. They are a very nice young couple. The recommendation I had received was 100% accurate. I would use him again in a heartbeat.

If you find yourself in need of an independent mechanic, you might consider giving him a call. He only speaks Spanish, so you need to keep that in mind.

His name and cell # are Enrique Arauz 6489-0216. If you call him, tell him that you learned about him from Don Ray on Chiriquí Chatter.

10 thoughts on “A Good Mechanic

  1. I have TRIED to buy things at Ricardo Perez, they are so far out of bounds I just laugh myself out the door……………….A mere $165.00 for a belt plus tax, I would have been belly laughing thinking I was on SNL…………..

  2. I think the Toyota dealer thinks they are the only game in town on some things. For Terios thy almost are. I won’t do business there for parts or service after warrantee is past.

  3. I would check the alternator if it has one. And if it does then it is run by a belt. They used to go bad in older cars that I have owned but I don’t think there is such a thing on our Toyota. You might have to take a mortgage out on your house to find out what the problem is and get it fixed. On the other hand, it might be cheaper just to buy a new car.

  4. If your car is out of warranty, the worst place to take it is usually the dealer. Toyota is not alone in overcharging and the every 5000 km service is a ripoff. I bought a service manual for our Nissan X-Trail and discovered that the factory recommended service intervals are, in almost every case, twice as long as the local service schedule. As just one example, they changed the 160,000 km spark plugs at 80,000 km. Fortunately, I kept the old plugs because the new ones developed a miss after about 10,000 km. I put the old ones back in and it’s running fine 25,000 km later.

    Find a good mechanic and keep your car as far away from the dealer as possible.

  5. A good mechanic hard to find anywhere, if you have one that can troubleshoot electrical problems, you have hit the mother lode! An honest and competent mechanic is the gold standard.
    Dealerships often have good and competent mechanics but they are under pressure from the owner to create as much profit as possible.
    Enrique sounds like a great find, make sure he’s on your Christmas card list! haha

  6. I highly recommend Enrique for ANY mechanical work your car may need. He has been helping me with my car for the past year (suspension work, break work, general maintenance) and I can say that Enrique is diligent, honest and a great mechanic.

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