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

Auto Repair Shop






Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Oil Change?


"It's about beating the clock." This quotation originates from a smart old service manager, advising me about how to maximize my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you've ever wondered why your car doesn't get set correctly, or all of your concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay framework.

Flat-rate simply means that your auto technician is paid a set fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually can take. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a normal water pump, which will pay two hours of labor, and the mechanic completes the work in a single hour, he gets paid for two.

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

The flat-rate pay framework is designed to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates technicians to work solid, but it generally 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 to be able to maximize the amount of hours they expenses. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill from 16 to 50 hours within an 8 hour day.

It's these shortcuts and the breakneck quickness at which flat rate technicians work that bring about some of the most idiotic mistakes. Within the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've witnessed technicians start machines with no engine oil. I've seen transmissions slipped, smashing into little items onto the shop floor. And I've seen automobiles driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."

Flat-rate technicians can get quite complex with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of any 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was put under the engine unit for support while a engine mount was removed. It made employment predetermined to consider 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The technician makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.

Actually, oftentimes the keeping this 2-by-4 harmed the oil skillet. Moreover, it induced the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 foot in the air, while the technician manipulated the car lift to gain access to your engine support.

This plan was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.

Sometimes the shortcuts create very subtle disruptions, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmission serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and substance. During the method, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube marginally, to be able to receive 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....

Half a year later, the vehicle came back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't operating on all cylinders. After comprehensive diagnostics, it was uncovered that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's unusual. Don't usually observe that.

The high-speed environment and the next shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the quality of car repairs.

No surprise even an oil change gets screwed up!

The indegent quality of work motivated by the toned rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially even worse, as it opens "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!





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