Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Olive oil Change?
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Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Engine oil Change?
"It's all about beating the time clock." This estimate originates from a wise old service administrator, advising me on how to maximize my income as a flat-rate specialist. If you've ever wondered why your car doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay composition.
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. In other words, if your car needs a drinking water pump, which compensates two time of labor, and the auto mechanic completes the job in one hour, he gets paid for two.
In theory, this can work to your advantage. If the job takes longer, you still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay framework is designed to drive productivity. It's very 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 correctly, the flat-rate pay structure has disastrous results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat the clock to be able to maximize the amount of hours they invoice. Experienced flat-rate technicians can invoice from 16 to 50 time in an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck swiftness at which chiseled rate technicians work that cause some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've witnessed technicians start machines with no essential oil. I've seen transmissions lowered, smashing into little parts onto the shop floor. And I've seen vehicles driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite intricate with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was positioned under the engine for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made a job predetermined to take 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra cash; you get your car back faster.
Actually, in many cases the keeping this 2-by-4 broken the oil skillet. Moreover, it brought on the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 toes in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine support.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nasal area down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disturbances, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a fresh filtration system, gasket, and fluid. During the treatment, the technician could save time by bending the transmitting dipstick tube somewhat, to be able to get the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back to place and off it went--no problems....
Six months later, the vehicle went back with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't operating on all cylinders. After comprehensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmission dipstick tube acquired chaffed through the engine unit harness, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's odd. 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 poor quality of work motivated by the level rate pay composition is disconcerting enough. Alas, it doesn't stop here. The negative effects of flat-rate get exponentially worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!