Auto Repair: The Top Ten Mistakes Made By Your Mechanic

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Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?


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

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

In theory, this may work in your favor. If the job takes longer, you 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 to getting your car set accurately, the flat-rate pay composition has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to conquer the clock to be able to maximize the number of hours they invoice. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill anywhere from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.

It's these shortcuts and the breakneck acceleration at which smooth rate technicians work that bring about some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of the shop I've observed technicians start machines with no oil. I've seen transmissions decreased, smashing into little pieces onto the shop floor. And I've seen automobiles driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time clock."

Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. The best was the execution of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was located under the engine for support while a electric motor support was removed. It made employment predetermined to have 1.5 time 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 damaged the oil skillet. Moreover, it caused the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 toes in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine mount.

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

Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a fresh filter, gasket, and fluid. During the treatment, the technician could save time by twisting the transmitting dipstick tube somewhat, in order to find the transmission pan out faster. The vehicle was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back into place and off it went--no worries....

Half a year later, the vehicle returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't jogging on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was uncovered that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's bizarre. Don't usually observe that.

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

No question even an petrol change gets screwed up!

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





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