Auto Repair Shop
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Oil Change?
"It's about beating the time clock." This quotation originates from a sensible old service administrator, advising me about how to increase my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't tackled, you can blame, partly, the flat-rate pay framework.
Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a set fee for a specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a drinking water pump, which pays two time of labor, and the mechanic completes the work in a single hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you'll still pay just the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition was created to drive productivity. It's very effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates technicians to work solid, but it does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car set properly, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock in order to maximize the amount of hours they bill. Experienced flat-rate technicians can expenses from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck velocity at which even rate technicians work that cause some of the most idiotic mistakes. Within the rapid-fire pace of any shop I've observed technicians start machines with no oil. I've seen transmissions decreased, smashing into little parts 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 elaborate with shortcuts. The best was the implementation of 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was put under the engine motor for support while a electric motor mount was removed. It made a job predetermined for taking 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The technician makes extra cash; you get your vehicle back faster.
Actually, oftentimes the placement of this 2-by-4 broken the oil pan. Moreover, it induced the car, your vehicle, to balance precariously 6 foot in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to gain access to your engine mount.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued when a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nose area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very refined disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and substance. During the method, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube slightly, to be able to have the transmission skillet out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the tech re-bent the tube back to place and off it went--no concerns....
Half a year later, the vehicle delivered with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't jogging on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was learned that the transmission dipstick tube possessed chaffed through the engine funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's bizarre. Don't usually notice that.
The high-speed environment and the subsequent shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay structure on the grade of car repairs.
No wonder even an petrol change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work motivated by the even rate pay structure is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!