Mechanic says to stop asking your mechanic friend this question

@dieseltechchris/TikTok KANGWANS/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Hey, what do you think?’: Mechanic says to stop asking your mechanic friend this question

'people forget that skilled labor isn’t free'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jan 6, 2024   Updated on Jan 6, 2024, 5:51 pm CST

If you’re going to ask your mechanic friend for a favor, stop expecting them to work for free. That’s the message that an Indianapolis-based TikToker and mechanic named Chris (@dieseltechchris) shared in a viral video that’s accrued over 1.1 million views. He says that auto service workers are some of the most taken for granted laborers out there.

“Are mechanics the only trade where people like expect you to work for free? Or do other blue collar jobs, do like other blue collar men get this?” A TikToker named Eve asks this question in the beginning of the video that Chris stitched into his clip.

In the video, he answers Eve’s question, detailing how he deals with this issue as a diesel tech. “You know that’s a really good question, and I think I have the answer to it. I don’t think that mechanics are the only trade that get it, I think all trades probably get it and all trades are taken for granted. But I do however think that mechanic trade is the No. 1 trade. That is the No. 1 taken for granted and overlooked. Naturally, I might be biased being a mechanic myself, however, I feel like I probably have some good insight as to why.”

Chris then explains his reasoning as to why he thinks folks are always shamelessly hitting up mechanics for free work, while also stating that he makes sure to never overstep his boundaries when it comes to pals who work in other vocations, because he knows the feeling of being used himself. “So you see I have friends that are in other businesses, as well. I have plumber friends, electrician friends, auto body friends. You know and anytime I need a favor, I don’t just assume that they’re gonna do this especially for free. Lot of times if I need a favor I’ll reach out, and I’ll ask hey when you have some time would you be able to help me and I’m glad and happy to pay you for your time,” he says.

Chris says that mechanics are treated differently. “But when it comes to mechanics, mechanics are absolutely taken for granted every day of the week all hours of every day. For some reason there’s this misconception that because we’re mechanics we’re just supposed to answer your questions anytime. We’re supposed to have all the answers to your questions and we’re not supposed to charge for it either because it should just be free, right? We should just give that info. Any time a friend goes on a test drive or even a family member for that matter, they go test drive a vehicle, they wanna call you up, you know hey man I’m out test driving this vehicle what do you think about them? Hey man I’m out test driving this vehicle I heard this about these what do you think? It’s every time,” he says in the video.

The TikToker goes on to say that oftentimes folks will have zero regard for their mechanics’ friend time, either, and that their own problems take precedence over whatever they’ve got going on in their day. “And God forbid their car makes any kind of noise or throws up a warning light, you’re getting a phone call, every time. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, it could be in the middle of eating dinner with your family, it could be 8 o’clock in the morning, but they’re calling you the second that car puts up a warning light. Hey, this light just came up on my dash what do you think? Just last week I had a friend reach out to me hadn’t talked to him in a week or so. You know, hey man do you have a code scanner at your house? Yeah, I do. Well, my check engine light’s on. OK, what do you want me to do?” he says.

@dieseltechchris @Eve † ☪︎ for the original video cred. #dieseltechchris #mechanicsoftiktok #powerstrokenation #powerstrokediesel #67powerstroke #67diesel #mechaniclife #bluecollar #dealershiplife #fypシ #fordtechnician #mechanicfail #lifeofamechanic ♬ original sound – Diesel Tech Chris

Several folks who responded to his video said that they agreed with his assessment of how “friends” of mechanics tend to treat their more mechanically inclined pals, and individuals who work in other fields said that they, too, have felt as if they were being exploited by so-called buddies who wanted work done free of charge.

Various commenters offered up their own thoughts on this favor-seeking phenomenon. One TikToker responded by saying that there’s a sort of code between different mechanics and that the only time they really perform free work with friends is when their own pals are also mechanics and they all help each other with their respective projects. “Im a mechanic w mechanic friends we only work for free when we are working on each other’s race cars lol,” they wrote.

Another individual in a different “blue collar” field said that they, too, have been face-to-face with folks who seek favors. “HVAC here. Everyone is your best friend when their AC or Furnace craps out,” wrote the user.

Someone else wrote that they are sick and tired of being offered compensation in anything other than money. “I hate being paid in beer, give me money and I’ll buy beer if I want to,” they wrote.

One person quipped, “Nailed it. As a cabinetmaker almost no one asks how to build a cabinet but as a 6.0 owner I’m always asking my mechanic friends for advice.”

A TikToker who responded to Chris’ video agreed that they were taken advantage of and that their personal relationships with people have suffered as a result of their incessant requests for favors. “we are the most under appreciated and taken advantage of trade out there. I’ve lost friends because I’m tired of being asked for favors,” they wrote.

According to another person who responded to Chris’ video, there is another demographic of employees that are constantly being asked for favors as well: “I’ve seen both sides, mechanics and IT people get the worst.”

This phenomenon is unfortunately nothing new and one that other gear heads outside of TikTok have discussed among fellow grease monkeys online. On the Bob is the Oil Guy forum, several users lamented the pal who only ever seems to reach out whenever they need car work done for free. Another post by Hagerty Insurance delved into how situations in which folks work on friends’ or family members’ vehicles can go wrong.

It’s a real pickle for someone who is experiencing car trouble: On the one hand, they want to make sure that they aren’t being taken advantage of by an auto repair shop and want to turn to someone they trust for assistance. However, on the other hand, they also don’t want to that annoying friend who is constantly bothering their pal for “IOUs.” But there does seem to be a happy medium: Offer to pay the person for their time.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Chris via TikTok comment for further information.

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 6, 2024, 9:00 pm CST