Auto Repair Financing
Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Petrol Change?
"It's all about beating the clock." This price originates from a wise old service director, advising me about how to maximize my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you have ever wondered why your vehicle doesn't get fixed correctly, or your concerns weren't tackled, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay framework.
Flat-rate simply means that your mechanic is paid a set fee for a particular repair, regardless of how long the repair actually requires. Quite simply, if your car needs a drinking water pump, which pays two hours of labor, and the auto mechanic completes the job in a single hour, he gets payed for two.
In theory, this can work in your favor. If the work takes longer, you still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. THEORETICALLY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition is designed to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system induces technicians to work hard and fast, but it does not promote quality.
In terms to getting your car set appropriately, the flat-rate pay composition has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to defeat the clock in order to maximize the amount of hours they invoice. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill anywhere from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck swiftness at which smooth rate technicians work that lead to some of the most idiotic mistakes. Inside the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've witnessed technicians start engines with no olive oil. I've seen transmissions slipped, smashing into little portions onto the shop floor. And I've seen autos driven through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite elaborate with shortcuts. The best was the execution of any 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was located under the engine unit for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made a job predetermined to consider 1.5 hours achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The tech makes extra cash; you get your vehicle back faster.
Actually, in many cases the placement of this 2-by-4 damaged the oil skillet. Moreover, it brought on the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 ft in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine mount.
This plan was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped leading to the automobile to crash nostril down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very simple disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a car had its transmission serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and fluid. During the treatment, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube somewhat, in order to get the transmission skillet out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the specialist re-bent the tube back to place and off it went--no worries....
Half a year later, the vehicle delivered with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't working on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was learned that the transmission dipstick tube acquired chaffed through the engine funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's strange. Don't usually observe that.
The high-speed environment and the next shortcuts illustrate the devastating effects of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay composition on the quality of car repairs.
No surprise even an oil change gets screwed up!
The poor quality of work prompted by the smooth rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. Alas, it doesn't stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially even worse, as it starts "wide" the entranceway to rip you off!