Auto Repair: THE VERY BEST Ten Mistakes CREATED BY Your Mechanic

Auto Repair Estimator






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


"It's all about beating the time." This offer comes from a sensible old service manager, 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 all your concerns weren't attended to, 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 specific repair, regardless of how long the repair actually calls for. In other words, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which will pay two time 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 job takes longer, you'll still pay just the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-rate pay framework was created to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system promotes technicians to work solid, but it does not promote quality.

In terms of getting your car fixed correctly, 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 number of hours they costs. Experienced flat-rate technicians can invoice from 16 to 50 hours in an 8 hour day.

It's these shortcuts and the breakneck acceleration at which flat rate technicians work that lead to some of the most idiotic mistakes. Inside the rapid-fire pace of an shop I've witnessed technicians start engines with no essential oil. I've seen transmissions lowered, 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. My favorite was the implementation of the 6-foot-long 2-by-4, which was placed under the engine for support while a motor support was removed. It made employment predetermined to use 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra money; you get your car back faster.

Actually, oftentimes the keeping this 2-by-4 destroyed the oil pan. Moreover, it triggered the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 legs in the air, as the technician manipulated the car lift to access your engine support.

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

Sometimes the shortcuts create very delicate disruptions, which create problems overtime. An instant example: a vehicle had its transmitting serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and smooth. During the treatment, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube just a little, in order to get the transmission skillet out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no concerns....

Half a year later, the vehicle returned with an intermittent misfire. The engine motor wasn't running on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmitting dipstick tube had chaffed through the engine motor funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's odd. Don't usually notice that.

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

No wonder even an olive oil 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!





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