Auto Repair: THE MOST NOTABLE Ten Mistakes Made By Your Mechanic

Auto Repair Open Sunday






Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Oil Change?


"It's about beating the time." This offer originates from a wise old service administrator, advising me how to maximize my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you've ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or all of your concerns weren't attended to, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay framework.

Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a set fee for a particular repair, regardless of how long the repair actually calls for. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which pays off two time of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in a single hour, he gets payed for two.

In theory, this may work in your favor. If the work takes longer, you'll still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-rate pay structure is designed to drive productivity. It's very effective. The flat-rate pay system stimulates technicians to work hard and fast, but it does not promote quality.

In terms of getting your car fixed appropriately, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to defeat the clock in order to maximize the number of hours they bill. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill anywhere from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.

It's these shortcuts and the breakneck quickness at which flat rate technicians work that cause some of the most idiotic mistakes. Inside the rapid-fire pace of an shop I've witnessed technicians start motors with no essential oil. I've seen transmissions fallen, smashing into little items onto the shop floor. And I've seen cars driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."

Flat-rate technicians can get quite sophisticated with shortcuts. My favorite was the execution of 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine unit for support while a electric motor mount was removed. It made employment predetermined to have 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The tech makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.

Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 harmed the oil pan. Moreover, it caused the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 ft in the air, as the technician manipulated the car lift to gain access to your engine mount.

This plan was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped triggering the car to crash nasal down onto the concrete floor.

Sometimes the shortcuts create very refined disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmission serviced with a fresh filtration, gasket, and liquid. During the technique, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube marginally, to be able to obtain the transmission skillet out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the pipe back to place and off it went--no worries....

Six months later, the automobile went back with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't working on all cylinders. After comprehensive diagnostics, it was found out that the transmission dipstick tube acquired chaffed through the engine harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's peculiar. Don't usually notice that.

The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay framework on the grade of car repairs.

No marvel even an oil change gets screwed up!

The poor quality of work urged by the even rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!





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