Auto Repair: THE MOST NOTABLE Ten Mistakes Made By Your Mechanic

Auto Repair Manuals

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 administrator, advising me on how to increase my income as a flat-rate technician. If you've 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 can take. Quite simply, if your vehicle needs a water pump, which compensates two hours of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in one hour, he gets payed for two.

In theory, this may work to your advantage. If the work takes longer, you'll still only pay the "predetermined" labor amount. In THEORY, not reality!

The flat-rate pay composition is designed to drive productivity. It's very effective. The flat-rate pay system motivates 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 results. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to beat 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. Within 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 complex 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 adopt 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 skillet. 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 whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped creating the car to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.

Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disruptions, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmission serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and liquid. During the treatment, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmission dipstick tube slightly, in order to get the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the specialist re-bent the pipe back into place and off it went--no concerns....

Six months later, the automobile went back with an intermittent misfire. The engine unit wasn't working on all cylinders. After considerable diagnostics, it was discovered that the transmitting dipstick tube experienced chaffed through the engine funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's unusual. Don't usually observe that.

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

No think about even an engine oil change gets screwed up!

The poor quality of work prompted by the flat rate pay framework is disconcerting enough. Unfortunately, it generally does not stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially even worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!

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